The Intellectual and the Cowboy - posted by Russ Hicks, June 12, 2005 to Remembering-Marty-Jezer, a yahoo group which was closed in 2007

I met Marty so many years ago both of us would never admit it. We were serving on a panel of some sort at a convention of the National Stuttering Association and I had heard of him and he had heard of me. I think we must have "met" on the Stutt-L internet discussion group in the early 90's. My vision of Marty was that he must have been an intellectual executive at some importance "back east" and his vision of me was that I was a wild west cowboy from Texas. I KNEW I was scared of him - and it was only years later that I read that he was probably even more scared of me! I think he must have thought I was going to shoot him with my six-guns or trample him with my horse. Ha, ha, ha! My big fear was that he was going to make me look like an idiot with his massive intellectual ability in front of the audience.

Nevertheless we both survived that panel discussion and we were both amazed that we really LIKED one another! We were both passionately interested the National Stuttering Association - we both stuttered significantly - and we kept in touch throughout the years mainly by email as we discussed every angle of stuttering and the people in the stuttering community. Every year Marty and I would come to the NSA convention early and get together and "hang out" in a restaurant or bar or anyplace we could find to simply site down and talk endlessly. I remember one particular convention in Anaheim in 2002, Marty and Vicki Schutter and Umberto Bellini and I met in the lobby of the hotel and immediately went to a restaurant to grab a bite and resume our passionate discussion from the prior year - as if no time had passed since that time. We must have sat in that restaurant booth for two hours talking and all of us stuttering away, no doubt driving the waitress crazy. I think they finally threw us out! We had SUCH a great time just talking and being together like that...

When I took over ownership of Stutt-L when Woody Starkweather retired, I knew that I couldn't begin to fill Woody's shoes without a LOT of help from some of my friends. So the very first one I asked to help was Marty. And of course he said yes, he'd be GLAD to help out. And he continued to be on my "advisory board" up to the day he died. And I will miss his sound, reasoned advice more than you can possibly imagine...

I remember when Marty's book "Stuttering: A Life Bound Up in Words" came out. He gave me a copy - personally autographed no less! And I was even mentioned in his book! I was soooo honored! Marty and I have always been on opposite sides of the political fence. I am a conservative and he was a dyed-in-the wool liberal. But we were very close to the same age and it was absolutely fascinating to read about the happenings during the Vietnam war from the polar opposite point of view. We were growing up at the same time, but in totally different worlds. I couldn't put the book down! It's one of the best books I've ever read. I've often thought it should be REQUIRED reading for everyone in the stuttering community. Of course it's mainly about stuttering, but Marty's humor and personality shines throughout the entire book. He and I agree almost exactly about the various aspects of stuttering and its treatment and the self help community.

I feel so lucky to have had Marty in my life. I'll miss him - and his smile and laughter and humor and passion about all things - more than you can ever know.

Rest of peace, Marty...

Russ Hicks
NSA Webmaster
and Stutt-L and NSACHAP owner