Thank you Tom Brazaitis - you are missed - rest in peace

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 03/31/2005 - 23:02.
In 1999, a journalist at the Cleveland Plain Dealer named Tom Brazaitis published an article asking what his readers thought about his paper? I was intrigued - it never occurred to me newspaper journalists cared what readers thought. I called him and left a voice mail message to comment - he called back to discuss my thoughts and he asked me to email them to him - I sent back a lengthy assessment of that Sunday's publication. Not only did he care what I thought, but he published some excerpts of my message,
along with other readers' perspectives.

Knowing Tom cared about his readers, I grew to care about his work and paper, and him, and I realized his columns were always right on. He taught me journalists are normal people, doing normal jobs. He taught me being a "socialist" is not a crime. He taught me to speak my mind and write my peace. He
inspired me and changed my life.

I was very saddened when he told me he had cancer. Today, March 31st, 2005, Tom passed on - read his memorial in The Plain Dealer. He was unique in many ways and his voice is missed, in these trying times.

I'll never forget his caring for Cleveland - Clevelanders - and all humanity, and his inspired, hopeful vision and honesty. If you have a memory of Tom you'd like to share, please feel free to post that here as a