Saying Goodbye

If you’re a regular here, then I’m very sorry to say that we’ve lost a friend. A couple of nights ago, I found out that Arch (archaeopteryx1) has died. I’ve never met him in person — didn’t even know his real name — but it really affected me to hear about his passing. I’ve considered him a real friend for a few years now. I did a quick search, and it looks like he left over 4,500 comments on this blog! His points were always insightful (and sometimes inciteful), and he had a great wit. I can’t express how greatly he’s going to be missed.

I want to thank Carmen for reaching out to me via email and letting me know. And I also want to say how much all of you mean to me. This WordPress community has been a part of my life for many years now, and I sincerely consider all of the regulars here to be real friends. Some of you, I’ve gotten to know beyond the blog through emails and phone calls. And I fully intend to meet some of you in person one day as well. I wish I had gotten that opportunity with Arch.

Some other bloggers have written about this as well. If you haven’t run across those posts yet, the three I’ve seen so far are:

September’s Rose — For Arch
Beyond the Final Fear
For Arch

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43 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye

  1. Carmen

    Wow! 4500 comments! It seems to me, there was some hilarity on your site (which JZ has referred to), as well as informative research and insightful commentary. A truly memorable character and he spoke very well of you, Nate. (and why wouldn’t he?)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is deeply sad.

    I always liked reading his comments. I liked the way they revealed the intelligent and thoughtful person behind the keyboard. I loved the way he could be caring as well as sharp tongued and didn’t hold back when criticism was required. I wish I’d known him better.

    I promise to raise a glass for him this weekend.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. As I said on Ark’s blog, Arch loved to discuss old B&W TV Westerns with me since I lived in Kansas City for years. I too loved his wit and humor. And like so many others said, he knew his stuff !

    Happy Trails to You, Arch !

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Thanks, Victoria! Reading that actually brought some tears to my eyes. Yes, he was a singular individual, and he unquestionably made all our blogs better. We’re going to have to work extra hard to keep the conversation going.

    Liked by 9 people

  5. I think of all the blogs I saw him comment on this was by far the one with the most interaction. You got to really see the person behind all the one-liners and zingers to the thoughtful, sensitive, well-studied, caring individual that he was. Like Victoria said, this community won’t be the same without him.

    I never knew his real name, either, until the other day. It may seem odd to those who don’t have a significant online presence but we really do get to know one another and develop real friendships. The friendships I’ve made have been invaluable to me.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Ah, I am very sorry to hear this. Arch and I emailed back and forth several times and I enjoyed his comments, usually gained a lot from them, and had actually been wondering why we hadn’t seen him here in awhile.

    He’s a veteran. I imagine he’ll have full honors, which always seems to be a nice gesture for the family.

    archaeopteryx1 is missed.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Very sad news. Arch will definitely be missed. He possessed a wealth of knowledge.

    I noticed his blog is no longer online, but there are some pieces of it still available on the Internet Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20140529060516/http://in-his-own-image.com/

    For a quick read, I recommend his first post, “in His own image”. I will paste it here because sometimes the Internet Archive loads very slowly or not at all.

    — in His own image —

    Call Him Adam, call Him Zeke – Early Man lived in fear.
    He left His ancestors and near-relatives, the other bipedal primates, in the rainforests of equatorial Africa, and struck out – for better or worse – for the grassy plains of the African veldt.
    We can only speculate as to why this choice was made – food shortage; increased competition from other primates; evolutionary changes, from eons having spent on the ground (much like the modern Mountain Gorilla) had made His feet incapable of grasping branches; or possibly something as simple as innate curiosity. Whatever the reason, the choice was made. Man freely left His Garden of Eden, went forth and multiplied, and in a few million years, managed to inhabit the globe, a globe that Early Man could not even imagine existed.
    But He took with Him, His fear.
    During His millions of years in the African rainforest, He had seen lightening streak across the sky, watched it strike, setting fire to trees and grass. He had heard thunder rumble ominously across the sky. Rain, sleet and snow also came from the sky, where hung the moon, the sun, stars and rainbows – the sky seemed to hold a source of great power. Is there any wonder that Man imagined a powerful being, living in the sky, causing all these natural events, for which He, with His as-yet-limited knowledge, could not envision occurring any other way?
    However difficult life in the rainforest may have been, life on the African grasslands held even greater challenges. There, Man was both predator and prey, with neither the strength of His own predators, nor the agility of His prey. If there were a powerful being, living in the sky, making such incredulous events happen, that Man had witnessed but could not explain, surely such a being so powerful could protect Him, keep Him safe from harm and help Him be successful in the hunt for food for His family and His tribe.
    Thus, wishes evolved into prayers.
    Successes were retold around campfires, while failure meant that He who failed was somehow unworthy.
    Ever so slowly, a culture arose that looked to the sky for succor. To put a familiar face on the entity believed responsible for all that happened in the microcosm that was the world of Early Man, He envisioned for Himself a likeness of how He believed such an entity must look.
    In doing so, Man created god — in His own image —

    pax vobiscum,
    archaeopteryx

    Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20140328062518/http://in-his-own-image.com/2010/01/24/-in-his-own-image-.aspx

    So I looked up pax vobiscum and it means “peace to you”.

