A TGB READER STORY: A Perspective on Time
Portland and Democracy Under Federal Siege

Darlene Costner: 1925 – 2020

Just short of two months ago in these pages, we celebrated Darlene Costner's 95th birthday. Today we mourn her. I received a note from her daughter, Gail, early Monday morning saying, “Mom is at peace now.”

DarleneCostner2016BFor many years, Darlene kept a blog, Darlene's Hodgepodge, in which she covered her many interests. One, politics, took a strong lead on her blog. With strong opinions, too. She was a smart, informed and passionate advocate of the left-leaning variety.

I don't remember when I first met Darlene. Actually, we never met in person. Undoubtedly, our blogs brought us together or, rather, I can't imagine how we would have otherwise found one another – she in Arizona and me in Maine at the time.

We were internet friends, that new kind of personal connection that our generation has learned in late life and that in some cases is no less close or important than if we were next-door neighbors. Darlene was one of those for me.

Another blogger Darlene kept in touch with is Jan Adams who blogs at Where is the Way Forward? Lucky Jan, she and Darlene met in person. But let her tell us:


"I only met Darlene Costner once; we connected via Ronni's blog. One day in 2013 when she was visiting her daughter in the Bay Area, we met for lunch in San Francisco's Japantown and happily chatted for several hours about the places around the world that we'd seen - and still wished to see.

"In her last years, travel wasn't possible for her, but she never lost interest in a wide world, sending along her internet discoveries to a far flung list of friends. I hope to retain a similar curiosity and openness to the new as I age further."

When age was catching up with Darlene and slowing her down, she stopped writing her blog, but for a long time after that, she was a prolific contributor of items for the Saturday Interesting Stuff post. I'm including one of those today because it so exemplifies her excellent eye and good taste.

It is a video from 2013, created by a student who used the screen name drivinman687. From the Youtube page:

”My final project I made for my video productions class Cutaway Productions at my high school. I don't own the rights to the song or the pictures and I am not trying to claim them, I just did this video for fun and i spent many a hour on it.”

And it is amazingly beautiful and seems most appropriate to Darlene:

So today let us celebrate the life of the indomitable Darlene Costner. As I said on her birthday post, she was my friend, my old age mentor and I cannot imagine my life all these years without her friendship, her wisdom and her sense of humor.

Farewell, Darlene.



Great contribution!

Thank you for being the message bearer, Ronni.

May Darlene rest in peace. She was a lovely woman/human being.

I'm sorry for the loss of your dear blogging friend. She was certainly a vibrant and wise woman. The video does give us a sense of the scope of her interests. May her friends and loved ones know peace.

Sorry to hear of her passing. We met her twice. Once at her home where the three of us drove out to the Saguaro National Monument and once we brought her back to our home for lunch. She as a very special lady and will be missed.

Ronni, thank you for sharing your friendships with the rest of us. You and people like Darlene broaden our world and enrich our lives.

Peace, comfort, and warm memories to all on the loss of this beautiful lady.

I had one wonderful conversation and a few great email exchanges with Darlene. What a joy she was for everyone who knew her. Thank you, Ronni, for providing a place where we not only learn but make new connections to people who enrich our lives.

Thanks to Darlene for making us smile & think every Saturday & with the superb video in today’s post.
So sorry you had to say goodbye to your friend.

Than you for your beautiful tribute to Darlene.
Ruth Marchese

We lost a great lady this week. Darlene was a special person, and yes, having her as a virtual friend was like a regular friend. She had strong opinions and gave reasons for them. She came to my blog regularly and I to hers. She was always so appreciative and interested in so many subjects, like travel and history. Her husband had been a sales manager on a commercial radio station for many years and she would go there often – she liked music but by that time she had issues with her hearing.

I went back to my blog to read some of her comments to reminisce. I often write about history and once after I posted an old portrait painting of someone she wrote “I love to imagine what life was like for the people who posed for the stilted portraits of yesteryear.” She also liked to read my posts on the Tour de France. She was interested in so many things. Her comments were always sincere and uplifting. She will be missed. Thanks, Ronni, for letting us know as virtual friends are sometime closer to us than family.

She gave so much just through your blog. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to actually know her. A rare and wonderful person. Thank you, Darlene, wherever you may be now. Travel on.

I met with her a few times at her home in Tucson, as I visited my son who lives there; the first time she was still writing her blog, and I took a new photo of her to post. It was always so enjoyable to talk with her, though her hearing became more of a problem later on. She was most interesting, and interested in what was going on politically, as well as in the way of books. My last visit was 14 months ago, when she did seem to be badly failing and she well knew it. She was a remarkable person and I shall miss her contributions and her essence.

Rest in peace, Darlene.
The video is spectacular!

What a wonderful tribute! She was so accomplished in life.

The video was amazing.

Darlene lived an amazing life, and I feel that she lived it her way. May we all follow suit. I know she is cheering for us all from the other side.

I am sorry your wonderful and beloved friend is gone. Our friends, especially those who walk ahead shining a light, are so very precious.

The video was mind blowing!

What an inspiration Darlene was to so many. I plan on reading her blog. May I strive to be a life long learner and a contributor like she was!

Farewell, Darlene. (I bet one regret she might have would be not making it until November to vote out the would-be Emperor of tRumpistan! )

Sorry to read of Darlene’s departure from this earth. She was a remarkable lady. In addition to our email exchanges pertaining to political interests and fascinating site links she forwarded, she generously shared with me the particulars of her hearing loss experience given my professional interest.

She had received a cochlear implant that had been a breakthrough medical achievement for selected types of hearing loss. This was a life-changing procedure I first heard of occurring at the House Institute here in Southern California during my univ. training period in the ‘70’s-‘80’s. Re-educating the hearing process following an implant has some aspects that can be challenging, but one to which she persevered. This was true for listening to music to appreciate the sounds in ways she remembered having previously heard them.

I appreciatively recall her sense of humor when she described the night she awoke to see men in black standing at the foot of her bed. Having turned off her hearing aid for the night’s sleep, it seems in the wee hours she had accidentally set off a body alarm that drew the men checking on her welfare. She relished telling the tale. Darlene had a delightful disposition and outlook on life. She will be missed.

Loved her comments!

A great storyteller.

I'm sorry to hear that Darlene's life has come to a close, but she lived it so well, and, as her daughter says, is at peace now. Her thoughts and 'Interesting Stuff' contributions will be greatly missed.

It's been a privilege to read the thoughts and experiences of so many people who have shared them in comments to your blog, Ronni. Thank you again for being a wonderful curator of so much intelligent conversation, history, poetry, music, videos, politics . . . it's all been great! And as I posted in a comment to yesterday's TGB Reader Story, it's interesting synchronicity how well Darlene's video goes with Melissa's words.

Farewell, Darlene. I loved and missed your blog.

An amazing video, and fitting tribute to Darlene. We are all made of stardust; I will think of Darlene as having returned to the cosmos, from whence she continues to shine her light on us.

Sorry to hear about Darlene"s death. Like her daughter said, She's at peace now. I never had the pleasure of meeting her but I feel like I knew her! Read her blog for years and know many of the ups and downs she faced and how strong she was when life handed her lemons.
She had a full life and lived it to the brim!

She sounds like an interesting woman. That video showed her perspective on time. It would have been nice to meet her. Perhaps I could have, since I live in Tucson also.

Thank you Ronni.
What a wonderful lady.

How do you define the words protestor,rioter,chaos,law,public servant,law,violence,,civil, ,platform,idea,cause,truth,relative,uninformed,educated,wanton,and peace.

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