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Thu Oct 17, 2019, 01:39 PM

RIP Elijah Cummings

“I myself have no power. It's the people behind me who have the power. Real power comes only from the Creator. It's in His hands. But if you're asking me about strength, not power, then I can say that the greatest strength is gentleness..”
Tadodaho Leon Shenandoah



Like many people, after seeing reports on advances the Democratic Party has been making towards holding Donald Trump accountable for his criminal behaviors, I've been in a generally good mood about domestic politics. I loved watching our candidates debate this week. The events in Syria have been horrible, of course, and is a constant reminder of the horrors of Trump's foreign policies.

Then I woke up to the news that one of the people I respect the most, Elijah Cummings, has died. Although I never met him, or had the pleasure of talking with him, I have enjoyed the opportunity to listen to him speak, and to watch him provide our nation with what I consider to be the highest form of true leadership. Indeed, he reminded me of Leon, a man I knew as “Uncle,” and that I still treasure the many hours I was able to spend with. Both were true Gentle Men.

It's a cold, rainy day here in upstate New York. Still, my dogs wanted to go for their daily walks. I found myself thinking how much we need Rep. Cummings' leadership at this difficult time in our nation's history as I walked Kelly down my driveway, across the street, and then down the old dirt road. It had been part of the second turnpike heading towards Ithaca after the Revolutionary War. A man who had been friends and business partners with Aaron Burr had been hired to create a route from what had been the “western front” into the territory the United States was taking from Leon's ancestors. Those were “the best and worst of times,” I suppose. It always is.

We walked along the creek to a spot where, in the early-to-mid 1800s, a cloth & carding factory had been. There has been so much rain that unless you knew they were there, you could hardly notice the waterfalls that powered the old factory. Daniel Dickenson, who would become a U.S. Senator of some note, worked there as a teenager. He would a eventually marry the daughter of Dr. Colby Knapp, who had lived in what is now my home. Dr. Knapp was an abolitionist when being one wasn't popular in these parts. Local history records that he and Daniel had heated debates on this issue right up until the beginnings of the Civil War. Eventually, the gentle strength of Dr. Knapp convinced the Senator that slavery was evil, and had to be stoppe. In the summer months, I like to tend to Dr. Knapp's grave, which had been hidden by plant growth when I moved here.

It's hard enough for me to keep pace with Kelly on a smooth, flat road. Walking on an old turnpike – with its 90 degree curves to assist horses pulling stage coaches up or down a mountain – is even harder. And then he decides to follow some stray scent along a deer path in the woods. I find myself thinking of how Burr's friend followed the Iroquois' woodland paths while making the turnpike. The Iroquois, in turn, had followed deer paths. It strikes me as funny, because last night I had a long conversation with my daughter about getting in shape for athletic competition, and telling her it was important to study how deer covered the greatest distance the fastest.

By now, I was soaking wet, and Kelly was ready to head back home. I believe that we both agreed that the mountain that the turnpike travels towards our home is much steeper when walking up it. We finally reach the house, and by the time I've put on dry clothes, Kelly is fast asleep. So I take the opportunity to get on the computer. The first thing I see is a letter from my Little Sister, who asks, “I wonder how we can pay tribute” to Rep. Cummings?

I wish I knew “the answer.” I don't. As close as I can come to it right now is to say that we can honor him by carrying on the Good Fight that he was leading. I think of Dr. King's powerful message about our getting to the mountain's top without him, and I believe Elijah Cummings was leading us up that difficult trail. Perhaps the best way to honor him is to follow his lead.

