a personal note

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Sat Jun 7 21:03:22 UTC 2003

forgive me for using this mailing list for communicating some
personal news, but i'm having trouble coping with the long list
of people i need to send this message to, and a fair number are
on this list.

here's the message i sent yesterday to the stanford linguistics

From: Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at csli.Stanford.EDU>
Date: Fri, 6 Jun 2003 03:43:06 -0700 (PDT)
To: ling-dept at csli.stanford.edu
Subject: bereavement

my man jacques died a few hours ago, just before 11 at night on
thursday.  i'll be pretty unsteady for a while (not that i've been
exactly steady in the past few months), and i ask for your

i realized a few days ago that almost none of the current graduate
students have even *seen* jacques (four or five years ago i would
sometimes bring him by the department in his wheelchair, so some of
you have at least glimpsed him, though in a much deteriorated state),
so i'm talking about a kind of ghost here.  most of you know him only
through me.  i wish i could make him vivid and live for you.

in 1980 he had a terrible brain cancer, was saved from quick death by
surgery and cruel radiation therapy, and when he (astoundingly) didn't
die from all that, he embarked on a new life - he'd been a linguistics
teacher, what else?, and an extraordinary one - of volunteer work
(reading for the blind here in palo alto, working in the columbus park
of roses, being a foot soldier in endless political campaigns, most
notably john glenn's) and his great saved-from-death project, being my
support person.

we said "till death do us part" to one another, though in no official
place (there was none), and he took that vow seriously.  he thought i
needed a lot of help, in my stressful life as a Famous Academic, and
he did what he could to help me (proofreading, filing, mailing,
fending people off, giving me pointed criticism, much else), while we
shared out the tasks of daily life (i cooked, he cleaned, we shopped

nobody knows his name except as my partner.  please, honor him as a
good person who passionately, angrily, wanted to make this a better
world.  (not just as an appendage to me.)

i wish you all could have known him.


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