The diary below was orginally posted in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal.

The progressive blogosphere resembles an extended family. It’s remarkable how we interact and become acquainted with personalities from around the globe. Between blogrolls and soapblox community sites we come across so many and relationships form. Yet even as we bond over shared values it’s easy to forget that behind our cocksure Internet personas reside flesh and blood human beings.

One such blogger is Bob Higgins. Bob’s Worldwide Sawdust  blog was surging as of late August. He had established a niche as a poignant and irreverent voice championing working people, justice and peace. There is a lot of talent in the blogosphere but for me Bob is a cut above. Bob is a rare gem that can make you laugh and think simultaneously.
A former marine, Bob welcomes visitors to his site with this:

Proudly Democratic

Proudly Liberal

Proudly American

My kind of guy.

A unique voice of decency and a light touch. Bob manages to capture what’s important without taking himself too seriously. We bloggers occasionally have supercharged egos and Bob’s self-deprecating sense of humor is refreshing.

As some may have noticed Bob disappeared from the blogosphere for three months. I was concerned. Bob is about my Dad’s age and has made several visits to veteran’s hospitals for his heart in recent months. So I feared the worst.

It turns out Bob’s best friend and constant companion of twelve years, Joni Russell, was hospitalized on August 20th. She died on September 13th and Bob understandably had no interest in blogging, writing or any of the issues we bloggers obsess about.

I’m happy to report that Bob has returned and his blog is better than ever. Worldwide Sawdust has incorporated Soapblox software and is a community site. The one difference between this community blog and the rest is Bob himself. As Bob puts it, his blog,

“Is a left, liberal, political blog offering news, commentary, a whole bunch of links to the useful, the entertaining and the just plain silly, as well as `Surprise Features’ which means we make this stuff up as we go.

Don’t be shy, register, post your comments or start your own diary and share your wisdom with the rest of us.”

What Bob is too modest to say is that he has a delightful sense of the absurd and a big heart. The tone of any community site resembles the personality of its proprietor. My Left Wing for example resembles the spirit, smarts and maternal kindness of Maryscott O’Connor. Well if Maryscott is a blogmother and Markos, Jerome Armstrong and Booman are blogfathers then Bob Higgins is a kind-hearted bloguncle. Truly he’s what an uncle should be: avuncular, irreverent with plenty of piss and vinegar.

So I hope anyone reading this will join Bob’s community and participate regularly. There will be much to learn, much to share, tears to shed and plenty of laughter.