My good friend, co-worker, and union brother Jonathan Cupp died yesterday. This is from KGMB:
"On the Big Island, visitors ventured into the treacherous surf at Kehena Beach just a day after a California man drowned there. A witness said 45-year-old Jonathan Cupp was swimming dangerously close to the rocks.Jonathan was also one of my political friends. We shared a passion for progressive politics. He was dismayed by the Bush administration. We talked politics often. He was intelligent. He was also kind and polite, something he tried to get me to work on. He said more than once that he admired my outspokeness as much as I admired his humility.
'The waves being very choppy kind of smashed him into the rocks, which obviously knocked him a little bit unconscious, and within moments he was swept out to sea with the current,' said Australian visitor Scott Reidy.
Reidy said several people grabbed their boogie boards and paddled into the pounding surf to help. A fire department helicopter picked up the victim. Cupp died at Hilo Hospital. Reidy said there were no lifeguards or warning signs at the black sand beach.
'I felt powerless. Part of me wanted to jump in and help him, but I knew in the back of my mind if I did something like that then I also would be the one that drowned,' he said."
We were working together the day before he left for his big island condo, where he was on vacation for 3 weeks. He lamented leaving when there was work, and I told him not to worry about it, there would be plenty of work when he got back (with award season coming). We got a postcard, and then a Christmas card from him, which he sent here to the Taper. I have put them on my wall, where they will stay until the remodeling. After that, we'll find a new wall.