Join 3,553 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Leslie Harpold Remembered
December 12, 2006 1:07 PM   Subscribe

Leslie Harpold Remembered When her annual advent calendar was not updated after December 7th people all over the web started to express concern over Leslie Harpold's absence. Sadly it has been confirmed that she died sometime last week. I think Leslie would be touched to see the way friends and strangers have spontaneously posted remembrances of her via a medium she loved and help mold.
posted by amphigory (67 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
That's terrible. I was a huge fan of Smug back in the day; in some ways its never been equalled.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:14 PM on December 12, 2006


.
posted by jacobian at 1:16 PM on December 12, 2006


Terrible news. I never got the chance to meet Leslie, but I always enjoyed her work, especially the wonderful advent calendars. She always seemed like she'd be a fun person to know. My condolences go out to her family and friends.
posted by aine42 at 1:47 PM on December 12, 2006


Smug, hoopla, and the advent calendar were all covered here and she had an account.

She was a great person and this news came as a shock. I got to have dinner with her a few times, I went to her parties, she attended mine, and my wife and her would always bond over cooking techniques and various forms of whitetrashery. She had suffered a whole host of setbacks no single person should and stayed strong through all of it. In the past year or so, she was really doing well, moving out of SF to a home in Michigan to be near her family. She sounded happier and more energetic every time I heard from her. Then this. Ugh.
posted by mathowie at 1:52 PM on December 12, 2006


This is very sad and shocking news. My condolences to her family & friends... I'm so sorry Matt.
posted by zarah at 2:03 PM on December 12, 2006


Here's a list on delicious of all the remembrances.
posted by mathowie at 2:04 PM on December 12, 2006


.

I posted on this at my site.
posted by grubi at 2:05 PM on December 12, 2006


RIP Leslie. You'll be missed. I never met her IRL but I felt like I knew her.
posted by MaddCutty at 2:05 PM on December 12, 2006


I think that Merlin hit it right on when he said "Leslie made every one of her friends feel like a fucking rock star, whether they wanted to or not." She was a force of nature - her highs were higher than most, and her lows certainly lower. In the end, I'm grateful that I could call her a friend, and proud that she called me one. I'm going to miss her. A lot.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 2:06 PM on December 12, 2006


I did not know Leslie, but I knew of her, ever since {fray} in the late 1990's.

To her family and all her friends online and off, my deepest condolences.

RIP
posted by tomcosgrave at 2:09 PM on December 12, 2006


Ugh. A sad day.
posted by eamondaly at 2:09 PM on December 12, 2006


I met her once on a wild week back in 1998. I owe her.

.
posted by RakDaddy at 2:10 PM on December 12, 2006


I'm at a complete loss about this. She had a tenacity for living life with great humor and strength. I'm going to miss working with her and listening to her dispense huge amounts of advice and insight.
posted by shinyj at 2:10 PM on December 12, 2006


.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:14 PM on December 12, 2006


thanks for linking to my site for the post i made, amphigorey (the permalink is here). i think i pretty much summed up my feelings there, but i just can't stress enough how big of a presence she had on the web and how many people came to know and be influenced by her. she was an amazing person and i am at a loss to say anything further.
posted by sporky at 2:14 PM on December 12, 2006


.
posted by gleuschk at 2:17 PM on December 12, 2006


I want to write something about Leslie, but I don't know what to write. I never met her personally and probably haven't visited her web site in over a year, but she to me epitomizes the web and creativity and just being an interesting person. She was one of the A-listers of the web and will be sorely missed.

.
posted by fletchmuy at 2:18 PM on December 12, 2006


completely overwelming, probably because it's so unexpected and because she was too damn young. Thank you Leslie. The independent web wouldn't be here without people like you.
posted by whatnot at 2:19 PM on December 12, 2006


.
posted by DragonBoy at 2:29 PM on December 12, 2006


Damn.

I bet they've missed another place: leslie was an active GNE player being one of the hubs in the social network that evolved into Flickr. It seems she was everywhere and touched a lot of people. A force of nature, indeed. I was so shocked to hear this...
posted by vacapinta at 2:32 PM on December 12, 2006


My addition to the tributes to Leslie.
posted by ntk at 2:32 PM on December 12, 2006


She cracked me up a lot and gave all manner of insightful advice over the ten years I had the pleasure of being her friend, but my favorite memory of Leslie is this...

When I visited her in NY in 1996, I was 29. I had never smoked a cigarette in my entire life. Leslie, Tino and I all went to the Guggenheim and afterwards, we were out on the curb in front and she and Tino were smoking.

