It was about four years ago that the Directors of RedState were lamenting the loss of a column at National Review Online that chronicled the weekly exploits of the politicos on the Sunday talk shows. We wanted someone to write a weekly round up -- 1 man and 5 shows.
We turned to my friend Mark Kilmer.
As the internet goes, Mark and I have never met in person. We had traded emails through 2003 and into 2004. I had taken to calling Dennis Kucinich "Marvin the Martian." Mark and his wife Diane found some humor in that. Mark and I struck up a quick friendship of emails and instant messages.
Mark was a profoundly wonderful man. He loved music. We traded notes on Brahms, Bach, and the Baroque. He liked the occasional Rachmaninoff, but only a bit.
As my friend hunkered down at RedState doing his weekly round up, he stretched his legs with more media commentary and then political commentary in general. Mark seized on Rathergate.com as a place to beat the hell out of the media for its biases and incompetence on a regular basis.
So thorough was Mark at exposing the seediness and anti-American biases at McClatchy Newspaper's Iraq blog (staffed by anonymous Iraqis who were clearly Ba'athist loyalists), one of McClatchy's editors felt the need to sign up as a contributor at RedState to personally attack Mark. The editor was thoroughly defeated by Mark's wit and words.
In fact, Mark had a singular wit and sense of humor that set him apart from all my other friends -- older than many of us with a sense of humor ahead of us, not to mention a fiery, righteous temper and indignation over the left and the left leaning media.
Last year Mark was diagnosed with cancer in his throat. He scaled back a bit on writing, but never gave up on writing his weekly round ups. Two months ago, Mark received a clean bill of health from his doctor.
The Lord shows many tender mercies, but also lets a few curve balls get through. A week or so ago, Mark learned his cancer had returned and spread. This past Sunday, he missed, I think, his first Sunday round up.
We had great expectations and hope that he would get back into treatment and beat it. That was not to be.
The Lord called Mark home to Heaven last night. No doubt Mark's first action past the pearly gates was to look down through the great chasm into the fiery pit to check out Walter Duranty, before heading over to visit Bach with a cheerful, "Hey mon."
We will so very much miss Mark. Heaven got a prized jewel last night.
Our prayers go out to his wife Diane and his family.