Irreplaceable Loss

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I don’t feel prepared so soon to judge Bill Bradford’s overall contributions to the movement, except to state what I hope is obvious: he sacrificed a great deal of his time, attention, and peace to the cause of giving the movement a place to discuss its history, its strategy, its politics, and its books, and anyone who cares about the larger libertarian conversation owes him a great deal, whether or not they agree with every editorial decision he made. (I certainly didn’t.)

As a man, I remember him as funny, brilliant, difficult, often unexpectedly kind, and often unexpectedly strange – an irreplaceable loss. He loved H.L. Mencken more than anyone else I knew. He had his own cataloguing system for his wonderful library, complete with stickers and individual identifying numbers. He invited me and encouraged me to borrow and read his books, and I did, I did. He taught me how to ride a motorcycle. He’s the only person with whom I’ve ever had to go running toward a deer tossing rocks – they used to invade his yard and eat his plants, and that’s how you got rid of them. He encouraged me, when I interned at Liberty, to have my perso~almail sent to his home address. I think he just enjoyed confusing the state m~il monopoly with the number of different names that got mail at the house. Hel was fun to be up 24 hours straight with, trying to get complicated tasks done -common in those days at Liberty when the real staff was just him, Tim Virkk~la, and Kathy – always ready with a funny or out-of-left-field thought. He ~ccasionallymade me mad, but I wouldn’t want not to have those stories to tell. I’ll miss him.

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