I decided the time had come. I lit up, and Leslie got this look on her face of horror and delight and said "that's it, Tino, we're going to hell."

Damn it, I'll miss her.
posted by astrogirl at 2:43 PM on December 12, 2006 [2 favorites]


I have been a Leslie fan for years, especially her wonderful advent calendar. I am saddened beyond words to know that she has passed, and ashamed to say that I was unaware of the major ills that beset her. Her online presence seemed upbeat and her talent was undeniable. I actually sent this to her advent calendar email address, fearing the worst and hoping for the best:

"Dear Leslie,

I couldn't help but note that there are no more Advent calendar entries after Dec. 7. I hope all is well with you and that nothing worse than lack of will/interest/content is keeping you from posting more Advent entries.

And thank you so much for your advent calendars of years past. They have given me much pleasure.

Your devoted Advent calendar fan," ....
posted by Lynsey at 2:58 PM on December 12, 2006


She was a great person. Generous, smart, creative, funny. I will miss her a lot.
posted by statolith at 3:02 PM on December 12, 2006


.

She was a really influential person on the web. I never met her, but would have liked to if for no other reason then to tell her how inspiring her work was...
posted by cell divide at 3:05 PM on December 12, 2006


So, what happened to her? And what happened to her fiance?
posted by thirteenkiller at 3:11 PM on December 12, 2006


Is it tacky of me to hope that someone might take up doing an advent calendar in her honor? I always enjoyed hers, and it's sad that she died mid-Advent.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:11 PM on December 12, 2006


Damn.

.
posted by jokeefe at 3:26 PM on December 12, 2006


i had the pleasure of knowing and meeting leslie. i really am crushed by this news. she was brilliant and funny. thanks to her, i met someone who changed my life. she overcame obstacles that most of us could not. to her family, my deepest sympathies. leslie had a positive impact in so many ways on her friends and people from all over. to everyone reading this, call someone you care about that you haven't seen in awhile. say hello and catch up on things. it matters.

rex's waltz ep gets put on the cd player tonight.
posted by addxton at 3:50 PM on December 12, 2006


.
posted by cior at 3:50 PM on December 12, 2006


She was a friend of mine, back in the day.

She is missed.
posted by jscalzi at 3:55 PM on December 12, 2006


I remember one night stumbling upon her Hoopla 500. I was so moved by the first one that I read every single entry in her archives that night. It took hours but I couldn't stop. I think wherever she is right now, she's playing with that magic record player of hers.

.
posted by Ugh at 4:10 PM on December 12, 2006


.
posted by FunkyHelix at 4:35 PM on December 12, 2006


One of the a.s.g-x crowd from a long time ago. Definitely, she will be missed.
posted by litlnemo at 4:42 PM on December 12, 2006


dammit.

.
posted by ltracey at 4:47 PM on December 12, 2006


So sad to hear this. I've long been charmed by her writing and all the things she put out here on the web. My heart goes out to her friends and family.
posted by amanda at 5:21 PM on December 12, 2006


Leslie was a member of the Haddock online community; we've put up a page for our own and others' memories of her. You're welcome to add your own.

I've been trying to post something of my own but, more than ever, I'm having trouble thinking of something suitable that wouldn't make Leslie kick my ass for writing something so cloyingly sentimental. Until I do, the plan is for my wife and child and I to bake the best food we can, and give it to people we love.
posted by yoz at 5:44 PM on December 12, 2006


This can't be true. It's so sad. My condolences to her family and friends.

I first encountered Leslie only virtually when her Hoopla.com domain was stolen out from underneath her. It's nearly impossible to wrap your mind around all the hardship she endured since then. But she endured it all with wit and passion.

The world is not ready to be without Leslie. But it is so and we must now do our part to endure.
posted by IndigoSkye at 5:51 PM on December 12, 2006


I only met her in passing, but was a huge fan. I really feel for all of those who were close to Leslie and for whom she made an incredible impact (seems to be many of my friends). Peace to all. RIP.
posted by vanderwal at 6:35 PM on December 12, 2006


Leslie went to my university several years before I did. I was a huge fan of hers from the early days of Hoopla. I'll never forget her emails and guidance in those tender college years. This news has made my holiday season more than a mite darker. You are already missed by a great many Leslie. The internet community has lost a friend. R.I.P.
posted by OntologicalPuppy at 6:56 PM on December 12, 2006


I admired Leslie for many years, and then by coincidence she became friends with a friend and was at my wedding. Every time our wedding comes up in conversation, I chime up "Leslie Harpold, my hero, and a web superstar, was at my wedding!"

