I knew Dennis Lane only slightly: I occasionally commented on his blog, he commented on mine once or twice, and I met and talked to him several times at Howard County blogger meetups and other events. I can’t speak to his life as a private person and how he came to a violent end, and even if I could I wouldn’t: I don’t blog about my own private and family life, and won’t do so about others. However I did want to say a few words to mark his death.
What I admired most about Dennis as a blogger was his ability to write frequently and seemingly extemporaneously on a variety of topics: local politics, real estate and business affairs, and just the normal goings-on of daily life. He mentioned recently that he hadn’t had time to blog as much as normal, but (as I commented on the post), even his “infrequent” blogging way outpaced my own truly infrequent offerings. I also enjoyed reading his Business Monthly columns, whenever I picked up a copy at a local establishment; it was one of the few things I read on paper rather than online. Leaving aside all his other contributions to Howard County, he’ll be sorely missed in the local blogging community, of which he was a founder and guiding light.
A couple of other points: In 2012 four people were murdered in Howard County and I was acquainted with two of them, Mary-Marguerite Kohn and Brenda Brewington, who were shot at St Peters Episcopal Church in Ellicott City almost exactly a year ago. This year I think there have been two homicides in Howard County thus far, and I’m acquainted with one of the victims. Strange that in a placid suburban county of 300,000 violent death should so disproportionately strike people I know.
FInally, it’s fitting that I first learned of Dennis’s death while reading a blog post, in this case by TJ Mayotte. It’s a measure of how much I rely on local blogs and hyper-local sites like Ellicott City Patch and Explore Howard for my knowledge of Howard County affairs. I guess one way to honor Dennis and what he meant to our local online community is to get off my rear end and blog some more myself.