    Peace to you as well Arch.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. Dave, that’s a great find! I’ll see if I can recover as many of his posts as possible. In fact, I wouldn’t mind starting up a new blog to repost them. I don’t think Arch would have minded that (even though he hated WordPress). He had too much insight for it to be lost.

    What do you guys think?

    Liked by 7 people

  9. Nate, I think that’s a great idea. As I was sharing on Zoe’s blog, Arch said he finally opened a WP blog round 2 or 3 months ago, but was going to get all the info transferred before he published it. To my knowledge, he never finished it, nor published. He also told me he was working on a book.

    This would be a wonderful tribute to him.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I nearly said something about that on your blog yesterday. It didn’t seem a good time for a joke, though.

    I suspect rather than mourn him he would prefer we all lifted a glass in his honor and kept the party going, though. He was a good old bird.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Just to keep you guys in the loop, this is the site I’m posting Arch’s old content to:
    https://ourownimage.wordpress.com/

    Feel free to offer suggestions and criticisms. I’ll be adding his posts as I have time.

    Also, if anyone is interested in working on this with me (I even have some ideas about what we can do with the site going forward), just let me know.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Arch wasn’t afraid to “tell it like it is” when provoked. In “Letter to Kathy”, Arch has already had enough of Kathy’s sidekick who Arch called Mr Twister (because he twisted the bible to his own liking) Here is his response:

    archaeopteryx1
    Speaking of plants, KC, have you noticed that the plants were produced (Gen 1:11) on the third day, but that the sun wasn’t created (1:16) until the fourth? The temperature of the earth would have been the same as Mr. Twister’s I.Q. – absolute zero!

    Like

    JUNE 24, 2014 AT 1:21 AM

    I still get a chuckle out of some of his responses. On a different note, thanks Nate for what you are doing with Arch’s old content !

    Like

  13. Hi Nate, I too am sad to hear that news, but thanks for passing it on.

    I think it is sad that although the internet allows us to connect from all over the world, it is often less personal than it could be. So I too have never known Arch’s name, wouldn’t have known his gender if people hadn’t used masculine pronouns, didn’t know he was a vet, etc. I think that is a pity.

    Best wishes and condolences to all here at your blog.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Julie

    I immediately recognized that the overall tone on this blog was special. This article and respective comments confirmed it. There seems to be a sincere kindness among this group. Ironically, this is an ingredient that has been missing from my church “family.”

    Nate, it’s clear you’ve set a healthy framework for this community to have respectful, meaningful discussion, and to foster genuine affection for one another. I feel lucky to become a part of this great community… even if I still consider myself a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, somehow I know you’ll still accept me and will show kindness as I join you all in this journey of finding truth.

    My condolences to you all for the loss of your special friend.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Carmen

    Julie, Arch would have welcomed you and probably said something appropriately witty. So I’m saying, “Welcome” for him and hoping you find your own truth. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thanks Julie. And I’m so glad you’ve decided to join in the conversation. Hopefully, we can live up to the impression we’ve left so far! πŸ™‚

    Btw, you’re not the only Christian who chimes in here. Josh, Kent, and UnkleE all commented earlier, and all 3 are Christians. They’re all really great guys, too.

    Anyway, we’re glad to have you!

    Like

  17. Oh, dear. My thoughts go out to his family.

    He visited my blog a few times, too. And I his (I believe). It’s always stunning to be reminded we’re all frail humans. We should cherish all contact.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Also Ark, wanted to say to you. So Ill share it here. when talking about more light hearted things (like movies) I was amazed at your pop culture references. I hope I made you smile a few times, because you made me smile a few times with your humour and sitcom references. Thanks for the smiles.

    Like

  19. That being said – smiling at the sitcom references, not the crude stuff.

    Just realised I did the whole Arch/Ark thing. I remember Arch mentioning that when I accidentally called him Ark ☺ I’m sure Arch woukd have had something to say about that

    Like

  20. Just realised I did the whole Arch/Ark thing. I remember Arch mentioning that when I accidentally called him Ark ☺ I’m sure Arch woukd have had something to say about that

    He would have said.
    ”Dammit. It’s Arch not Ark. I’m the good one!”

    Liked by 2 people

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