Blogging–not unlike other forms of more-or-less “mass” communication–is a conversation largely directed to people the blogger doesn’t know personally and is unlikely to meet. Obviously, I form impressions about those who comment regularly, but in most cases, I will never have an opportunity to compare those impressions against personal observations.
Terry Munson, who died last week, was an exception.
Terry and his wife Pat live in an area of South Carolina where my husband and I have for many years owned and used a vacation time-share. Some years back, we joined friends from Indianapolis who split their time between here and there at a get-together of the local chapter of “Drinking Liberally.” (I joked that it was a gathering of all 30 of South Carolina’s liberals…). When we were introduced as Indianapolis folks, the man sitting next to my husband said he followed a blog written by a woman from Indianapolis.
Needless to say, we immediately became friends, getting together with Terry and Pat for dinners and conversations whenever we were in the state.
Terry was incredibly thoughtful: when I mentioned that one of my grandsons was interested in marine biology, he set up a dinner at which that grandson could meet and converse with a close friend of his–a professor at Coastal Carolina who teaches marine biology. (My grandson was wowed.)
Terry hasn’t commented here recently, as his health further declined, but many of you will recall the thoughtful and erudite observations he shared here on a wide variety of subjects. Those opinions were informed by a wide, liberal education and a wealth of life experience, and by Terry’s ongoing intellectual engagement with the world in which he found himself. In retirement, his hobby was writing letters to the editor on the multiple topics he had researched and analyzed; according to his friends in Drinking Liberally, several hundred of those letters have been published.
His voice will be missed.
Engaging in written commentary, entering into always-civil, evidence-based debates on the important issues of our times, is my definition of exemplary citizenship.
Terry was a Chinese linguist, a systems engineer with IBM, and a passionate environmentalist. His obituary noted that he was a co-founder of SODA – the movement to stop off-shore drilling off the South Carolina coast–and asks that memorial contributions be made to the South Carolina Environmental Law Project (SCELP) at www.scelp.org.
If this country is ultimately saved from the vicious and vacuous know-nothings who threaten it–the empty suits who have captured headlines and far too often, political power–it will be because America produces enough sane, civic, good-hearted and generous people like Terry Munson.
23 thoughts on “Terry Munson”
A lovely tribute to someone who was what others should strive to emulate.
Well done, Sheila. Terry will be sorely missed on this blog and in his home state of SC.
I do believe that his efforts, as well as your efforts, have helped speed up the demise of this paradigm we’ve been living in since probably post WW2. It is quickly coming to a close. Let’s say the ship is running into the iceberg and most will be lost.
A new paradigm has begun.
It will be people-centered with a focus on inspired thinking versus think tank egos derived by moneyed-masters. “You get what you pay for!”
It’s been coming over the last year…I’m not sure 2022 is the point or whether yesterday’s Winter Solstice was the precipice or turning point. But, it has begun anew through divine inspiration.
I do love stories like this… thanks for sharing.
RIP Terry. I remember his posts.
A few years ago; before Trump was even thought of as a politician, at the annual Woodruff Place Yard Sale, a young man was passing out political flyers. We chatted a bit about something in the news then and I asked if he was familiar with your blog; he said he read it regularly. I told him I was JoAnn Green, he looked aghast, shocked or horrified, I’m not sure which. Sorry I didn’t ask his name, just talked about and my son asked what I had said to shock him; told Scott I just told him my name which got a laugh from him and his wife.
We never know how far or where our words will be carried or the effect they will have, if any, on others. Someone told me long ago, “We are not responsible for the results of what we say.” Still wish I had asked the young man for his name. Many people I communicate with are familiar with Sheila Kennedy and this blog.
May his memory be a blessing
R.I.P. , Terry . 👍🙏😔
We mourn the loss of a fellow South Carolinian , a sane , well versed and educated voice now stilled .
Thank you for your many meaningful contributions .
