Come to Lynchburg to Remember Ross McConnell 10 October 2008

Ross in the Family LibraryPHOTO CC: MJ Vilardi some rights reserved

Friends and family of Ross McConnell will gather in Lynchburg, Virginia on Friday, 10 October to bury his earthly remains and share memories of his remarkable life. The service starts at 11 am at the Spring Hill Cemetery. Ross died near Tbilisi, Georgia in May after being struck by a minivan. Details in our previous post.

The photos I share here (click for large versions) were taken in the late 80’s when Ross and I visited his Grandmother at her home in Lynchburg. Ross and I stayed up all night exploring his late Grandfather’s library of rare books; in the photo Ross is cradling a first edition of Dickens’ David Copperfield, one of many amazing volumes we examined. Everyone who knew Ross knows how much he loved books. That evening he was animated in a way I’d never seen before. We jumped from early Shakespeare folios to a zany 18th century book on pirates, and then on to first editions of Twain, Walt Whitman, and Theodore Roosevelt.

PHOTO CC: MJ Vilardi some rights reserved

The next day, dressed in his Grandfather’s old WW II military jacket, Ross took me to a nearby farm, where he cavorted with a frisky pony.

PHOTO CC: MJ Vilardi some rights reserved

Here’s a portrait of Ross’s Grandmother, Margaret Alexander, taken during our visit.

NOTE: If you can make it to Lynchburg on 10 October, you will be richly rewarded. Many of Ross’s closest friends and family members have never met. I’m sure it would make him a bit uneasy having all of us in one place, comparing notes and trading stories. But what stories!

IF YOU CAN’T ATTEND: Please write something. I promise to read it aloud in Lynchburg, and, with your permission, share it here. Send it to: mj [at]

And speaking of stories, check out the new “Ross History” posts at the Ross blog maintained by the mysterious Marcolis…

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