“The surf spit me back to the shore. Grateful for the experience.”
Andrew Rodman died peacefully at home in Portland on January 7, age 54. He maintained his usual irreverent sense of humor and positivity to the end, and still had hope of staving off cancer right up to the day before he fell into a deep restful sleep. Just days before he declared he would go on the Owyhee river next summer. Andrew was born in Baltimore and made homes in Newport and Portland while working as Editor-in-Chief of In Good Tilth magazine for Oregon Tilth. He is survived by his wife Terry, his parents Beverly and Malcolm, his brother Larry (Grace), sister Laura (John), and nephew Evan. Andrew had the most monumental heart this side of the Cascades, filled with his love for forest protection and for his Earth First! family that gave him community. He had a love for the ocean and he married the sea, sanctioning it with surfboard in tow. He found Spirit at Yaquina Head just past the riptide as this was his sacred place. He always had ambitions to lure his terrified wife out to that particular watery real estate, to share a certain light beyond the beach. “Where does a body go to get to the nectar of wilderness? To reconnect with wildness at its core? For me, it is here, in the frothy watery wilds of the near shore. Here it is dark currents of dread and wonder.”
Little did anyone know, except for those that were blessed to be near him, that Andrew was ‘Secretly Famous’ for his poetry, paintings, plays, and performances. His art and poems reflected our current times with his love for the sea, organic agriculture, and the environmental impact bestowed upon our beautiful planet. His words were prolific, profound, ludicrous, playful, and absurd. His mom once said: “There’s one thing that puzzles me. Your poems and art are so dark, but you’re such a sweet guy. It’s weird!” Andrew said he did not have a bucket list because he did everything he wanted. As a creative spirit, he chimed, “I’m A Wild Salmon Baby, virile and free.” His father once said that Andrew had retired before beginning his career, quitting whatever work he had at the time for adventures that took him around the world, from the west to the east and to the northern lights. He followed many rivers, he paddled, he guided, he fell in the drink, he got up.
Andrew grabbed life by the balls and never let go. He slammed the door on prognoses and gave his eternal middle finger that said, “I’m not dead yet.” He had a rare ability to ‘grok’ his life, and gave daily thanks for his enormous community and family, his wife whom his planet spun around, and his prosperity. He thanked God daily that he was not living under a bridge. He met his wife six years ago and received his cancer diagnosis only four months later. “Eleven months to live,” they said, underestimating Andrew and Terry’s lust for life and each other and their joy upon their rare weird union. Friends and family say his wife extended his flame, but in truth he extended hers and together they both burned like the northern lights. They never gave in, they never gave up. Please join us in celebrating his life at the Newport Performing Arts Center in Newport, February 4, 7:00 pm.