Five years ago, when I was holed up in Beijing finishing a book, I had the delight and privilege of inviting successive teams of Guest Bloggers to appear for a week each in this space. This was back in the era when sequential, thinking-in-public blogs were a standard form of online discourse, before they gave way to today’s dominant model of standalone articles mainly circulated via Facebook and Twitter links.
At the time I felt fortunate for, and in retrospect I feel astonished by, the array of people who agreed to take on this task. You can read the whole 40-plus member list, with links to their writings, here. We had software developers, ambassadors, air-traffic controllers, family members, industrial titans, philosophes, and others — plus a person who was a judge, active pilot, and former CIA employee all in one.
That was Glenna Hall. I never met her, but I respected her and felt I knew her based on correspondence over the years. I was very sorry to learn that she had died of cancer, at her home in the San Juan Islands of Washington state, a week ago.
Here are some illustrations of what she wrote in this space, which begin to suggest the range of her interests and talents:
- “Landing Ourselves: Pilots Can Do More Than You Think,” about the world of the skies.
- “The Injustice of Sentencing Guidelines,” from her time on the bench.
- “The Economics of Island Air Taxis,” about one reality of remote-community existence.
- “City Judge, County Judge,” on the variations of the judicial life.
- “When I Worked for the CIA,” about an early stage in her career. As I noted, the headline on this slightly complicated my life in China.
My admiration to Glenna Hall for the life she lived, and my sympathies to her friends and family on her loss.