Blogger Jeff Simmermon, whose recent disagreement with Murky Coffee in Arlington and its iced espresso policy grabbed headlines, has turned his attention toward more weighty matters. Simmermon is using his blog, And I Am Not Lying, to raise money for the family of Marisol Caceres, the 12-year-old girl found strangled in her Northeast home.
The blogger knows the victim’s stepbrother, Jose Andrade. In an Aug. 6 post, Simmermon tells how he interviewed Andrade in 2006 “about a walkout he and YARG [Youth Action Research Group] put together at his high school to support a just immigration reform.”
The writer took an automatic shine to the worldly teen:
Not only was he the most thoughtful, intelligent, precocious and wise 19-year-olds I’d ever met – he may have been one of the wisest human beings I’d ever met. Once he opened up to me a little, he was this busted fire hydrant of knowledge about philosophy, classical music, video games and maybe jazz, too. The only organ bigger than Jose’s mind is his heart. I remember a lot of late nights at our friend Danielle’s place, him telling me about growing up in Columbia Heights while I made us dinner.
Though he didn’t know Marisol personally, Simmermon says he “saw her effect on Jose, and I could feel his love for her just pour out of him when he told me how smart she was, how kind and giving she was even as such a little girl.”
After a few more earnest words, the blogger asks his readers to dig deep into their pocket: “Marisol’s family needs money now. They need it badly.” Among other things, the family needs money to move: “Imagine having to come home to that same apartment every night.” A PayPal “Make a Donation” button appears toward the end of the post.
Via e-mail, Simmerman says that the last time he checked, which was Monday, readers had ponied up $2,000.
He adds that the donations aren’t the only positives being generated by the post: Marisol’s relatives and friends are connecting with each other in the comments section. Particularly moving is a note of support written to Jose Andrade, and left by his evidently estranged father, Jose H. Andrade Sr.:
Son You may not want to read this but I hope you do, I want you to know that I LOVE YOU with all my heart and I wish you would let me help you, you are not alone just open your heart and let me in.
your friend talks very nice about you, so I know you have a big heart Henry jr. I always wanted to be part of your life and now more than ever, son life is short lets not waste more time. I can not fix the past but the future can be better. We remember Marisol when she was little and we know how much you love her. Tell you mom and your sister that we’re very sad for your lose and that we’re HERE to help this is my email andrade***** I LOVE YOU Darling, Sabrina y Kevin.