Friday, July 11, 2008

Jackie Corr, R.I.P.

Many of my references to Jackie Corr here over the years have been preceded by an adjective: The indefatigable Jackie Corr, the indispensable Jackie Corr, and so on. Now, regrettably, I have to add a new adjective: the late Jackie Corr.

E-mails by the bushel full came in from Jackie, often in the middle of the night, and always on some issue of justice, corruption or corporate perfidy. He was a Butte workingman with a workingman's sense of what's right and wrong in this world, a journalist's sense of news and a historian's sense of how it all fit together. He scoured the internet endlessly and wrote prolifically, with pieces published in Counterpunch, the Butte Weekly and occasionally in the Outpost (for instance, here, here and here.

He sent me more material than I had time to read. But I was always eager to look at what he sent, and I never passed over something from him without suspecting that I was making a mistake.

His last piece to appear while he was still alive must have been the story in this week's Butte Weekly about rising gasoline prices, a story filled with contempt for Big Oil, George Bush and Democrats whose "official line at the Democratic Convention in Denver in August will be to act like gas is still selling at $3.00 a gallon outside the convention while it will be 'Happy Days Are Here Again' inside the convention against a background of thousands of corporate logos."

But I liked better his piece the week before on Butte boxing great Stanley Ketchell, dead at age 23 back in 1910. According to Jackie, Ketchell's manager, Wilson Mizner, told the big city papers, "It's not him. The kid can't be dead. Start counting over him and he will get up."

For those of us who had learned to count on Jackie, it's hard to believe he won't get back up.

UPDATE: Here is the full obituary.


Randy said...

Jackie, you will be missed. God speed.

bonkrood said...

The Butte Weekly will never be the same. Rest in peace, Jackie.

Anonymous said...

My first recollection of Jackie was a letter to the editor in the Outpost about 10 years ago inwhich he referred to Denny Rehberg as the "Ayatollah of Montana Virtue"

Anonymous said...

I doubt that Jackie had more than $100.00 to his name when he passed. He had little in material things; a few sticks of furniture, a computer, some used books, his clothes and his car. But he had a lot of heart and a lot of soul...probably more than anyone I have ever known.

Mike Dennison said...

I first met Jackie Corr at the Knights of Columbus bar, at a meeting of the Butte Press Club. He pointed out that I had made a mistake in a story I'd written about the first warden of the Montana State Prison. As was often the case, he was right.
I spoke with him directly perhaps only once or twice over the next 10 years. Yet, of course, he sent me hundreds of e-mails, most of which I read enthusiastically, and some of which led to stories or contributed to stories that I wrote. He was a great source, without which there wouldn't be good reporters. It's hard to believe that I won't be seeing "Jackie Corr" showing up in my in-box any more. I'll miss him greatly.

Pat Munday said...

Jackie was a good man who was loyal to the promise of liberal democracy and who dedicated himself to teaching the truth as he saw it.

Sadly -- and maybe it's my own myopia -- I do not see representatives from Montana's younger generation stepping up to the plate to publicize and defend the liberal cause.

Perhaps the new activism generated by the Obama campaign will result in the emergence of new people to fill the great void left by Jackie Corr's death.

Pat Munday, aka EcoRover

KIrk Dooley said...

Jackie was the exception to the rule that says that the good die young. At Ed Kemmick's "City Lights" blog (currently on hiatus, which means there is now all sort of stuff to comment on), whenever there was a question about Butte's colorful past, you could count on Jackie to not only come up with the answer, but also to come up with something else nobody would've thought of before.

His passing -- almost two years to the day after we lost Dave Walter, who was the backbone of the Montana Historical Society for many years -- leaves a void that for those of us who love Montana and its wonderful history will be hard to fill. Butte won't be the same.