Thursday, August 09, 2007

Clive

Of all the quite accomplished folks that I've been friends with over the years (and I know and have known a number of very talented, accomplished people), there's probably no one that I'm prouder to have been friends with than Clive Stafford Smith. If you're a commuter like me that listens to NPR in the car, you may have heard him in the piece earlier this week on Morning Edition about Guantanamo detainees that are fearful of being sent back to their country of origin for fear of torture or death (I see the NYTimes picked that story up today). Clive was on the program as he represents the person that was featured as well as a number of other detainees. Certainly laudible as it can't be easy to find people willing to represent them. His focus over the last 25 years or so is just as needed and just as tough - he has been a very vocal international advocate for the abolition of the death penalty. I'm not sure that he's the first person I've known that has an extensive Wikipedia entry, but I'm fairly certain he's the first OBE I've known.

Clive and I had Freshmen Honors English together at UNC and were part of a group that threw darts down at the Cave (unsurprisingly Clive consistently won - I think it's in the blood). He was also the Minister for Un-hyphenated Double-Barreled Last Names in our mockternity, Beta Upsilon Lambda Lambda - for someone that has devoted his life to such a serious topic, he had (and I'm quite confident maintains) a wickedly wonderful sense of humor. It was wonderful to hear him coming through my radio speakers - his is a voice that needs to be heard more often and more loudly.

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