No words can express how much I will miss Terry. My fondest memories are the nights at DL when there was room at Terry’s table for me to sit and take in his rich words and sometimes complex thoughts. It got better when we would sometimes go to Captain John’s for something to eat afterwards. He inspired me to write and a complement from him on an LTE I put together made me happy and proud. Terry sometimes took a lot of heat for his writing. Sometimes his “haters” would respond to his writing with name calling and ugly accusations. He was not deterred. He said what he wanted to and marched right on to the next equally thought provoking LTE. His intelligence was far beyond my own and I would sometimes have to call him and ask what he was trying to say or confirm that sarcasm was the theme of a particular piece. I will miss him and so will so many others. Rest in Peace my friend.
Such a lovely tribute to your friend and frequent commenter on this blog. I do hope his wife will see it.
So sorry to hear of Mr. Munson’s passing – I had no idea he was a fellow IBMer. What a beautiful tribute.
JoAnn, I lived in a small apartment in a house on Middle Drive in the early 70’s. I’ll always treasure my memories of Woodruff Place and many of the neighbors who strove to preserve its beautiful old homes.
Terry Munson was a good friend and an exceptional contributor to the local newspapers.
With thoughtfulness and extensive research he continued to post letters that made us all think more clearly and focus on the those issues most important in our lives. Terry volunteered along side me at the Pawleys Island Child Development Center helping the children learn some Chinese language and customs. He was passionate about expanding their knowledge of other cultures.
I am grateful to have crossed paths with Terry and witness all that he contributed to our community and beyond.
It is rare to find a soul that is as thoughtful as Terry Munson. I never had the pleasure of meeting him, but his comments said s lot about his character. He will indeed be missed. RIP, Terry.
I, too, enjoyed Terry’s thoughts. It is nice to take today to remember good things, good people, good thoughts…for a change…
Like Beverly Sullivan, I met Terry at our local Drinking Liberally chapter and my wife and I would occasionally join he and Pat at Captain John’s. And like Terry, I also started my career at IBM as a systems engineer in Washington, D.C. In fact we both worked out of the same office building on Connecticut Ave but at different times.
Looking back there is a lot to be thankful for in having known Terry. In addition to admiring his intellect, his biting wit and knowledge of local and national affairs, I always felt that most of all he was the perfect good friend and a truly good listener.
In reading our local newspaper, The Coastal Observer, I found myself first turning to the LTE section, even before reading the police blotter, to see if he had commented on the issues of the day. And if he did you knew it would be articulate and passionate.
We think of Terry as also a fighter and a optimist. Despite the physical disabilities he was battling, he was seemingly always able to generate high energy dedication in debating and seeking answers to vexing political and human issues. At this time, I’m sure a chorus of his friends can be heard saying “life well done Terry Munson, you made a difference”!
What a lovely tribute. I read your column daily and rarely, if ever, comment but I relish every word.
What a lovely tribute to Terry. May he rest in peace.
If there’s a downside to participating here it is the low odds of meeting others who do who I would love to share higher quality time with. Terry was certainly one such person. There is sort of a connection between inspiration and aspiration and he personified that to me. RIP Terry. May there always be those drinking and thinking and talking liberally in service of the future of freedom.
I am too new to this blog to recall Mr.Munson, or I did not pay proper attention to his name if I saw comments of his,
but your tribute to him paints a person I can also honor
Never actually got to meet Terry but he was on my radar since I know many of the people he knew in SC (I am one of the “30 Liberals” here) and I looked for his comments on this blog.
He will be missed.
Thank you Sheila for your kind tribute to Terry. He loved being a part of your followers and being able to make occasional contributions. Writing was his passion and he had so much more to share. Most of all he treasured the friendship he was able to build with you and Bob. I have shared today’s blog with my family and friends – all have been moved.
What a razor sharp mind to confront! He was a humanist/ agnostic, I am a retired minister. We didn’t waste time trying to “ convert “ each other.
Our quiet times @ his home were too few, but over limited highballs we agreed on most things. He was one of the most intelligent men I’ve ever known, & despite his “ pricles” very lovable !
Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute! I never knew Terry but always enjoyed his letters to the Editor! His insight and intelligence was always so uplifting!
Terry was always a joy to be with. Great smile, quick wit, a very strong hand shake and great horn player….🎼 I will think of him “every time I turn a light on”
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