Oh rest ye, Merry Gentleman

Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2015 10:55 am
I am here to talk to you about Merry Andrew, AKA Lustig Andrei.

As dlowan has reported, he has died.

A bit of Hawaii for Andy.

I knew Andy for, I believe, a good decade and a half. He was from Abuzz.

This is what I know, and what I remember, and what I can conjecture. So forgive me if it isn't 100% accurate. Feel free to add your own memories and photos and comments. Like all A2K obituaries, this is a wake. This is a space for all of us.

But it has been my privilege and my duty and my responsibility to be the keeper of all of this. It's a part, I feel, of why I am here.

Andy was, I know, in his seventies. He could speak Latvian fluently. Apparently few people can in the U.S., so he ended up being certified to act as a Latvian interpreter in court. He would go around the country, interpreting.

He also taught at-risk youth. I don't know which subject, but it had to have been in the humanities. It might have been English literature, but don't quote me on that.

For those who never met him in person, he was as gracious, funny, erudite, and gentlemanly as he was online.

What you saw was what you got with Andy. He reminded me a great, great deal of my mother's brother. RP remembers him. And so I would type with, or speak with, Andy, and in a way it was a lot like talking to my Uncle Adolph again, too.

I recall going to Andy's apartment in downtown Boston. Now, you gotta understand, this was a postage-stamp-sized place! It was one common room with a tiny kitcheny area, plus a bathroom, and a miniscule bedroom. The common front area was certainly less than 10 ft x 10 ft. Tiny.

But it had high, high, high ceilings. Andy invited me in because he was about to finally leave Boston and move to Hawaii to be with his wife, Faith (AKA Seaglass AKA Sglass). Andy needed to ditch a ton of stuff. And those high ceilings? It was up to the rafters with books. So he kept asking me, what did I want. Eek! He was a gentleman, of course, and so he plied me with lemonade until I assented to taking his old coffee table.

This is it. It needs to be dusted.
It's done up to look like an old-fashioned cobbler's bench. I can look at it and think of him, and a little of my uncle, too. I bet they would have been pals. Perhaps they can be, now.

Andrew Mikelsons was the epitome of kind, intelligent, and reasoned discussion and debate. He could disagree without being disagreeable. And you often walked away from an encounter with him having learned something. May we all be like that.

And if you'll excuse me, it must be the coffee table dust, for my eyes are clouding.

Have at it, A2K, and let us pause and remember one of our own.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 27 • Views: 7,150 • Replies: 31

Frank Apisa
Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2015 11:19 am
That was outstanding, Jespah. Thank you for it.

I never met Andy...but we spoke often here and earlier over at Abuzz.

He always seemed to be a gentleman.

Hope his final days were peaceful.

RIP fellow A2Ker.
Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2015 11:22 am
I remember Andy turning me on to some books - I'll have to look back for more examples, but the latest one was a legal and police thriller set in San Francisco by a writer named John Lescroart. I've since read more books by Lescroart, and remember Andy for the a2k "what are you reading right now" thread introduction to him every time I do. I've given those I've already read away to the Goodwill store in our area, so now more people will be reading some books by an author Andy liked.
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2015 11:23 am
@Frank Apisa,
Thanks, jes!

I've met Andrew, knew him from Abuzz - but the best was, when dys and I talked with him on the phone.

Rest in peace.
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Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2015 11:56 am
Really lovely tribute, jes.

Goodbye, Merry. You will surely be missed.
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Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2015 12:15 pm
Such an aptly named man..Merry Andrew!

May he truly Rest in :Peace:

Thanks, Jespah..for providing us this fitting memorial.
Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2015 12:33 pm
I never met the man, but I felt as if I knew him. I will always feel his presence on able2know, along with the growing line of ex members, who have left or even died. Goodbye, though not truly gone.
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Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2015 12:37 pm
I loved his sense of humor and wit.

I would have loved to meet him personally.
Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2015 01:26 pm
This is so great. I had to lift it from facebook.

My good friend, Andy Mikelsons, passed away in Hilo, Hawaii. Born December 26, 1938, in Latvia, Andy led a Forest Gump, Don Quixote life full of adventures that were hard to believe, but totally true. Andy, along with his mother, brother, and father, fled from the Soviet army as they made their push to Nazi Germany in 1945. Upon reaching Germany, Andy attributed their survival to his mother's ability to speak Russian and German. Andy and his family then spent 6 years in a relocation camp, and landed in New York when he was 12. Despite not speaking English upon arrival, Andy was a fluent speaker of English by the time he graduated from Boston English in 1957. Able to quote Shakespeare flawlessly, Andy was a highly intelligent person who occasionally did rather goofy things. Andy was a reporter for the Associated Press, as well as the Patriot Ledger. Andy, with his son and first wife, witnessed Martin Luther King deliver his "I Have a Dream" speech, and often rubbed elbows with such famous writers as Norman Mailer and Allen Ginsberg. Andy was a tank commander in the National Guard, and was a graduate of Boston University. Andy was also an interpreter for the United States, and once sat at the same table with Gw Bush, Condolesa Rice, Colin Powell, Rumsfeld, and Cheney. Said GW, Rice, and Powell were quite nice, and Cheney and Rumsfeld reeked of evilness. Andy once went Nazi war crimminal hunting with his friend Alex, in Morocco. Didn't catch any.... I met Andy in DYS, and was his supervisor. He made me laugh a lot, and occasionally want to strangle him. The kids loved him, and called him an og, which meant original gangster, or old geezer, depending on the situation. Andy retired to Hawaii to reunite with his second ( and third) wife, Faith. Andy lost a valiant fight with cancer, but left with much love and respect from all that knew him. Rest in peace, my good friend.

