Sunday, February 20, 2011

"The Guy You Want Holding The Ladder"

The Garboden Family, specifically, and Boston Journalism in general, lost its' brightest stars. as Cliif Garboden passed away this past week, at young age of 63-years-old.

Mr. Garboden was on the nascent Alternative Weekly Newspaper scene in Boston from the get-go, and. as a testament to the outpouring of testimonials flowing in, he left his profound fingerprint on each and every person who came through the door after him, those who worked with him, those who bumped into him, and, those who had the great fortune to be friends with him.

We took from one of the testimonials, the title of this post, a damned fine epitaph if there ever was one.

One person was our good friend, Barry Crimmins, who had the joy of being both a colleague of, and friend with, Clif Garboden.

It pains me, that at this time, I don't have the words or gestures to repair the hole in Barry's heart.

Clif Garboden represented the best of his native Western Pennsylvania. Arisen from a lyrically hardscrabble upbringing, Clif had the brashness of a union organizer in a world of scabs. His life was a perpetual favor to all of us -- a favor he never called in.
He held together newspapers, organizations, and people with a framework he forged from insight, humility, sparkling wit, precise articulation, doggedly loyal dutifulness to fellow workers, generosity for neighbors, unfailing reliability, and a very healthy contempt for fraudulent and hypocritical authority. He worked harder than anyone, routinely defeated three-touchdown-favorite deadlines and always took the time to show respect and appreciation for the work of others.
There will never be another Clif Garboden, which is why we all must redouble our efforts to emulate a man whose daily life was a great example for others. My most profound condolences go out to Susannah and his wonderful children and to his tens of thousands of friends.
PS- My remarks would have been shorter and better but Clif wasn't here to edit them.

Also read the tremendous (and rather humorous) tribute of Cliff's daughter, Molly Garboden, becoming a journalist herself from the glowing, and inspirational, examples set down by her father.

I had met Cliff a handful of times, at Barry's various shows, over the years.

While it would have been nice to have worked with him, it would have been even better to have had his friendship, which as you read through the testimonials, it's clear everyone lost one of their greatest.

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