Goodbye Uncle Alan
By Steven Martinovich
I got the first email in December 1999.
At the time Enter Stage Right was two and a half years into its online run and was always struggling a little to attract submissions. Not surprising as the budget for writers was approximately zero.
But a gentleman by the name of Alan Caruba sent me a short email asking me if I was interested in running the odd essay of his that interested me. Over the following 15 years a total of 821 essays that Alan penned tickled my fancy enough to include within the virtual pages of this humble effort.
I never met Alan in person, he lived in New Jersey while I reside in northern Canada, but over the decade and a half we traded thousands of emails discussing everything from politics to sports. Sometimes we were morose over the direction the world was heading, other times we were gleefully confident that the tides would change. And when the victories came, we celebrated them.
Alan's contributions to the magazine extended past the hundreds of essays he contributed to also introducing a number of writers who also came onboard, such as the late Henry Lamb and Tom DeWeese, among others. Along with a timely article – often shared with me before he sent it out to other editors – he had advice by the ton. Often followed, always appreciated.
A few weeks ago Alan emailed me – incidentally he signed all of his emails "Uncle Alan" – to tell me that he was going into hospital for surgery but should be back on his feet soon. The last essay that Alan contributed ran on June 8 – my birthday and a welcome present – and that was the last that I heard from him. I began to worry but before I could contact Alan, Murray Soupcoff contacted me with the sad news that Alan had died the previous day, on June 15, 2015.
Alan's contributions to the conservative movement are far too numerous to catalogue, and any attempt to do so would merely be criminally incomplete. Rather, what I hope all will remember was his pugnacious defences of his principles, the time honoured conservative principles that Alan grew up, represented the America of his youth, and what he hoped the nation would return to one day.
Few writers were as prolific as Alan, fewer still maintained the extraordinary quality that marked his essays. This was remarkable given that Alan wrote about every topic under the sun. Though terrorism since 2001 and the Obama administration a few years later were his primary concerns, Alan also attacked environmentalism and values based on fad rather than tradition, and wrote about the military, geopolitics, economics, social issues and education, amongst a multitude of other subjects.
It saddens me to know that I will never receive another email from Alan again, whether to contribute another of his essays or to just drop me a line to find out what I was up to. I'm distraught by the fact that the conservative movement and the United States as a whole has lost a ferocious opponent of the new world, one who only wanted to see a strong America. It will take a long time for me to get past the reality that a friend has passed away. It is said that at a certain point in life everything becomes about loss. If that is true, I feel it as I write these words.
I will miss you Uncle Alan and I hope that your sleep is an easy one. Your fight is over, let us take up your flag. Rest in peace friend.
Steven Martinovich is the founder and editor of Enter Stage Right.