When you’re dead, you never call and you never write. I should have noticed a few weeks back when Walter Backstrom stopped ringing me up to pitch an idea for a new column.
I found out in a roundabout way last week that he died April 22 in a homeless shelter, reportedly of a heart attack. People who follow our Monday guest columnists may recall that he was one of our regulars in 2009. He had an unusual perspective as a black, Christian conservative; his pieces were weighty, eloquent and moving.
Walter addressed the broadest of themes: morality, education, youth, civil rights, growing up black, illustrating them with personal experiences and observations. He brooded on the state of humanity, the nation, the schools, the family – all the big stuff.
The homeless shelter is the part that bothers me. Read more »