Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mike and more

Deadlining today. The article came together nicely over the last several days, so today I had only to polish it, choose photos, and write captions. But this was still urgent, intense work. All the while I felt terrible because I could not pause to write a worthy blog on Mike Vanderboegh’s terrible news. M. posted the link yesterday evening in comments, so thank you for that. But I needed to do more — and now that I have the time, I don’t have the words.

Mike announced his own impending death with resolution and grace. You should definitely read what he wrote. The news wasn’t surprising; Mike’s been battling cancer for years. He’s reported many, many recent bad days. And merely the thin, drawn look of him at the events he’s managed to attend in the last year said he was no longer winning the fight. He’s a believer, of course. So he has that to hold onto. I hope it sustains him.

Mike is an authentic hero not only to gun rights, but to freedom in general. Nobody will ever match or replace him.

Now that he’ll probably be leaving us this year, I hope anybody who can will lend him a hand. Perhaps one with a hammer, some garden loppers, or a drill in it. He’s got a ton of house projects he doesn’t want to leave for his wife Rosey, so anyone who’s in the neighborhood of Pinson, Alabama, might be useful. Surely somebody will be organizing a work party for him. If I hear of one, I’ll post it. If you hear of one before I do, please let me know.

For the rest of us, if you follow that link and scroll down, you’ll find a donation button and an address for snailing checks, money orders or cash. I’m sure Mike’s medical bills are … impressive.

Mike also has freedom projects to complete and the more he can be freed up and supported while working on them, the more we’ll all benefit.


After shipping off my article and photos, I had to take a long breather. The dogs hadn’t been walked and I’d forgotten to eat all morning. First, I took Robbie and Ava out on a sunshiny road where the forest was clearcut a few years ago. The day is glorious. For winter, at least. Blue alternating with clouds and no more of the piercing cold we had last week. The kids trotted along while I relaxed and unwound.

Then we drove to the nearest Mexican place for takeout enchiladas. It was lunchtime and I had quite a wait for my order. The entire time I was there a TV mounted on the wall was broadcasting a press conference. The TV’s volume was low and the babble of diners kept me from hearing more than an occasional word. But a banner at the bottom of the screen told me this was our (actually somebody else’s, not my) state governor announcing some new initiative on “gun violence.” Or maybe it was “gun safety.” Whatever the latest buzzword is for buffaloing the public and disarming the rabble. (UPDATE: Oh it was a “public health initiative” and the presser was held at — of course — a mental health treatment center.)

The words I periodically caught were the standard ones from lefty politicians, and given those terms and the timing, I assume he was playing “Obama lite.”

While this vaguely annoyed me, I was actually quite pleased at what I was seeing.

First of all, I realize that I wouldn’t have recognized him if the banner hadn’t announced that he’s Our (somebody else’s) Glorious State Leader. He’s a nonentity. I’ve never even bothered to look at a photo of him before.

Second, the transmission was bad and kept doing weird things to him. Initially he pixelated. Then he’d flicker and jump like old Max Headroom. Sometimes when he turned his head or looked down at his notes, he’d briefly have two noses or four eyes. Or simply giant holes in his face where his eyes would be. My favorite was when he developed several gross brown patches on his forehead and cheeks. Think rotting zombie flesh. Yep, that’s our gov. Rotting zombie flesh.

Some of you had way better luck in the governor department.

I got out of there as soon as I could, drove to the waterfront, parked, and feasted on my enchiladas with the car windows down.

The day was nearly still, but there was enough of a fragrant marine breeze to blow away the stink of politicians. Not enough to dispell grief and trepidation. But clean and fresh and a reminder of what’s real.


  1. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty January 6, 2016 2:00 pm

    Lots of young, new “Mikes” need to bloom and come forth. I wish for Mike the very best. None of us knows when life will cease for us, and nobody is exempt. We just have to do the best we can with the time we have. I’ve disagreed with Mike many times over the years, but that never stopped me from appreciating his efforts or his spirit. And yes, I hope all who are able will do what they can to help make his last days peaceful and fulfilling.

  2. Bob
    Bob January 6, 2016 2:53 pm

    Claire, sounds like you had a nice lunch, given the weather “out there.” Did you share with the dogs? You don’t say, one way or another. Mine will eat whatever he considers to be “people food,” so enchiladas would be just fine. The aftermath would be awe inspiring.

  3. R.L. Wurdack
    R.L. Wurdack January 6, 2016 4:18 pm

    Mike’s is a ‘must read’ blog. I wish him the peace of eternity.

    Must have been low tide to blow away the stink of politicians.

  4. FishOrMan
    FishOrMan January 6, 2016 5:25 pm

    I’ve had similar pleasurable experience not identifying politicians that I would have recognized years ago, (“celebrities” too). They claim much but deserve absolutely none of our preciously short time on this earth. I also wish I lived closer to Pinson.

  5. Claire
    Claire January 6, 2016 6:00 pm

    You’re a good man, FishOrMan. Maybe before the end there will be many things all of us can do for Mike.

    As to politicians, you’re the brother I’ve never met.

  6. LibertyNews
    LibertyNews January 6, 2016 7:33 pm

    Apparently ‘our’ governor is flapping his lips about some new initiative on ‘gun violence’ while readily admitting that 80% of those killed are suicides.

  7. mary in Texas
    mary in Texas January 7, 2016 5:40 am

    Even if our governor wasn’t showing himself as better acquainted with the Constitution than most other lawyers, the wheelchair gives him away. A great example of one who didn’t give up on his dreams.

  8. Unclezip
    Unclezip January 7, 2016 6:16 am

    I’ve never met a man more passionate about his belief as Mike. We had the pleasure of his company and conversation during his Oregon visit last year, and yes, he will be sorely missed.

    Hope you are well.

  9. Mark Call
    Mark Call January 7, 2016 1:10 pm

    It has been my blessing to know Mike since both of our ‘early days’ on KHNC radio, then the American Patriot Radio Network, in Johnstown, Colorado. (Where, Claire — sorta, anyway, via a Preparedness Expo — I had the privilege of meeting you initially at the booth of another mutual now-friend.)

    While we’ve fallen out of personal contact since leaving the network, I shall always count him as a mentor, and a friend, even though we never met face-to-face. He was certainly among the most effective champions of the Second Amendment that I have ever known, and without question a man of consummate courage. He and Rosey will be in our prayers.

  10. LarryA
    LarryA January 7, 2016 6:45 pm

    He and Rosey will be in our prayers.

    Amen. Something I had reinforced a couple years back: When you pray for the afflicted, pray also for the caregiver.

Leave a Reply