More on Miguel Wooding …

by on July 29, 2011

To the Editor:

As the life partner of Thomas Wooding, Miguel Wooding’s brother, I feel moved to respond to your article. Miguel, aka Michael, was a multifaceted man and important to so many, not just for his work with the EDC. You are right that he gave generously of himself … to each of the many communities in which he was involved. I can’t speak, for instance, for the Aikido, Food Not Bombs, or Critical Mass (Bicycling) communities, but I knew Miguel as a friend and “living-in-sin-law.” With his even temper and way of dispelling an argument with heartfelt but surgically accurate criticism, he gave me the support I needed to get over bumps in my relationship with Thomas.

Miguel’s generosity was also modest. I remember at one time being frustrated that he never came to Thanksgiving dinner when invited, until – nothing that he said, mind you – I happened to see an article about a Homes Not Jails event on that day where he was being arrested for supporting the tenants. Self-styled a “Freegan” (namely he would eat anything that was free), he regularly gave extra produce away. The child he provided daycare for at least one evening per week most her life still loves his eclectic, vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe.

He was actually fluent in several languages. Mandarin (not Cantonese), he learned by immersion while he was teaching English in China. He became known as Miguel and took up Spanish because he happened to be assigned to Casa Zapata his Freshman year at Stanford. He was learning Japanese so that he could converse with his life partner’s Japanese parents. Miguel and his partner met because a mutual friend invited her to attend an anti-Gulf War street theater event in which Miguel was a performer.

He was certified as an EMT(wilderness rescue) so that he could be more assured of her safety and that of the friends with whom he often went camping and bike-trekking. They would go on long, mountainous bicycle trips, and not being quite as athletic as he, the partner would get left behind … until he lit upon the idea of a tandem bike. He said he didn’t mind the extra work as long as she was with him. There is a fractal hole in the universe now that Miguel is gone. May he be reincarnated soon.

Sharon Hartwell
Chapel Hill, NC

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