Peace,
H2O Man

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply RIP Elijah Cummings (Original post)
H2O Man Oct 17 OP
Dennis Donovan Oct 17 #1
H2O Man Oct 17 #4
coeur_de_lion Oct 17 #2
H2O Man Oct 17 #5
coeur_de_lion Oct 17 #7
H2O Man Oct 18 #11
coeur_de_lion Oct 18 #18
Sinistrous Oct 17 #3
H2O Man Oct 17 #6
Hermit-The-Prog Oct 17 #8
bdamomma Oct 17 #10
H2O Man Oct 19 #24
malaise Oct 17 #9
H2O Man Oct 18 #12
ChubbyStar Oct 18 #13
H2O Man Oct 18 #15
spanone Oct 18 #14
H2O Man Oct 18 #16
spanone Oct 18 #17
Sucha NastyWoman Oct 18 #19
H2O Man Oct 18 #20
lunatica Oct 19 #21
H2O Man Oct 19 #25
BlancheSplanchnik Oct 19 #22
H2O Man Oct 19 #26
BlancheSplanchnik Oct 19 #32
Kid Berwyn Oct 19 #23
H2O Man Oct 19 #27
MuseRider Oct 19 #28
H2O Man Oct 19 #29
MuseRider Oct 19 #30
lunatica Oct 19 #31
Blue_Tires Oct 20 #33
Hekate Oct 21 #34

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Oct 17, 2019, 01:45 PM

1. A crushing loss of a great orator, legislator, and of a man.



Such terrible news to wake up to.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Reply #1)

Thu Oct 17, 2019, 02:09 PM

4. It really is.

I have had nothing but great respect for him. I've had phone calls and texts from others who feel the same sense of loss.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Oct 17, 2019, 01:50 PM

2. Beautiful H just beautiful

I love it so much I am sure I will read it over and over.

We must all find a way to honor this great man. This great warrior and spiritual leader.

Oh I am sad that he won’t live to see trump defeated.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 17, 2019, 02:13 PM

5. Thank you!

It's a very sad time. But I keep telling myself to keep in mind how great it has been to witness the life of such a good human being.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #5)

Thu Oct 17, 2019, 06:08 PM

7. All we can do is keep fighting his fight

I'm very sad.

Here is Elijah talking to Michael Cohen ~ “When we’re dancing with the angels, the question will be asked…what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact?”:

[link:|

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #7)

Fri Oct 18, 2019, 09:35 AM

11. Our fight.

We are all in this struggle.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #11)

Fri Oct 18, 2019, 04:22 PM

18. Good point

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Oct 17, 2019, 02:00 PM

3. Thank you for writing down the words

I was searching for, but could not find.

Courage, compassion, leadership. We are all richer for his service and poorer for his passing,

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Response to Sinistrous (Reply #3)

Thu Oct 17, 2019, 02:14 PM

6. Thanks!

He was exactly what a leader should be.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Oct 17, 2019, 07:03 PM

8. "We're better than that!"

We have to get the children out of cages.


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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #8)

Thu Oct 17, 2019, 07:42 PM

10. Who else

has that fire in confronting people like that. Chairman Cummings took no BS.

I will miss him.

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #8)

Sat Oct 19, 2019, 09:02 AM

24. I love that clip.

The horrors of the Trump administration seem to come like waves on the stormy sea. They are so frequent, that it runs the risk of our forgetting the horror of yesterday. There is still a crisis on the border involving human beings. Families separated. Children unaccounted for.

Yeah, that needs our focus, our attention. Now. Thank you for this.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Oct 17, 2019, 07:09 PM

9. A breath of fresh air

as always

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Response to malaise (Reply #9)

Fri Oct 18, 2019, 09:35 AM

12. Thank you!

As always!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Oct 18, 2019, 10:17 AM

13. Carry on the Good Fight

Indeed! Thank you for the wonderful OP.

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Response to ChubbyStar (Reply #13)

Fri Oct 18, 2019, 10:41 AM

15. Thank you!

This country has been through hard times before. People worked to make it better. Now it's our turn to try to reach that more perfect union. It is an option that is available to us.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Oct 18, 2019, 10:28 AM

14. K&R...

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Response to spanone (Reply #14)

Fri Oct 18, 2019, 10:41 AM

16. Thanks!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #16)

Fri Oct 18, 2019, 10:45 AM

17. Thank You!!!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Oct 18, 2019, 06:42 PM

19. That was lovely to read.

Thankyou

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Response to Sucha NastyWoman (Reply #19)

Fri Oct 18, 2019, 08:57 PM

20. Oh, thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Oct 19, 2019, 02:40 AM

21. The struggle continues.

I’ve been thinking that all day.

