The Snarkster, RIP
I’d have to go back in to our archives and check, but when I started this site in the spring of 2004, I believe commenter #2 was a guy who went by the name of “snarkster.” He showed up frequently, handled liberal detractors with aplomb, and made us laugh a lot.
It turned out his name was Michael Ware, and he was from my hometown of Meridian, Mississippi. He was a good bit older - he and my parents had mutual friends - but it was clear Michael had never lost his youthful, rebellious streak. A recovering hippie, he despised what hippies were doing to his church; but he channeled his frustration into some of the funniest, most skewering comments this site has ever seen, and there have been over half a million of them in the eight-plus years we’ve been doing this.
Michael was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, and I received an email from him quite humbly asking if I “knew a priest” here in Jackson who might be able to visit him at the hospital before exploratory surgery. Michael was expecting somebody with a collar - a stranger - who might be bothered to drive a few blocks to the hospital, but I showed up with none other than The Rev. George Woodliff, founder and president of Stand Firm and someone Michael greatly admired. We prayed with Michael in the waiting room, and sat with him for an hour or so talking about the good, the bad, the funny, and the sad; life, death, the church, and God.
Michael lost his battle with cancer Saturday, and the world is a poorer place for it.
This is Michael, in the middle, circa 1978. I thought a long time about which photo to use for this post, and finally settled on this one. There were many to choose from - Michael hanging out with his friend Chris Ethridge, who later went on to play bass guitar for Gram Parsons in The Flying Burrito Brothers… Michael sitting on a couch in front a giant American flag in 1974 with all his hippie buddies… Michael young and smiling his ridiculously broad smile… Michael old and frail, his face showing the ravages of cancer and treatment…. but this one just seemed to capture the snarkster I had grown to know and love.
You will be missed, my friend.
Rest eternal grant to him, O Lord;
And let light perpetual shine upon him.
May his soul, and the souls of all the departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
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