When I first started hanging out around DailyKos, one of the diarists I most looked forward to was Stirling Newberry. Stirling's last post here was in July 2011, but he remained a presence on the blogs for a few months, including at The Agonist, and FireDogLake, then about the only place I saw him post for a while was on Facebook. Happily, he soon started his own blog, The Sorcerer's Apprentice.
But his last post there was in late March of this year. I did a few searches but could not find anywhere that he was posting.
Then in June, Ian Welsh reported that in May, Stirling had suffered a very severe stroke, which left him unable to walk or talk. In fact, he slipped into a coma after surgery to relieve the pressure. Stirling's condition was such that it made no sense to try and contact him -- not even to simply send a card.
A few weeks ago I asked Ian for an update, and a way to contact Stirling. Ian reported that
Stirling was doing somewhat better, he still suffered from significant aphasia (difficulty finding words) and difficulty controlling his right and left arms.
I have since been able to talk to Stirling by phone about once a week, and his speech is improving noticeably, though he still sometimes has to pause for many seconds for his mind to retrieve the word or phase he wants. He still does not have full use of his hands, and I believe his mobility is severely constrained as well. So it will probably be a while before he is released to go back home.
Being a bookseller, I asked him if he would like something to read. I had an extra copy of Solon Buck's 1920 history of the agrarian revolt and The Grange, The Agrarian Crusade. A week later, I sent him another four books, including Lawrence Goodwyn's The Populist Moment, which I have been urging anyone who would listen to read as a historical guide to building a progressive movement.
I believe Stirling received the four books on Wednesday, and this afternoon he called me. He had already finished reading Goodwyn! I asked him if I could provide an update on his condition to Kossacks, and I also suggested that I share his address so that people could send him additional books. I am happy to report that he assented!
So, here it is. Please send him books on early American and world history. That's what he requested. For now, his mail is being handled by his fiance. Also, I believe sending a card would be welcome at this point.
c/o Mi-Jeong Kim
19 S. Russell St. Apt 3
Boston MA 02114
At this time, Stirling would prefer not to have visitors or phone calls.