Elijah Cummings was a perfect man for our times. He was the perfect advocate for human rights in our racial strife. There is something very heavy and profound going on right now and in some way the juxtaposition of Trump and Elijah Cummings is very symbolic of this country’s struggle with it’s soul.

Sometime life is just black and white.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #21)

Sat Oct 19, 2019, 09:11 AM

25. Right.

Great point. It's black and white. Really, it's good versus evil. I'm not saying "evil" in a religious context, though that context could apply. But rather, in the context that Dr. Michael Stone uses in his description of the type of cruel person that society recognizes as doing harm without conscience.

It's also the bravery required to be gentle versus the cowardice of Trump's unprovoked violence.

I keep thinking about it, too. I'm going to visit one of my cousin's wifes today. He recently died, and she is preparing to move south. She's 93, and one of the most gentle, decent human beings I've ever met. When I get back, I hope to begin another essay for this forum, one that your response here has got me to thinking about.

Thank you.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Oct 19, 2019, 07:13 AM

22. Seems like we've lost Great, Gentle people so often. People who led humbly

And courageously. At least it seems like it— losing Rep Cummings— we lose the great ones, while the evil people live too long.

Thanks from Rochester for another wonderful, meaningful story, H2O Man!! I love the local history you know.

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Response to BlancheSplanchnik (Reply #22)

Sat Oct 19, 2019, 09:33 AM

26. Thank you!

I try to keep something that my supervisor at work said to me years ago, when Leon had died and I was arranging to take time off for the funeral. It seemed like a few of the Elders had passed in a fairly short time, and I said something about how their leadership was being lost, and how hard it was to lose the Elders.

He agreed that it was difficult, indeed, but reminded me that it has always been that way .....that a new group of Elders was coming of age, carrying that wisdom forward, and that in time, they too would pass. The cycle continues.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #26)

Sat Oct 19, 2019, 12:24 PM

32. ❤️

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Oct 19, 2019, 07:21 AM

23. Just a Minute

I only have a minute.

Sixty seconds in it.

Forced upon me, I did not choose it,

But I know that I must use it.

Give account if I abuse it.

Suffer, if I lose it.

Only a tiny little minute,

But eternity is in it.

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Response to Kid Berwyn (Reply #23)

Sat Oct 19, 2019, 09:34 AM

27. Very nice!

I love that! Thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Oct 19, 2019, 09:37 AM

28. Beautiful.

I believe he would have loved this. I did not know him either, of course, but I believe he would have.

Beautifully written with the usual tidbits that I had never heard. I had no idea that is why those old roads turned so hard.

Thank you.

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Response to MuseRider (Reply #28)

Sat Oct 19, 2019, 10:08 AM

29. Thank you!

I appreciate this!

The first railroad in the US that went through a mountain route, rather than generally following the river flats, was the Midland. It was built just after the Civil War, and crossed from near NYC to the Great Lakes. It approached the mountains using the "zig-zag" ninety degree curves as well, and for the same general reasons. The old abandoned railroad bed crosses what was the turnpike near my house, where Kelly and I take our walks.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #29)

Sat Oct 19, 2019, 10:24 AM

30. You live with such great history.

I do as well but most of it, being where it is, is hard to protect. It is gone. Still some old trail ruts and a buffalo holler or two but they are fading. My history is family, Free Staters and John Brown but that is another story entirely.

I do have one small edge of the land I live on that has to be something that was of significance but I have yet to find out how to find out. It is too awesome a spot with trees, that if you look at them from the right point, lead right to it. It HAD to be intentional. Some of it was wiped out by the hobos that used my place as a stopping place since the train is across the road but that is again, another story.

Your tribute is beautiful. I am hoping my aging brain will not let the memories of this great man go.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Oct 19, 2019, 10:48 AM

31. Kick

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Oct 20, 2019, 10:19 PM

33. K+r

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 12:46 AM

34. Peace

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