Thursday, August 18, 2005

Joe Dejan

My friend, Joe Dejan, died last night. He had been ailing a long time. His wife and son were there with him. Marsha and I had visited a little while before to say goodbye. Marsha thinks he heard us. I would like to think so, too.

But I prefer to think of his long and amazing life. Originally a French citizen, he had lived in both North Africa and France before settling in the United States. He was highly accomplished in track and field, gymnastics, and judo.

Apparently he was quite the swimmer as a boy, spending hours swimming in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Africa. Once he was out so long that his distraught parents had search parties looking for him. He didn't realize at first that they were looking for him, so he joined one of the search parties!

He knew Camus and Sartre, he wrote as a critic, painted canvases that sold well, and even designed a typeface that is still in popular use today.

He was charming
And disarming.

And though it was expected,
I'm dejected
That he's gone.

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