When I first started blogging (a little over five years ago), there weren't a lot of ideological cohorts of mine doing this newfangled medium, so what few of us there were had to take great pains to get noticed, network, etc. The first person who ever saw fit to contact me and offer encouraging words was a blogger from back east named Jim Capozzola, whose blog, The Rittenhouse Review, was an early fave. In particular, I remember that when Blogger began putting rather tacky-looking ads at the top, he made a small contribution toward removing it, a decent, generous act by someone who never met me, done at a time when I considered getting 40 visitors a day to be an avalanche.
If you wrote something he liked, he would link to you, and plug you for a week. If you praised something he wrote, he would e-mail the most profuse thank you note by the end of the day. He had an impeccable sense of fairness and decency, was wicked funny, and had a vast catalog of interests, so it was quite a loss when he started blogging less and less over the past few years. About a month ago, I e-mailed him, asking how he was doing, wondering if like so many other early bloggers, he was distancing himself from the monster the blogosphere had become.
Today comes word that Jim Capozzola passed away last night. As it turns out, I wasn't the only person touched by his generosity of spirit; Susie Madrak, who lives in the same city (Philadelphia), also had her Blogger ad removed, courtesy of the Baron of Rittenhouse Square, and has a detailed obit of her friend, here.