18 thoughts on “Notes

  1. “Some people are doctors, some people are lawyers. I make pizzas – that’s what I do…” Carolina Beach Town Council candidate Mike Vesch (circa 1999)

  2. Mike and I spent a lot of time together in grade school and middle school, often getting paired up because of our tendency to be bookish. He was a good friend during those most awkward of years, and we genuinely enjoyed each other’s company. We enjoyed being nerdy together, and we had a lot in common. He was kind and not afraid to be himself, and I remember laughing together a lot during that time. I’m so sad that we have lost him.

  3. I met Mike 20 years ago. He was only in my life for a short time, but he was quite unforgettable. I am so sad that he is gone from this world. My sympathies go to his friends and family.

  4. RIP Mike Vesch. You are the only true reverend I will ever know. I will never forget your holographic “Last Supper” light box catching fire. You helped me to survive a very rough time and I will remember you always.

  5. To all Mike’s loved ones and friends and especially to Vanessa and Mike’s family, I want to extend my deep condolences. The news of Mike’s death leaves me very sad. I guess that Mike’s wit and wisdom which I greatly appreciated were only surpassed by his genuine dedication to a social revolution to make this life less hard for everybody. I will like many others miss him.

  6. Mike was the one who introduced me to both insurrectionary anarchism and the situationists in my early 20s – hence, this is why I always called him “big brother.” However, he was nothing like the caricatures these ideologies became after their recent popularization. Absent was any hint of any violent bravado, he was one of the gentlest people I have ever met. Furthermore, while there was never a hint of pretension in anything he said or did, he was also one of the smartest people I ever knew – he dropped out of Allegheny community college, because he would consistently test out of every course in the catalog.

    While I was still living in Pittsburgh, he stayed at my mother’s house in NY for a week while he thoroughly trounced every single Jeopardy contestant they put in front of him. We all knew that the only reason why Alex Trebek didn’t put him on TV was because his occupation was “anti-employed anarchist.”

    He came from one of the many working class families in Pittsburgh that, for a variety of reasons, could only manage to barely scrape by after the mills closed. I have no doubt that it was his early upbringing that led him to wholly unite himself with the Idea, like, as old Proudhon used to say, “a flower that has roots in the material conditions.” I will miss his caring heart, his witticisms and all his brilliant/zany schemes. For instance, I remain convinced that he was the originator of the flag bat – a banister ripped off a stairway with a black bandanna tied to the end.

    Only one black flag was to be present, in the end it turned out that there were more flags than necessary.

    A wreath of flowers carried a little phrase, ‘The anarchists won’t forget you’.

  7. I’m still at a loss for words to describe my feelings about the passing of Mike. Words alone don’t seem to illustrate the void left behind or do any justice to the hurt and loss of Vanessa and those who love him. Words also seem inadequate to describe him to those who have never met a man of such caliber, I don’t know where to start. Those of us who have shared a bond with Mike fondly recall one of the most spirited, intelligent, eloquent, witty, radical, compassionate and solid characters to grace the stage of this world and era. The man who dropped so much knowledge on us youngsters and taught us so many things, the times we’ve all shared with him: the black blocs the food not bombs sessions the Sega genesis tekken tournaments till 4am the conversations and presence, all sleeping in that damn room at the N@CP, his witty writing and thoughtful analysis, a damn human encyclopedia of interesting and relevant but obscure facts and events.

    I’m still stunned and hurt and wish I could be there with you all during this time. At least from afar and through the internet can witness the solidarity, the community and the nature of true friendship and camaraderie among a group of the brightest and realest people I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting in all the places and people I’ve ever seen. I love you all and I miss each of you acutely right now, and truly value all the time we’ve spent together.

    Mike- May you rest in peace, I have been truly blessed to have known you as a friend and comrade, aloha nui loa a me a hui hou.

  8. Dang… It’s tough to find words. It’s been years since Mike and I have spoken, but I recall him as a person who engaged me and made me think. He even managed to disagree with me in ways that fostered some great conversations. While I did not know him or his too well, I wish all of those surviving him healthy grieving, acceptance, and eventual peace. Sending love your way.

  9. Nessa, Poppet, mikes mom & Rich- I’m sorry for your loss. Mike was one of a kind!!! We went to school together & always sat in front of me because of our last names. I admired your posts as you stood up for what you believed. I hope you are at peace Mike.

  10. Mike, you were best protest buddy I could ever have asked for all those years ago in Miami. You are a force, intelligent, complicated, funny and caring and you will be deeply missed.

  11. You were in and out of my life for 26 years, but always a remarkable, impressive, cherished friend. I had started to count on and take comfort in you being there for years to come. I wish I had told you that and more. I hope you knew it just the same. I will miss you. Rest in peace.

  12. A lone voice in the wilderness that was among us has now passed into the void. But let the memory of his kindness, his humor, his wisdom, his words live on in all who knew him. We’ll miss ya. In sha’allah wa salaam alihu.

  13. On Friday morning I woke early to the news that my dear friend and mentor had passed unexpectedly. A mere 72 hours later I watched my daughter take her first breath, and in the coming days many of my extended Pittsburgh family will be reunited to mourn and celebrate in turn.
    For all his wonderful cynicism about birth rates and overpopulation, I rarely saw Mike light up as much as when we talked about the arrival of my child and his expected role in her life. He was supposed to have a daily hand in her care. To be her teacher and intellectual guide, like he was so often for me. To be her (if necessary literal) Godfather. I am crushed by his loss, but so so much more so by the knowledge that they will never meet.
    My heart goes out to Vanessa, the family, and all the many friends and comrades Mike touched. We’ve lost a part of our lives that can never be replaced. And for my daughter, she will only know what she missed by the scattered pictures and scraps of writing we’ve saved. And by the countless stories I’ll repeat to her over and over until I’m too old to remember.

  14. I knew Mike for 25 years.I lived with him for 2 years. Great person and better friend.

  15. wow. i am just hearing about this. my heart is broken. what a sweet, tender, committed soul. and geez that guy was so friendly. always a smile on his face. love love love to all of Mike’s close friends and family. thinking of you and all the ways Mike made Pittsburgh and the world a better place. I will look to you in the stars Mike, you will continue to be a guiding light.

  16. Mike was one of the most sincere humans that I’ve met. I remember his laughter and smile being as innocent as a child’s and sparkled like a sunray.

    He may have seemed stubborn at times, but it took me too long to learn that what I was perceiving was his nobility in standing for his beliefs.

    He mentioned several times how he didn’t really go outside to play much as a kid! He said he would rather stay in and read.

    Mike’s intelligence was beyond his hunger for knowledge. He easily understood the humanity that existed behind the action of the people. He recognized the pain, the joy and all other emotions that made one tick.

    I’m greatly sorry your swift words and actions scared me then. I wish I could have understood your motives to not ever waver. I respect you and care for you. May you truly rest in peace and no longer carry the weight of this world’s injustice on your back or in your mind. I miss you!

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