Don McPherson, 1957-2009

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House of Dreams

I awoke especially early this morning and began checking friends’ blogs and was shocked awake. Why? I found this very sad news. Don McPherson, whom I had not seen in about four years, passed away a few days ago. Tears stream down my face as I write this.

Despite the distance and our friend-of-a-friend friendship, he was always one of the ones I enjoyed seeing and talking and laughing with the most. He was introduced to me by my old pal, Brian Mueller. Hadn’t had much contact with Brian in nearly four years when I attended his wedding celebration two weekends ago in Frankfort, Kentucky. We had a nice conversation during which he told me Don had been ill, but my understanding was Don would be OK. Sadly, I was very wrong.

Brian has a great audio interview he recorded with Don last August. I highly suggest checking it out. You get a glimpse into the kind of simple and wonderfully kind guy Don was.

The photo here (taken 9/11/2000) is in the tower at the House ‘o Dreams, located atop Lavendar Mountain on the campus of Berry College in Rome, Georgia. Rome is where I met Don, one of the few positives in the nearly eight years I worked in the retail income tax preparation industry. He was a salesman for TaxWise, the company where the tax company I worked got their software. If you click on the photo, you will be taken to a see a few other photos from that evening.

I wrote about Rome, Georgia for The Cincinnati Enquirer’s travel section probably right after our trip there.  I wish I could link to that article, capturing how I truly felt about that town. But the Enquirer doesn’t have that article online. Suffice it to say, that night, like so many with Don, and his son, Sam, were fantastic. The sun setting, beers, laughs and secluded a top a mountain. It shaped how I felt about Rome, a rather small town (pop. 35,000) about 78 miles northwest of Atlanta.

You will be missed, Don.

2 Replies to “Don McPherson, 1957-2009”

  1. Joe – I am very moved by your post and tribute to Don McPherson. The photos are terrific and I remember that evening at the House of Dreams well. This morning I leave Rome, Georgia after attending a memorial for Don on Sunday. The service was very moving and the majority of the guests wore orange in tribute of his favorite team, the Tennessee Volunteers. Don was a photographer, but unfortunately no one was charged with creating a photographic record of this gathering. Nonetheless, I have been charged with his photo archive and will do my best to share some of his wonderful pictures of the national parks. With a heavy heart I head home today.

  2. Very privileged to read the comments about my brother, “Donnie”, to me. Seems that everyone who knew him pretty much had the same type of feelings about him. He also felt the same way about you and others. A very short life he lived, but spent every day living it! I appreciate your friendship with him. Susan Stovall

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