Tommy Raskin, RIP

Dear Folks:

In Tommy’s mother, Sarah’s very eloquent eulogy for her son, she mentions me at the 40 minute mark. Note the name and job title of Tommy’s dad.  What a strange world. Who’d have thought that a Democratic Congressman would be “me.”

Read from the bottom up

Best regards,

Walter

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>
Sent: Thursday, April 08, 2021 1:51 PM
To: ‘Nancy Anderson’
Subject: RE: A voice from Loyola past, about Tommy Raskin

Dear Nancy:

Thanks.

Dear Sarah:

Thanks for your kind words about me at your lovely eulogy.

I am delighted that Tommy’s and my life touched, even to a small degree, here:

August 21, 2017. Lucy Steigerwald; Tommy Raskin , animal rights; https://hangouts.google.com/hangouts/_/vjvl355yxjdhzmvrxba7do7wseehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEtbzIKPKQIhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEtbzIKPKQI&app=desktop

I didn’t really think too heavily about Tommy when we had this debate. I engage in many, many debates, literally dozens, maybe scores, per year. If I thought at all about him at all, it was that he had just earned his phd in philosophy, and was now an assistant professor somewhere; age? Maybe 32? And that he was very bright, articulate, well prepared. I hate to admit that a 25 year old kid could give me a run for my money, but he did. I thought he did an excellent job of taking the side of a debate that was just plain wrong. Animal rights, indeed.

Dear Jamie:

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when you “became” Walter Block!

Dear Sarah and Jamie:

Please accept my condolences on the passing of this very remarkable and gifted young man.

Best regards,

Walter

From: Nancy Anderson
Sent: Thursday, April 08, 2021 9:42 AM
To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>
Subject: Re: A voice from Loyola past, about Tommy Raskin

Jamie still uses his American University email address: .  He also has:  but I’m sure he gets hundreds of emails there daily especially after he was so prominent in the news as lead impeachment manager in the second Trump trial.  I don’t know Sarah’s email address.  Their home mailing address is:   7209 Holly Ave.  Takoma Park, MD 20912-4223.  I know it will be meaningful for them to hear from you.

The memorial service last Saturday was very long – it is on YouTube in 5 parts. Sarah’s eulogy, in which she talks about you, is in the first part:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kh6izvFfwbM.  (Part 1 of 5 parts)

You might also be interested in the tribute to Tommy that Sarah and Jamie released several days after his death.

https://repraskin.medium.com/statement-of-congressman-jamie-raskin-and-sarah-bloom-raskin-on-the-remarkable-life-of-tommy-raskin-f93b0bb5d184

(And then 2 days later, Jamie was caught in the Congressional insurrection. He had taken his youngest daughter to be with him that day, which made it all the more stressful for him.  Prompting his determination to impeach Trump.)

With best wishes, Nancy

On Apr 7, 2021, at 10:03 PM, Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu> wrote:

Dear Nancy:

I too just watched this:

August 21, 2017. Lucy Steigerwald ; Tommy Raskin , animal rights; https://hangouts.google.com/hangouts/_/vjvl355yxjdhzmvrxba7do7wseehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEtbzIKPKQIhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEtbzIKPKQI&app=desktop

I am greatly saddened that this young man committed suicide. I hope and trust that I contributed positively to his all too shortened life. What a bright kid. So energetic. So well-spoken. With such great moral fiber.

Yes, I used to play handball quite a bit.

My best wishes to you for a happy retirement.

Could you please give me the e mail addresses of Sarah and Jamie Raskin. I would like to offer them my condolences for the passing of their precious son.

Best regards,

Walter

From: Nancy Anderson
Sent: Wednesday, April 07, 2021 9:26 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: A voice from Loyola past, about Tommy Raskin

You may not remember me- we rarely intersected since I was in College of Arts and Sciences at Loyola.  I was also chair of the Women’s Studies Committee.  I think you played handball at the JCC with my husband Cliff Anderson.

A longtime very dear friend of mine, Jamie Raskin, had the tragic experience last new year’s eve of the suicide of his wonderful son Tommy Raskin.  Tommy’s memorial service in DC was last Saturday.  My son – Jamie’s lifelong friend and with whom Tommy lived most of his first year at Harvard Law – spoke at the service.  Tommy’s mother Sarah in her moving eulogy talked affectionately about you.  Perhaps you have already heard about this. She described how she was driving Tommy home to Maryland from Amherst College, and he read an article you wrote that he disagreed with.  He immediately emailed you to challenge you to a debate.  Sarah, very familiar with academia, was shocked that you answered right away (and signing your email “Walter”  – she cautioned Tommy to call you “Professor Block”) and you agreed to the debate, if Tommy would submit and article on the subject to a peer-reviewed journal. Tommy didn’t know what that meant.  Sarah explained, so Tommy wrote an article on his phone while they were still driving, and submitted it.  He then emailed you, and you agreed to the debate.  I just watched the 2017 debate on YouTube.  How gracious you were to this young college student!  I was proud to tell Jamie and Sarah that you were my colleague at Loyola.

I retired from Loyola the year after Katrina, and my husband Cliff and I moved to San Antonio, where my daughter and grandchildren live.  Sadly Cliff died in 2012.  I so miss New Orleans, and Loyola, but life is easier now in retirement, and away from hurricanes and paper grading.  I hope you also are enjoying your retirement.

With best wishes, Nancy

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3:52 am on April 9, 2021