Tuesday, 8 September 2009
A couple of years, when I was in New York for a production of a musical I literally helped write, I went to the unfinished and massive cathedral of St John the Divine. Cathedrals are great, etc. In it there was a 9/11 memorial, and I can't remember precisely why it caught my eye, but it was to a guy called Wesley Mercer. Maybe there was a picture. If so, it was of a dignified black man with glasses and a moustache.
He was the seventy year old vice-president of security for Morgan Stanley who had served a tour in Korea and two in Vietnam. He was on good terms with his ex-wife, and his surviving daughter, Linda, a schoolteacher. He didn't own sneakers or jeans, and he wanted to, and did, carry himself in a way that inspired confidence.
He was survived by his devastated partner, Bill Randolph.