I remember ribbing her in email when she wrote Things Andrew Had No Intention of Telling Hannah soon afterward, because it seemed like it could be inspired by a wedding.

She claimed it wasn't but I was kind of bummed. I wanted to claim I inspired her somehow.
posted by jragon at 7:45 PM on December 12, 2006


She leaves us so much, and so much silence. Missing you, Leslie.
posted by holgate at 7:51 PM on December 12, 2006


Leslie was at my wedding (the same wedding that Jragon was at, coincidentally). She came as the date of a friend of ours and I remember when I met her that I couldn't believe that the actual Leslie "Hoopla" Harpold was at *my* wedding.

Learning that she is gone leaves me blank. She had such a presence, both on the web and in real life, such a real voice. I'll miss her.
posted by raintea at 8:01 PM on December 12, 2006


.
posted by dhartung at 8:09 PM on December 12, 2006


I did not know Leslie, but I knew of her, ever since {fray} in the late 1990's.

Same. The language always seems so weak and greeting-cardy, but: my heartfelt condolences to her family and friends. It's clear that she will be very much missed.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:27 PM on December 12, 2006


.
posted by mikhail at 8:40 PM on December 12, 2006


She was one of my first online friends. A part of a small group of independent publishers that huddled together for warmth around the glowing new medium called "the internet" a decade ago. Back before there was e-commerce.

We hadn't been in contact in years.

But I always had massive respect - and a hint of fear- for her. She was strong and vocal and I listened to what she had to say.

When I was trying to decide if I should fight Fruit of the Loom in court, she was the strongest digital warrior in the room.

I was proud to have her by my side.
posted by halcyon at 9:03 PM on December 12, 2006


.
posted by moss at 10:13 PM on December 12, 2006


there will be signs along the way to guide you leslie. rip.
posted by gac at 10:25 PM on December 12, 2006


I loved her voice. Her work often seemed to me like homemade, heartfelt valentines sent to the world. It sounds like knowing her was even better. It's awful to have that cut short.

.
posted by weston at 11:59 PM on December 12, 2006


I don't have the words. I never met Leslie in person, but we corresponded on and off over smug and other things over the years. She was the real deal and someone I highly admired.
posted by rich at 9:59 AM on December 13, 2006


It was hard not to know of Leslie and her work if you were getting caught up in all the buzz of the Web way before "dot com" was the Next Big Thing. It's unbelievable to think that she's not with us anymore. Condolences to all who knew and loved her -- she was most definitely a force.
posted by evixir at 10:09 AM on December 13, 2006


I stumbled on hoopla many years ago when I was 14 or so and realized the web was a place where artists, too, had staked a claim.

When I read this, I wanted to send the link to somebody to share the feeling with, but nobody I actually know knew of her or that era of web writing, life publishing, whatever you would call it. I didn't know her either, I don't think I'd ever even emailed her, but that's the point, I think, of the medium she helped get off the ground. A person's life online like a tree in a public garden. She was one of the oldest ones out there, a giant redwood of the internet.

So long.
posted by excitementMD at 10:25 AM on December 13, 2006


I first met Leslie when we were on the same team in Cool-Site-of-the-Day's East vs West build a web site in a day contest back in 1997. Despite our best efforts, us East coast designers were beaten by the good team from the West.

I am very saddened to hear of her death. She was honest, direct, and sincere --just the way I like 'em.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 11:01 AM on December 13, 2006


.
posted by nita at 12:45 PM on December 13, 2006


.
posted by Neale at 2:09 PM on December 13, 2006


.
posted by metrocake at 3:48 PM on December 13, 2006


.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:57 PM on December 13, 2006


.
posted by hot soup girl at 6:05 PM on December 13, 2006


.
posted by ab3 at 8:12 PM on December 13, 2006


she was wonderful to know and we never met.

seven years of occasional conversation and linking to one another. i don't think i can take the harpold link away.
posted by riley370 at 9:11 PM on December 13, 2006


this is so incredibly sad. i only met leslie in person a few times but i was fan of hers and in the early e-zine days of the web we egged each other on. i posted a brief remembrance on my blog.
posted by xian at 11:15 PM on December 13, 2006


God damn it.
posted by textist at 1:39 AM on December 14, 2006


That's awful.
posted by pracowity at 3:55 AM on December 14, 2006


.
posted by christian at 12:20 PM on December 14, 2006


.
posted by truenorth at 1:38 PM on December 14, 2006


.
posted by Cobbler at 4:30 PM on December 20, 2006


« Older "A fedora hat worn by me without the necessary pro...  |  The Daily Monster... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments