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On the loss of Community Voices contributor Myles Spicer

Myles Spicer
Courtesy photo
Myles Spicer

Myles Spicer wrote MinnPost’s very first Community Voices commentary — and many, many more. Though none of our staff had met Myles in person, we came to know him through his reliably spirited opinion pieces as well as nearly seven years of email exchanges. We were shocked and saddened to learn of his recent death in California.

It was last weekend that retired MinnPost news editor Don Effenberger sent me an email expressing surprise at a Star Tribune article and sharing the link to its obituary. Myles Spicer, it said, had been killed in a car accident on June 14. 

Myles, who had retired, had been a snowbird — spending summers in Minnetonka and winters in warmer climes. But with the death of his wife and the sale of his business, he wrote to me in June of 2013, he’d sold his Minnetonka house as well and took up year-round residence in Palm Desert, Calif. He said he’d begun submitting commentaries to The Desert Sun there and was happy to be seeing them published. 

So he’d be sending MinnPost fewer submissions, he wrote — but we still managed to publish another seven of his commentaries. 

Myles followed national and international news avidly; his piece on MinnPost’s first day began, “As a disaffected Minnesota Democrat, I feel the strong need to take our new senator, Amy Klobuchar, to task for an incredibly disappointing vote: her recent vote on the renewal of FISA — the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.”

His last commentary for MinnPost, “Tempest over the Bergdahl deal is mostly irrelevant,” was published June 10. A great one for interacting with commenters on his pieces, Myles last posted a comment on June 13, the night before his accident. 

Fond of capital letters, ellipses, exclamation points and bold-faced type, Myles probably wondered why much of his work was translated into roman fonts and gentle italics, but he seemed to relish being edited. And I appreciated his willingness to occasionally insert himself — often in self-deprecating terms — into his writing, as in “The dark side of cyberspace — and why I became a perpetual pain to my friends” and “A liberal finally ends a (political) love affair with Obama.”

His emails frequently carried the same tone, as in this one last year: “Anyway, wrote this. Highly partisan. Kind of edgy. If you reject would understand fully.”

Sometimes we did (he was prolific!). But his body of MinnPost writing is long, and we will miss him.

Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Joe Musich on 07/03/2014 - 04:40 pm.

    I enjoyed …

    Myles posts where they appeared. A voice for reason has been lost but not forgotten. What he had to say was important an valued. I hope someone as eloquent arises to his stature of analysis. There many out there who are close. There should be a huge recognition for his skill and it’s loss. I shall humm ” I will lay down my sword and shield.” Quietly to myself until the next full moon. Then I will shout out in his memory.

  2. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 07/03/2014 - 08:06 pm.

    So sorry

    to read about the loss of Myles Spicer. My condolences to his family.

  3. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 07/04/2014 - 11:42 am.

    I enjoyed

    the thrust and parry with Mr. Spicer. May he rest in peace.

  4. Submitted by rolf westgard on 07/05/2014 - 02:38 am.

    A major loss

    As a pale imitation of Myles Spicer, I gained inspiration from his work. He was indeed a voice of reason.

  5. Submitted by Steve Rose on 07/07/2014 - 10:06 am.

    I am saddened by this news.

    Myles and I did not share a lot of common ground, but I enjoyed my exchanges with him more than any other Community Voices columnist. Unlike many others, Myles supported his writing by responding to comments, engaging with his readers.

    Myles would disagree respectfully, putting a sharp point on a comment without being insulting.

    My last exchange with Myles was in December of last year; we were talking about the Vice President’s home security advice. I offer it below as it has the spirit and tone that was typical of his participation in the conversation.

    “Then I will avoid Joe Biden’s house (actually he never invited me to visit anyway.

    I actually would like to visit your house, I am sure we could have a fun and spirited conversation. Unfortunately, I now reside in Palm Desert CA, so it is a bit of a trip and (even as a third generation Minnesotan) I seem to be adverse to winter. Anyway…have a pleasant Holiday Season.

    Thank You Myles”

    “I would enjoy visiting too, but your neighborhood would be preferable this month. From the December 15th Brainerd Dispatch, “It hasn’t been this cold for this long in December since Richard Nixon was in the White House and gas was 36 cents per gallon.”

    Were you to visit me, I could promise you no shotgun, no dogs, but a tough feral cat who is learning to make friends. I most enjoy talking with people whose views differ from mine; that is why I enjoy reading MinnPost.

    Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas!


  6. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 07/07/2014 - 02:41 pm.

    So sorry

    I am so very sorry to hear this. Myles will be greatly missed by me, and I’m sure, many others. May he rest in peace.

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