Comments from the countess:
January 25th marked the passage of one third of a year since the death of the guru. Cards and letters of condolence are still drifting in. These expressions of significant loss, and the extraordinary influence Jeff Cooper had on the lives of many who knew him only through his writings, continue to intrigue me and to lend comfort. Here, indeed, was a man whose life's work made a difference for the good of many.
Jeff rather fancied the word "guru" to describe his status, a word comparatively new to our English lexicon. The Hindu word originally meant a spiritual leader. The generalized sense of any influential teacher, guide, or mentor was first recorded in 1940. How fitting! That's about the time that he started thinking about the practical use of the pistol, among other visionary inspirations.
The most sustaining words from his admirers are those with hope for the future.
"…but his spirit and words will guide us and generations ahead."
"His words of wisdom will long endure."
"Whenever shots are fired on any IPSC range anywhere in the world it will always be a salute to Jeff's visions."
"He and his life's work will continue to live in my mind."
"To honor his memory, I take the kind of attitude he would himself, and say … Now my friends, straighten your body as for giving attention, raise your head and look up, because there is a new 'STAR' in the sky."
In the spirit of his legacy, and because he always expressed a desire for a festive gathering after his demise, the plans for a Memorial Celebration are proceeding apace and they promise a stimulating event.
The Date: 10 May 2007
The Place: The Coors Range Building, NRA Whittington Center near Raton, New Mexico.
The Time: 1:30 p.m.
For more information please log on to Tom Russell's website: www.coloneljeffcooper.com. You can sign up for e-mail updates, too.
Another exciting tribute to Jeff Cooper is a Memorial Match, a full-scale shootin' competition devoted to the practical rules devised by the colonel many years ago. This event, conceived and organized by Jack Furr, a law enforcement officer/Gunsite range master during the 80ies and early 90ies (and now a local Paulden resident and trainer on his own) is scheduled for the first weekend in September at the Ben Avery Shooting Range in Phoenix, Arizona. Jack's website is www.coljeffcooper.com. Any money raised over and above expenses will be donated in Jeff Cooper's name to the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund (Jeff's favorite charity).
Though Jeff never held in his hands a printed copy of his last book, SHOTLUCK, he saw the cover design and the table of contents. He and Lindy collaborated for months before it "went to bed." Now it is available from Wisdom Publishing at www.jeffcooperbooks.com. Or give Lindy a phone call at (480) 831-0017. There's a forward by Col. Clint Ancker and fine illustrations by Paul Kirchner. The first chapter in the book, "On War," has been declared priceless. Read it, and then take heart from the words of George F. Will in his speech delivered to a Hillsdale College Seminar in May of 2005:
"He (Yamamoto) knew that after Pearl Harbor, Japan would have an enraged, united, incandescent, continental superpower on its hands, and that Japan's ultimate defeat would be implicit in its initial victory. Our current enemies will learn the same thing."
30 January 2007