A Remembrance of Irving Kass
[Reprinted from the Henry George News,
Personal Letter to a friend I almost never knew I had!
It is strange Irving, since you left, people have approached me about
you and I have approached them. It was so sudden and sure caught all
of us by surprise. Most of all Elizabeth and your mother perhaps, and
your next of kin and your friends!
I always counted you among my friends as a matter of course, although
now I realize I never really realized that friendship!
I was going to call you after New Year's and talk about your work and
some projects. One should never postpone something till tomorrow that
one can get done today. Remember that saying? If there were no other
reasons, this would surely be one!
You were always one of the good guys for me. Since the days in the
early nineties when we both were volunteers teachers at the Henry
George School at its new location on 30th Street. Robert Clancy was
still around guiding the Institute with his inimitable presence,
George Collins was director then and Lindy Davies his assistant.
Sydney Mayers was teaching Applied Economics and Fryda Ossias was
teaching Evolution of Economic Science. Nibaldo Aguilera was teaching
Spanish P & P, and Bruce Oatman, fresh back from teaching Social
Science at a College upstate NY, distinguished himself as a master
student. Remember the days?
You didn't drink or smoke and lived as healthily as only celestial
beings would, so I don't remember going out with you much. But I do
remember your presence, sharp, pleasant, and determined. We sure
agreed on the fundamentals, and both being spontaneous in our
encounters took to each other like brethren in the spirit would,
brothers long lost who now had reencountered. You were so much part of
the mental make-up of the School that nobody really can imagine it
being without you!
Strangest of things the Sherlock Holmes work that needs to be done to
understand your life better and share it with those closest to you
what has it unearthed! It's a cliché, one should not talk
negatively about the deceased! But in your case I would be certainly
embarrassed if I were pressed to do so: I couldn't. All that the
sleuth work has unearthed was exclusively good. Your multifarious
activities, qualities, and qualifications! In fact I unearthed a
couple of things that I didn't know about during your life time and
that proved your irreplaceable value for the cause and even with
regards to my work!
I knew, and if only instinctively, intuitively, more than overtly and
consciously, that you were a friend. What a formidable and faithful
ally you were I only really learned after you passing!
Although I cannot perhaps prove this conclusively in the realm of
empiricism I am almost certain you are somehow still with us, you are
still working for the cause and, yes, you are still the formidable and
faithful ally you have always been almost and sorely partially
unbeknownst to us. I do not know if we can do anything more for you?
Please let us know if we can! But I know how painfully you are missed
and how much you could or can still do for us.
Fare thee well, Irving, and rest assured in the Spirit we shall
always be with you, your brethren of the Earth.