I posted this to the New America Blog not long after Rob Tucker's death. Another St. David's Day has passed and I still miss my friend, confidant, and comrade more than I can express.
Rob Tucker, the Peaceful Warrior
'I do believe your Majesty takes no scorn to wear the leek upon Saint Davy’s day.’ The king laughs through his tears.
'I wear it for a memorable honour. For I am Welsh, you know’.
Henry V, Act IV, scene 1.
I was pondering this passage of Shakespeare as I remembered my own favorite Welshman, Rob Tucker. Saint David's day was yesterday and I missed being able to call Rob to wish him Cymru Am Byth, or Wales Forever. He ended many of his messages to me with that closing. Rob, among his many pursuits, was an amateur linguist. My branch of the Ross family were Breton freebooters, of Viking descent, who came with William the Bastard to conquer England. They were rewarded with lands in Wales. I do hope that Wales lasts forever. As the family moved on to Scotland and then Ireland, I hope Wales lasts forever, Scotland slightly longer, and Ireland longest of all. And England... well, what would all Celts have to agree about if it was not for England? I would have enjoyed joking with Rob about that.
At Norman Thomas' suggestion Rob wrote an exhaustive treatise on national health care. Then found that was not the greatest career move. How we could use that wisdom now. I wanted to post this to the New America blog. Rob was the first editor of New America, the Socialist Party, USA's newspaper in the 1960's and it seemed fitting.
As I write this I feel like King Hal, seeing the brave Welsh archers he had lost during the battle of Aigncourt and crying. Rob was a Quaker, but he was a warrior for the causes of peace and justice. He was my friend and mentor, I still miss him greatly. He was a gentleman and a gentle man and his comrades all mourn our lost. Rob died on Friday due to complications from a stroke and he is surely at peace in place that will last forever. His brother, David, tells me that the family asks that in lieu of flowers donations can be made to:
American Friends Service Committee
1515 Cherry St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Rob, the Dewie Sant's Day will never pass that I will not remember you, the peaceful warrior.