Left: oil portrait of Robert Brundage by artist Lisabelle
It saddened me to learn late yesterday of the death of Dr. Robert Brundage, a community activist, Renaissance man, and an all-around special human being. Dr. Bob clung to life for two weeks after being attacked by a teenager who stole his bicycle, an old 10-speed worth about a dollar per gear.
I only briefly knew Robert Brundage in passing, as he was one of those people who seemed to be traveling in some of the same circles as me. Yet the many testimonials from people who knew him better help me realize what a tremendous human asset this area has lost.
As for the bike-stealing thug: I will not wish him to rot in hell, but I have no problem with an especially long sentence being doled out. Dailahntae Jemison turns 16 next month, so the job of pushing for him to be tried as an adult is easier. It would be a shame if Jemison was tried as a juvenile and he left a detention facility at age 21.
I suspect Jemison's attorney will first fight to maintain juvenile status, and if that fails, that his attorney will seek a plea bargain for manslaughter or negligent homicide. Despite my outrage over this senseless killing, it is unlikely a jury would convict the young idiot Jemison of aggravated murder in what appears to be a robbery-gone-horribly-wrong.
Yet my thoughts keep returning to Robert Brundage, a man I wish I knew better. In re-reading a bunch of his old Toledo Talk posts, I realized how much wisdom I might have gleaned from him had I become his friend.
More importantly, though: Northwest Ohio and the world lost a caring and decent man who gave so much and asked for so little in return. Dr. Bob eschewed the trappings of material wealth in favor of a simpler lifestyle, and he championed causes that benefitted everyone.
Even the teenaged Dailahntae Jemison.