RIP Iron Mike

Posted January 25th, 2022 by Jim Ettwein

RIP Iron Mike

It was quite some time ago that Mike and I became disenchanted with the Republican Party in Massachusetts. In fact it was in 2009.  We were at a local Republican meeting and we wanted to do more. We wanted to call attention to things we could encourage others to do. We wanted more.

I went home and sketched out a blog design. I showed it to Mike, he liked it, and we were off and running. I was a participant, but Mike was the force behind RRB.  He was the researcher, writer, and cajoler of all that became the RRB.

I remember that he would delight in seeing where his audience came from. Whether they were from Russia (long before that was even popular), the government (he imagined legions of Obama supporters, huddled around their computers, reading with delight things they could not say out loud), and so many more.

He would get pumped when he saw familiar people commenting on his posts. He loved that there were regular readers of what he wrote. And the readers delighted in what he had to say. He became much more adept at IT stuff over the years. I showed him a few things, but he carried the ball himself and drove the use of graphics and pictures (heavily edited by Mike) and provocative language.

Some objected to the strong language. I never did. Most didn’t. Mike expressed himself in his own way, a way the brought others to read his words. He wrote like he talked: with feeling, commitment, and strength.

A few years ago, I turned the entire blog over to Mike. I was still working, and didn’t have the time to devote to the increasingly worrisome turn of events in America. It all fell on Mike’s shoulders, but he took it on with pride and fervor.

When I think of the word Patriot, the image of Mike and his devotion to America is the first person I think of. He was a Patriot’s patriot. He never wavered from his goal. Mike was an ardent campaigner – with his drum, in all weather. He was a devoted gatherer of voter registrations – most could not refuse his relentless desire to get everyone to vote. Mike and I attended many meetings together, trying to hold the opposition’s feet to the fire. We carried signs, beat the drum, got in the way, engaged others in hearing our message. We never stopped.

It is with a very heavy heart that I write these words. I am proud to have known Mike. Proud to have worked at his side. Proud to have begun something that was far bigger than what I ever imagined. Bigger because Mike was larger than life. He will remain thus in my heart forever.

Rest in Peace, sir. I salute you today and every day.

I can still hear the drum beating away…

Jim Ettwein

(this is post 8,289)

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