Family and friends of Austin political consultant Kelly Fero, who died unexpectedly at age 57 this week, said goodbye at a memorial event this morning, hearing from a half-dozen speakers, lighting candles to the departed, and hearing a couple of appropriate and favorite songs (Gracias a La Vida, What a Wonderful World (Yvette Laukaitis), Fire and Rain, Just a Little While, with John Coltrane playing as people filtered in).
It was a gathering, as you'd expect, of liberals and Democrats, officeholders, consultants, reporters, writers, musicians and others from Fero's life. Steve Levine, who knew and worked with Kelly for years and years, read a letter from Fero's brother, and politicos John Sharp and Donna Howard told stories — both saying it was hard to talk in public without having Kelly go over the notes first. Mike Lavigne, Hunter Ellinger, Lucky Tomblin and Kathy Goodwin talked. Elna Christopher, a colleague from Fero's time with Attorney General Jim Matttox, closed it.
Kelly was reared, partly, in Argentina, where the family lived next to Ernesto Guevara's mother. A treasured poster of Che was among the photos and mementos laid out for viewing. And the program included this:
Che's Last Letter to His Children
To my children:
If one day you must read this letter, it will be because I am no longer with you. You practically will not remember me, and the smaller ones will not remember me at all.
Your father has been a man who acted on his beliefs and certainly has been faithful to his convictions.
Grow up as good revolutionaries. Study hard so that you can master technology, which allows us to master nature. Remember that the Revolution is what is important, and that each of us, alone, is nothing.
Above all, try always to be capable of feeling deeply any injustice committed against anyone, anywhere in the world. This is the most beautiful quality in a revolutionary.
Until forever, my children. I still hope to see you.
A big kiss and a big hug from Papa.
Hasta la Victoria Siempre.