Remembering David Medaris

The longtime Isthmus staffer cut his own path

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David and his tribute

I was one of those privileged people to have David in my life for many years. We had been friends since second grade. Marc Eisen's tribute so beautifully captured David's spirit
and what made him so lovable. I saw a man who was amazingly consistent. His values and what he held dear never waivered. That includes his love for his wife, his family, and his friends. He had strength and resilience that I will always envy. And since he was seven years old he had a laugh that every time I saw him, I tried to trigger. It was a laugh of genuine recognition and infectiousness. And in spite of my love of adverbs, he encouraged my writing.

While regrettably I don't live in Madison, each time that I will return it will seem a little emptier now. For one of the things that he loved was his city.

And we are all the better for it.

Bill Bleckwenn

Bill Bleckwenn 143 days ago

David

Beautiful soul, beautifully captured.

Gina Dragutinovich 151 days ago

David

First, I am deeply saddened as I had not heard the news prior to reading Marc’s well-written tribute. David and I were student journalists for the Regent Review at West High School and shared a passion for long-distance running - although I do not recall either of us having varsity speed – and writing. It was always good to cross paths with David as he was one of those from the Madison wonder years who never strayed far from his roots. I send my condolences to his family, including Isthmus staff. David was very, very good person.

Joel DeSpain 152 days ago

Thank you

Thank you for your "In Memoriam." Know that your loving remembrance greatly helps us, his family, get through this intense period of loss. (Forgive the adverb, please, David.) -- Carol Medaris, David's Mom

Carol Medaris 153 days ago

Please

This was supposed to be headed "Thank you, Marc Eisen." Please.

Carol Medaris 152 days ago

Hawaiian Shirts

I loved reading this and remembering the old rabbit warren of Isthmus editors and writers, my first real colleague and the most wonderful people I've ever worked with. Marc captures David's essence, but he doesn't mention David's Hawaiian shirt collection! When I think of David, I see orchids. I see the many, many loud floral prints he wore to work everyday as a sign of good-natured kookiness. And I remember him telling me one day (over an Ancora coffee) that he'd resolved to "look up more." I always think of that advice when I find myself barreling down the sidewalk, eyes on the cracks. Then, I look up at the clouds and absorb something brighter.

Tenaya 153 days ago

David

I met David and Michana dragonboating two summers in a row for charity. They immediately stood out to me as cool people - the kind of people I would like to be friends with. Earnest and fun, inquisitive...David. I looked for them last year and was disappointed they didn't make the race. What a wonderful man, and couple. I had no idea of the tumor - David was just David. Godspeed man. You made an imprint in peoples' lives.

Susan 153 days ago

There are so many reasons to love David...

But Marc nailed it...his compassion. "How are you?" was not an off-the-cuff greeting for him; he really wanted to know.

I met David back in the mid 90s when he wrote a story about my obsession with building snowshoes. It was wonderful and obvious was that he wasn't just writing a story, he really wanted to know everything about snowshoes. A few months later we built shoes together, and consequently became great friends.

I've had the honor of paddling, camping, snowshoeing, and skiing with him, and we had regular lunch dates for almost twenty years. During those lunches I would sometimes mention something a book I was reading, and he would drawl "now, stop right there..." and pull out his ever-present notepad and write down the title. That was David's mind. He was certainly not a dilettante, but rather had a burning, aching desire to really know everything and to share what he learned. He never stopped asking questions. Thoughtful, meaningful, poignant questions that made me think about things differently.

In short, David was a mahatma - a great soul. I miss him.

P.S. I just scanned this comment for adverbs. David hated adverbs, and called me out on it if he caught then in my writing.

Darren Bush 153 days ago

Thursday

March 30, 2017

  • Isthmus Picks

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    UW Cinematheque, Union South-Marquee & Chazen Museum of Art; Barrymore Theatre; and Sundance Cinemas 608

Friday

March 31, 2017

Saturday

April 1, 2017

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    UW Cinematheque, Union South-Marquee & Chazen Museum of Art; Barrymore Theatre; and Sundance Cinemas 608

Sunday

April 2, 2017

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    UW Cinematheque, Union South-Marquee & Chazen Museum of Art; Barrymore Theatre; and Sundance Cinemas 608

Monday

April 3, 2017

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    UW Cinematheque, Union South-Marquee & Chazen Museum of Art; Barrymore Theatre; and Sundance Cinemas 608

Tuesday

April 4, 2017

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    UW Cinematheque, Union South-Marquee & Chazen Museum of Art; Barrymore Theatre; and Sundance Cinemas 608

Wednesday

April 5, 2017

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    UW Cinematheque, Union South-Marquee & Chazen Museum of Art; Barrymore Theatre; and Sundance Cinemas 608

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