The blogger known as Jon Swift has left the building.
Here’s a note from his family (via Blue Gal):
I don’t know how else to tell you all who love this blog. I am Jon Swift’s Mom and I guess I’m going to OUT him. He was Al Weisel, my beloved son. Al was on his way to his father’s funeral in VA when he suffered 2 aortic aneurysms, a leaky aortic valve and an aortic artery dissection from his heart to his pelvis. He had 3 major surgeries within 24 hours and sometime during those surgeries also suffered a severe stroke. We, his 2 sisters, his brother, his partner and his best friend since he was 9 years old were with him as he took his last breath. We have all lost a shining start who warmed our hearts, tormented us and made us laugh as he giggled at our pulling something over on us. He passed away on February 27, 2010. My beloved child will live on in so many hearts. I miss him more than I can say. If you are on Facebook, go to organizations and join “Friends of Al Weisel, Unite!” It will give you just a taste of how special he was. Farewell, Jon (Al)
I think it is safe to say that he touched this blog (and this blogger) in ways big and small. From My Liberal Blogroll Policy (that I stole verbatim from him), to Blogroll Amnesty Day Jon Swift had a huge impact on MPS. The first year MPS was live, we had more hits from Jon Swift than any other blog. in 2008, Jon nominated MPS for a 2008 WebBlog Award, and that it came from him means more to me than if we had actually won the award. He was very kind to the small fish in the pond; I suspect he was very kind to everyone in his real life.
I kept hoping he would return to the blog-o-sphere someday. I tease people about how they quit and come back, but not this time. We’ve lost a good’un, but I think we are all better for having had Jon, er, Al in our lives.