Remembering Doug Fortier

I have no memory of when I first met Doug, and I would predict that all of Doug’s friends would say the same. Doug’s hearty grin and welcoming ways made you feel as if you had never not known him, and his steady encouragement of the creative path made you thankful you did.

At the January zoom celebration of Doug and his writing, especially his prolific prompt-inspired stories, my dear friend Lew Mermelstein spoke for both of us when he said that Doug was a good writer and editor, whom he thanked for editing his book Solomon’s Net, but thanked Doug even more deeply for being the master matchmaker who’d encouraged Lew and me into meeting for the walk that evolved into our happy relationship. Lew also likes to note the synchronicity that we had, in separate years, asked Doug to read our work at club gatherings when we were unable to do so: my Ekphrasis poem and Lew’s piece from the anthology. We each also had the joy of regular phone contact with Doug up to the time of his death. Lew was in a small men’s writing group that continued phone contact after COVID, and Doug and I continued the AM writing group time, and talked at 9:00 several times a week.

Lew and I miss hearing Doug’s positive and electric voice in real time, but are grateful that we can carry on his love of people and the creative spark.

Presente, Doug.

Nancy Nelson and Lew Mermelstein