Tucker Watkins passed away this morning.
Tucker was a great teacher, mentor, and organizer. He will be missed by all of Virginia, and especially this writer.
His Facebook wall is filling up fast with mini-eulogies and condolences to his family.
The stories you have all shared about my sweet brother Tucker have meant more than you can know. His children….because he helped raise so many nieces and nephews that I call them all his, have loved the stories and pictures so much. What has meant most of all though is the outpouring of love and concern in these last difficult months. Tucker truly knew he was blessed to have so many of you in his life. And what a full life he had.
We will celebrate his life on Tuesday at 2 pm at the First Presbyterian Church in South Boston with burial following at Oak Ridge Cemetery. We will all be at his home, Black Walnut Farm on Monday night for visitation from 6 to 9.
I look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday so I can put faces with the many names Tucker has been telling me about over these last months. My appreciation and love to you all, Porter
(Photo by Rick Sincere)
Way back in 2006 I wrote this about my first face to face meeting with the man who would become a very close friend and mentor.
I slipped into Charlottesville last night under cover of darkness. I met my contact, Tucker Watkins, at the Marriott Courtyard where we discussed possible speakers for the Blogs United conference in August.
Before I knew what had happened we were infiltrated by an advance scouting party of Democrat types. Being the gracious host he is, Tucker did not unleash the cannons, but instead directed them to the makeshift bar he had created on what the hotel thought would be used as a desk. Ah, I thought, he is shrewd. Loosen their inhibitions with a generous shot of excellent Bourbon, or fine Scotch, and send them back to their camp.
It worked. Word soon got out at the Al Weed reception, that the rickety desk just a block away in the Courtyard held free booze in such quantity that it should not run out soon, and it was guarded only by a couple of amiable white haired guys from Southside. That bit of information soon emptied the Weed reception. Well, empty except for Al Weed and Creigh Deeds, of course. At their last sighting, they had a member of the service staff cornered and were earnestly discussing progressive taxation and living wage levels with a confused old man who just wanted to finish mopping so he could lock up and go home to his wife and feed his beagles.
Did I mention that Tucker Watkins is shrewd? Let me tell you, he is shrewd. He thought this whole thing out. Apparently he had scouted the hotel weeks in advance. His choice of rooms from which to launch this endeavor was designed perfectly to lure those liberals into the trap.
First, he chose room number 111. Brilliant! It doesn’t require much thought to remember a series of ones, and it seems they all managed that mental feat quite easily. Next, he knew that he must also make the room easy for our leftist friends to find. Now, this part of the planning is what shows just how cunning Mr. Watkins truly is. Knowing the natural inclination of his prey, he chose probably the only hotel within a 100 mile radius that requires nothing but left turns from the lobby all the way to that makeshift bar in room 111.
Unfortunately that strategy caused our only casualty last night. Our agent RC was unable find us. That third left turn into the room proved to be just too difficult for her to manage. She was able to muster the resolve to return safely to her base camp, though, for which I am thankful. I still have confidence in her abilities, and feel this was just a rookie failure that she will soon overcome.
Tucker’s plan was working perfectly. In just a few short hours we managed to capture Waldo Jaquith, Vivian Paige, VirginiaCentrist, several others, and even Brian Patton, who was still wearing his full General’s regalia (less tie, of course, it was informal after all). The desk/bar did it’s duty and we soon had VirginiaCentrist singing like a bird. But Vivian managed to cut him off short before he released too much information. Or did she? Do any of them remember this morning just what strategy they may have revealed before we released them back to their camp?
The lone exception was General Patton, strangely he just had sober conversation with me and I think Tucker before he slipped away quietly. As I was making my departure back to Henry County in the small hours of the morning, I noticed Brian in the company of Al and Creigh discussing college tuition and taxation policy with the girl who was cleaning up the tables at the Weed reception. She looked tired.
Till we meet again at that greatest of all hospitality suites, take it easy Tucker. You’ve earned the rest.