My colleague, Bart Porter, passed away on July 8, 2015. Bart was a blogger and the creator of the Arrow Value Recovery News Bureau, which has been bringing news related to e-waste, data security and regulations relevant to electronics to savvy readers for more than five years. Bart wrote the following and asked that it be published after his death:
My Last Blog
At last, I am about to achieve my lifetime goal to become a time traveler. Actually, the journey has already started and I am merely along for the ride. In recent months, I have revisited the monumental eras of my life and made peace with many of them. I have traversed backward from when I began to work with Arrow Electronics, one of the few classy companies I can appreciate, back beyond the years I spent as a writer and editor in corporate communications at telecom giants Sprint, MCI and Verizon.
I dawdled in my first career as a newspaperman in the old sense of the term, won several awards for my columns and editorials, and later served as the editor-in-chief of the best small town newspaper in Ohio, according to the Ohio Senate. I saw firsthand the burdens and bright spots of Watergate, the Civil Rights Movement, the Space Race and the Cold War. I saw Vietnam and the Korean War, the defeat of the Axis powers and the outcome of the First World War through the eyes of others. From them I participated in the Great Depression, prohibition and the events occurring at the turn of the 20th century.
As a journalist, I’ve seen the rise of electronics firsthand, and I’ve been lucky enough to document this journey. As I gained more of this knowledge, I cultivated a passion for informing the public about the environmental hazards and data security risks of improperly discarded electronics. Back before e-waste was even a term. Through the News Bureau and my blogs, I’ve highlighted the issues, raised difficult questions, and even called out some organizations for poor environmental practices. This is what I believe in. I write this now not to brag, but to encourage you to take a stand for what you believe in. Each one of us is passionate about something, and my advice, learned after 55 years, is to support what you believe in.
My time travels wavered in particular during the past 33 years, which I have shared with the most caring wife in the world and a daughter whose love surpasses the largest ocean. I have capitulated to sibling rivalry with my talented writer sister as winner of a lifetime of friendship and gained strength by daily interaction with my young grandson.
I have dealt with multiple sclerosis since my college years and since battled with heart disease and diabetes. But it was cancer that eventually got me. Arriving first in 2009 and returning with vengeance last year. The prognosis was poor – three months, tops – and this wily old journalist kept it at bay almost two years. Now I am approaching the end of this phase of my time travels and will embark on a new adventure that will carry me and what little I’ve done into history.
If I had to write my own eulogy, I’d ask that it say: “He was a flawed man, but he tried his best to do no harm.”
I want to thank the people who have read my words and perhaps were better informed because of them. I’d like to thank everyone who got the joke and laughed with me. I’d like to end this blog with the regular signoff for my all-time favorite comedian, Red Skelton, with a message of thanks and gratitude. Whenever he ended his show, he would say in a crackling voice; “Goodnight and God bless.” To that I would add a lyric from one of my favorite songs. “The time is gone, the song is over. Thought I’d something more to say.”
For a taste of Bart’s work from last year check out ‘E-waste’ finds its way into the Dictionary. Farewell, Bart. We miss you.