Meeting Bill Kortum

ed rosenthal
January 27, 2015

I attended the memorial for Bill Kortum last Saturday.   It was an appropriate, modest ceremony, in keeping with Bill's personality.   No one mentioned the fact that he was one of the most important environmental leaders in the history of California.

Someone asked at the ceremony where we had each met Bill.   And it struck me - I didn't remember.   I pride myself on my memory, I remember when I met Pat Brown, Jerry Brown, and Lyndon Johnson.   I remember meeting Ann Richards.   But in Bill's case, it seemed he had always been there in a political sense, for the thirty-one years I have lived in Sonoma County.

It could have been a meeting on the Annadel access issue,   The Santa Rosa City Council was considering allowing developers to block off trails that ordinary people were using to hike into Annadel State Park.    It could been the meeting where Pat and I helped organize Concerned Citizens for Santa Rosa.   It didn't matter.   If it was about the environment or about improving the lives of ordinary citizens, Bill Kortum was there.

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"for 'twere absurd to think that nature in the earth bred gold, perfect in the instant;
there must be remote matter." - Ben Jonson
"I don't know what the question is, but art is the answer." - Guy Conner

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