So long, John. Thanks for everything.**


There are only two possible answers when it comes to the saddest country music song of all time: it's either I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry by Hank Williams or He Stopped Loving Her Today by George Jones.

Fight me.

Think about it: just reciting "Have you ever seen a robin weep when leaves begin to die? That mean he's lost the will to live./ I'm so lonesome I could cry" is enough to send you running for the Jack & Coke or make you hide all of your sharp utensils.

And when, in the middle of a mournful dirge about a man whose love could only be ended by death, George recites "She came to see him one last time/ we all wondered if she would. And it kept running through my mind/ this time he's over her for good" - man, you just don't want to be bothered after that.

Both of those songs are playing on the Wurlitzer jukebox in my head right now, 10 minutes after learning that Congressman John Lewis died on July 17, 2020.

When my buddy Dwayne texted around midnight to tell me of his passing, my first thought was "Man, you know better than to answer the phone after midnight: it's never good news."

My second thought and return text was "He stopped loving us today."

Nothing but love - for his country, for his race, for humanity - could have made someone endure without bitterness the indignities and physical violence that Lewis endured. Fiftyfive years later, you still can't look at what happened to him on that Edmund Pettus Bridge near Selma, Ala., without wincing.