Sunday, September 20, 2009

Remembering Bill Brainard

There are people you see in life whom you never quite go out of your way to connect with, whom you know would enrich your life but for whatever reason – distance, the routines of your respected lives, work, whatever – it takes far longer to make that connection than it should.

Bill Brainard was one those people, a completely honorable man who eschewed the pursuit of money for the pursuit of helping as many people as he could. He passed away several weeks ago.

While the loss I feel, for not connecting with him as best I could, is substantial, it pales in comparison to the loss that those in his immediate yet broad circle feel, for he helped an incredible number of people directly and substantially.

He was an attorney who worked on housing issues. I once worked on housing issues – trying to insert plans and incentives for affordable housing to be built into the luxury housing that the Bloomberg administration propagated throughout New York, a hypothetical tilt at windmills that never quite worked out (hence our flight to DC because it was more affordable).

The housing issues that Bill worked on were real and immediate, working to keep ordinary or hurting Americans in their homes as the inhumane banks and landlords tried to force them out when rents or mortgages went unpaid. He was a people person, and he embraced both his cases and his clients. Countless colleagues spoke at his memorial service of how special Bill made everyone feel – even as he performed the invaluable service of making sure they did not become homeless.

There is so much to be learned from such an unselfish life. And perhaps the worst of it is that there is one less teacher in the world today.


Photos from the reception after the memorial service can be found at

If folks want access to other family photos, please shoot me an email.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Out and about...

...and really enjoying the Mini...

Sorry for the delay in posting. FYI, I've started to upload more and more photos and video to our flickr account. If you want to see those (they're not available to the public, sorry) please join flickr (it's free, and simple if you already have email or something with yahoo) and let me know.