Keith Lampe died earlier this week, in Vilcabamba, Ecuador, at the age of 83. Keith was also known as Ro-Non-So-Te, and affectionately as Pondo, short for ponderosa pine. And indeed he was strong and sturdy like a stout, towering pine tree.
I came to know Pondo
only in the last months of his life, through the agency of a mutual
friend, and then only by e-mail, though we both lived in Ecuador and had
a number of friends and acquaintances in common.
Pondo was a Korean War
veteran who subsequently took a radical turn towards peace, and spent
the last 60 years as a radical advocate for peace and environmentalism.
His commitment even extended to multiple acts of peaceful civil
disobedience that resulted in his arrest and incarceration. Pondo was
well known for his widely circulated, e-mail newsletter that dealt with a
wide variety of environmental and political issues.
Though he had been in
declining health for some time, I cannot help but feel that his
transition somehow presages great changes that lie just ahead....read more-