Yesterday, on the third floor of a west Houston office building, I had the opportunity—well the blessing, really—of being with some truly wonderful persons, discussing one of my favorite books, Russell Kirk’s Prospects for Conservatives. The roll call of participants: Father Donald Silvio Nesti, John Hittinger, John Rocha, Clint Brand, Bob Stacey, Glenn Davis, John Creech, Susanna Dukopil, Brittany Baldwin, Brian Hildebrand, and, our ever gracious hosts, Barbara and Winston Elliott. Houston’s finest, to be sure. We analyzed Kirk’s 1954 work for six solid hours, and we did so with wit, wisdom, appreciation, and, for the most part, budding hope for what such a book still means, even in a culture imbued with imperial decadence.
Yesterday was also a time of joyous celebration as the leader of this little platoon and remnant, Winston Elliott, reached the half-century mark. No man I know possesses the classical virtue of fortitude in more abundance than does Winston. For two thirds of his life—in a variety of causes, all ultimately leading to the One cause, that of the reestablishment and reformation of Christendom—Winston has fought relentlessly. He has fought with meaning. He has fought with purpose. He has fought well.
Though he doesn’t know it or recognize it, he’s a natural leader and a natural shaper of community.
I have known him for fifteen years now. Without his encouragement, I would not have pursued what I have pursued, written what I’ve written, or taught what I’ve taught (or where I’ve taught).
A voracious reader and bibliophile and organizer and believer and father and husband and activist and . . . and . . . and . . . and . . . . and, most importantly for me, friend, ally, and brother—our Winston Elliott.
Happy Birthday, Winston. May the next half century change because of your struggle for all that is good, true, and beautiful.
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