Gary Welsh, author of the Indiana based blog Advance Indiana, died over this past weekend according to The Indianapolis Star.
Before I sat down to write this post, I reflected a long time on Gary Welsh, the man, and Gary Welsh, the public persona.
More than a few people think the handful of Indianapolis (and honestly, not much more if you expand to Indiana) bloggers are closely connected. In truth, most of us know of each other in passing. A few bloggers are also attorneys and may have some professional overlap due to their day jobs. But in reality, some of us have never met. Others may only run into each other at public events.
Gary and I did meet, mostly on the Civil Discourse Now podcast. Gary was often a panelist we relied on if someone we scheduled canceled, or if we needed someone at the last minute. In one show, we had Gary on the panel and our guest was a fortune teller. While much of the panel and production crew were skeptical but respectful towards our guest, Gary really seemed to take the fortune to heart. I wouldn't call Gary religious, but he did seem to have some type of faith. It might be a faith or spirituality that was only known and made sense to him, but I think he had it.
Gary's blog was one of the most prolific Indiana based blogs, and perhaps the longest running. More than just a repository for his personal opinions, he often planted seeds that mainstream media could then turn into stories. More than a few times, he broke news himself. Much of Indiana media and Indiana politicos checked Advance Indiana regularly, even if they didn't want to admit it.
Paired with the passing of WTLC-AM's Amos Brown, the loss of Gary Welsh is a loss for Indiana's political scene. Many times, these two men were the critical voices. Some times, they were the voices critical even people on their "side" (Amos was a Democratic pundit, Gary a Republican) wanted them to shut up. But that often didn't happen. More than a loss of critical voices, both men had institutional knowledge that will be incredibly difficult to replicate.
Jon Easter at Indy Democrat also wrote an excellent piece on suicide prevention.
If there are any comments, please be respectful. I typically do not censor for content. But due to the death being so recent, I want to be respectful to the friends and family that may inadvertently stumble upon this blog.