Friday, July 9, 2010
Remembering Terry Anderson
Terry’s articulation of the popular rage was therapeutic. When you heard Terry rant, you knew you weren’t alone. You also knew you were right, because Terry knew right from wrong, and knew how to explain it simply and clearly. Politicians could blow all the smoke they wanted to, but it never clouded Terry’s vision. He had uncommon common sense, and a unique ability to zero in on the truth.
Besides being a terrific speaker, Terry was a terrific listener. You know how sometimes, when you’re talking to someone, you feel as though they’re just waiting for you to stop so it’s their turn to say whatever they already have in mind? You never got that feeling from Terry. Rather, he actually listened to what people said. You could tell from how he reacted, whether you were listening to him on the radio or had the privilege of talking with him in person.
Sometimes, when people would call his show, they knew they had a point to make, but they didn’t know exactly how to make it. Terry listened, and then articulated the point for them. He did so, moreover, in a gentle, caring and respectful way. You could hear the relief and enthusiasm in their voice when they heard him express the thought they hadn’t quite been able to put together on their own.
I even heard him take a call from a little kid -- whose parents had put him on the phone -- and Terry neither rushed him nor condescended to him. I forget exactly what Terry said, but I remember being impressed; I think Terry likened immigration law to playing by the rules, a concept children understand but many adults pretend not to.
Assembling parts so they work together was apparently second nature to Terry. After he passed away, I read an article about how, from a very early age, he had a knack for taking bits and pieces from wrecked cars, salvaging them, and putting them together to work, good as new.
That’s basically what he was doing with our country. He was salvaging those of us who had given up hope. He found some of us here in L.A., others in Nevada, still others in Illinois -- scattered people, all over America, who thought they were alone.
Terry united and connected people all over America who actually care about America. He was like Radio Free Europe and the French underground rolled into one. He provided important information we couldn’t find anywhere else.
When I ran for Mayor of Los Angeles, he was the first person to put me on the radio. He gave me the privilege of talking to people all over the nation on his show, despite my having had zero political experience, no war chest of cash, and no other media coverage. It made a difference. People from all over the country not only wrote to encourage me, but also contributed their hard-earned money to my campaign, because they wanted to help me try to save America’s second-biggest city. I was totally blown away. A police officer in Chicago actually contributed to my campaign. I was so honored.
Terry likewise supported Jamiel’s Law -- a “radical” proposal to deny “sanctuary city” protection for gang members. That anyone could oppose such a common-sense, modest, narrow proposal is still stupefying to me. But oppose it they did, and Terry was right there, fighting the massive disinformation campaign waged by people who took the side of gangs rather than the side of gangs’ victims. He didn’t just talk about Jamiel’s Law on the radio; he actually came to the rallies and the protests. That he took his time to attend meant a great deal to me and to the Shaw Family, too. If you had Terry Anderson on your side, you had the angels on your side.
Brave. That’s another word that springs to mind when you think about Terry. More like “fearless.” More like “invincible.” Terry was so strong, fearless and inspiring that It never even occurred to me that he could possibly pass away. I took for granted that we would always have Terry to egg us on, inspire us, keep our hopes up, and lead the fight to protect common sense values we never thought we would have to fight for.
I can’t believe he’s gone. I just can’t imagine a world without Terry Anderson. No one can fill those shoes. He was one of a kind.
I also can’t imagine how terrible his loss must be for his family. He was always strong, strong, strong. To lose such a great man, with so little warning, has to be absolutely impossible.
I just hope Terry’s family realizes how much we loved him, and how grateful we are that they shared this remarkable man with us, shared him with America.
We miss you, Terry, and we won’t let you down. You put us together. We won’t let anyone tear us apart.
Posted by Walter Moore at 11:30 AM