Awhile back I identified Tee Morris as a “servant-leader” in the world of podcasting and new media.1 One quality of a servant-leader is that he or she earns our respect and obedience by setting an example of dedication — not only to the cause, but also to the welfare of the followers themselves. Tee Morris — teacher, author, storyteller, podcaster extraordinaire — has earned his status through unstinting and enthusiastic dedication to helping others find their way through the obstacle courses of podcasting, new media, and marketing, as well as providing marvelous entertainment through the Morevi historical fantasy novels and the Billibub Baddings mysteries (available in print and audio).
Now we, the led, have the opportunity to support this man who has supported us.
Tee’s wife, Natalie, has been there through his career to provide needed love and support. I’ve felt a kind of kinship with Tee in this regard, for I gather her situation was somewhat like my wife’s: observing from the sidelines, not all that sure at first what this “podcasting” thing was all about, but pleased and supportive once she met the caster-listener community. Tee has carefully guarded her privacy and their daughter’s; this is why, when mentioning his daughter in his work, he has used the code name “Sonic Boom.”2
But privacy cannot always stand against events. On 6 January 2010, Natalie Morris passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. Her absence means that a five-year-old girl no longer has a mother, and a husband no longer has his partner. It also means medical and funeral expenses for a working man, plus other expenses involved in keeping a family healthy, sane, and together.
If you are not familiar with Tee’s work, please check out his web site, teemorris.com, and you’ll see the many things this energetic, dedicated man has done. If you do know him and his work, then I have a request to make of you: Please use the widget beneath this article, or connect to this ChipIn page, and contribute to a fund set up by Tee’s friend and co-author Philippa Ballantine for the purpose of meeting the aforementioned expenses. Even if you cannot give much (which in this economy is understandable), it adds up.
A memorial page for Natalie is on line, and you can leave messages there. It also contains funeral and memorial information, plus links to all three of the projects mentioned here.
Tee Morris is a man I’ve never met in person, yet I consider him a friend. He has never hesitated to use his considerable talent to encourage, to teach, to prod, and to entertain. He’s tackled large projects, made them work (or known the reason why), and taught their lessons to others.
The project he’s facing now is a big one. And it would help if we could provide a large work crew.
Nearly seventeen thousand dollars have come in during the first seven days of this appeal. As Ms. Ballantine noted to me, “It shows the quality of the Captain.”
A servant-leader. I rest my case.
As the funeral expenses have now been met, further contributions — and we still ask for them — will go toward the trust fund for Sonic Boom. Thank you, one and all.
Finally, please take a moment to view “Trois,” a twelve-minute film prepared by Tee as a tribute to Natalie. I’d tell you it’s excellent, moving, revealing, and any number of other accolades, but you don’t need my word on it. Please watch it for yourself.
- There are others I haven’t mentioned yet. Remind me to tell you about Podcasting’s Rich Sigfrit sometime. Or, better, listen to P.G. Holyfield’s delightful interview with him. There’s a reason for his nickname. [↩]
- The name was bestowed at the time Mur Lafferty’s Playing for Keeps, a novel about superheroes, appeared. A superheroic label seemed appropriate — and from what I hear about SB’s energy level, this one is spot-on. [↩]