“Make room for my 45’s along beside your 78’s, nothing survives but the way we live our lives.”
Jackson Browne, from “Daddy’s Tune“, 1976
I was regretfully unable to attend the memorial service for Don. Dooney asked me if I’d like to prepare something for the service, and this is what I wrote.
When I first learned of Don Croft’s passing, I caught myself admonishing him, thinking “well, paragliding IS a very risky sport”. Then I laughed, as I realized that Earth-piping the underground base at Dulce, New Mexico is a much riskier sport than paragliding. And that’s just one example from Don’s life, out of countless others. Gifting Pluto’s cave. Gifting the Devil’s Punchbowl.
There’s a line in John Prine’s “In Spite of Ourselves” that goes “he’s got more balls than a big brass monkey.” That was Don Croft.
Back in the day, I was reading “The Adventures of Don and Carol Croft” as they were being published, and found them to be inspiring, and also very funny. For me, Don’s mixing of bravery and high adventure with off-handed witticisms, and then segueing into dry commentary on excellent restaurants in the area, lifted him up to a level that one could only hope to emulate.
And emulate him, I did. Readers of my thread on Don’s “Etheric Warriors” forum can confirm that I’ve lifted numerous aspects of his writing wholesale and made them my own, including speaking about difficult subjects via generalities, not listing one’s detractors by name, and of course trying to mix bravery and high adventure with off-handed witticisms.
In one of my posts in my thread, about burgeoning salmon populations in the Pacific, I referenced “them and their Illuminist fish-counter buddies.” Someone on the forum whose name I unfortunately do not recall said it was “the greatest Don-ism ever by anyone other than Don.”
I think they said that because the statement drives directly at the adversary, and yet is also casual, off-handed, and humorous. It’s foxhole humor, and that’s tied up with the fact that Don named the forum “Etheric Warriors.”
We all hope to make a mark while we are here, to “do something with our lives”. Side by side with his wife, Carol, Don Croft changed the world permanently for the better in numerous ways, while holding unfailingly to a course of service and humility.
And he was firm in his position that he was not the “head” of the Orgonite movement, but rather that the movement should have no head, at all, and so thus could not be beheaded – which is more genius.
He has passed on, sadly and suddenly, and I am left here behind, to keep on fighting the good fight, with him as the example for me as he has ever been.
Don Croft was simply incomparable, and I’m proud not only to have known him, but also to have counted him among my friends.
If you are so moved, please consider sending what you can to Don’s wife, Carol, to help defray the significant costs of Don’s final medical bills, and funeral arrangements.
Jeff Miller, July 24, 2018