The author of this is Edward Walkins.
Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2015 01:37 pm
What a wonderful thread, for a really interesting guy.

He certainly had a good innings, did our Andrew.

He will certainly be missed round here.

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Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2015 01:45 pm
Thanks, Jespah.

We've lost one of our brightest and long=standing lights. He is sadly missed.
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Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2015 02:03 pm
Andy was such a good friend, on various boards and in chats and email discussions. Knowing that we won't be reading more of his wry comments makes me enormously sad, but I am so very glad to have spent time under an internet pub table with him Smile

Per Andy's request, this will be the final resting place of his ashes


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Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2015 02:29 pm
So great, thank you, Edward Walkins. I knew a smidge of that (he must have said somewhere on a2k that he had been a reporter) but not much of the details.

Such a cool man, Andy. Re whether he liked jazz of any sort, I've no idea, but maybe he did. I mean cool in the later usage, "that's cool", as in that's a good thing or idea or person.

We talked by pm a few times, not for me to relate, just snippets of how he was doing.

Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2015 02:51 pm
I treasure the time I met him. We had a meal somewhere in New York. Easy to talk to. Easy to be with. My father's family was from Latvia. Andy got all excited when he learned this. "Lantzman!" (sp?) he said with great enthusiasm. A special connection.

I said this on another thread. I'll say it again here. Andy was a very, very good kid. I miss him already.
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Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2015 02:53 pm
Janet and Edward Walkins, your tributes to Andy were filled with the love and admiration we all felt for Andy. Thank you.

I was lucky enough to have met him in Boston many years ago. He was everything you would imagine. We didn't have tome to talk much, but I was so happy to have met him it was enough just to listen.

My, how he will be missed.
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Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2015 04:40 pm
I don't have much to contribute, so I'll paste something from the other thread...

I don't recall any interactions with Andrew, but he certainly left enough of an impression that I too had wondered why I haven't seen him posting. What really sticks with me is not just that he was usually–if not always–kind and patient with me, but also a sense that it was certainly more so than perhaps I had coming. My most heartfelt regards to him and his loved ones

I took some time a while back to search through threads where the both of us had posted, and indeed he had always been thoughtful and good natured – although he didn't care for my taste in music. Razz

If there is an opportunity, please tell Andy that I say thanks for the kind words and encouragement regarding my sobriety; and also for his part in helping to shape a near stranger's mind, thousands of miles away. Best wishes,


I can say that I and Mrs45 will be visiting Hawaii again (probably more than once), and it'll be nice to think that Andy will be a part of the land there–I'll be sure to think of him. Goodbye for now Merry Andrew http://www.sherv.net/cm/emoticons/bye/teary-eyes-waving-bye-smiley-emoticon.gif
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Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2015 05:28 pm
Rest in peace Andy. You were always a true gentleman and will surely be missed.

Thank you for always being a kind person. I will remember you fondly.

Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2015 07:47 pm
Had a few discussions about the teaching profession, Andy and I. I never had a discussion with him that nded with any ill feelings. Merry was his gift to us.

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Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2015 10:14 pm
Im going to miss Andy, when I was concerned about the direction of a thread Andy would be my bellwether, he always gave me good advice. Sometimes we would have side conversations about places he knew and visited in Maryland. Im not sure how much time he spent in Maryland, but he was well versed.

I haven't met anyone personally from A2K, but some of us have been here so long we know the personality or essence of our members. This place is the closest to a playground for adults I have ever encountered. Posts occasionally makes me laugh out loud, and although mr. g'bag doesn't post he knows most of my buddies and non buddies.

In my minds eye, we are all about the same age (maybe not age, more temperment) some are feisty, some outrageously funny, and many witty and clever. But we all loved Andy. The one time he got frustrated and posted an annoyed complaint about people who have to have the last word,,,,well, everyone came in with silly stuff to entertain until Edgar finally admitted that it turned out better than he expected, although different.

Andy was the real deal, it was a pleasure and honor to have traded posts with him.
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Reply Thu 9 Jul, 2015 12:54 pm
He will be missed by everyone who came into contact with him - a kind and gentle man.

I've played many games with him in the past couple of years and never once seen him be angry or irritated - not even in the beginning when I was totally new to the forum and making the silliest of errors. Dear Andy - a huge loss to A2K.
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