Hard Losses: Larry West, Bill Eisman, Darrell Ringer CrossRoads mourns the deaths of three dedicated activists and dear friends, each lost tragically before their time. Larry West, 39, died of AIDS in San Diego November 12, 1993. Active in the gay/lesbian movement, the solidarity movement and the socialist left in Madison, Wisconsin and Chicago, Larry was a treasured friend of many of us who launched CrossRoads. Marcy Rein, now managing editor of News for a People's World, crafted this message for a December 12 memorial for Larry in Chicago: "We knew Larry for what seems only a minute, really, though it was a minute pregnant with dreams....Many of us first met Larry in 1987, when the revolutionary organization we worked with held a conference on `the lesbian/gay question.' For all its embracing of many contradictions, the socialist movement had been slow on that one -- so this meeting was a heartfelt coming together for many of us, Larry especially. It gave almost a sense of coming home for someone who refused in his low-key way to ever hide any of who he was, his sexuality or politics or humor or any of it... Not that the meld was easy all the time, but somehow Larry remained remarkably free of bitterness. He was empathetic, with an eye for the big picture. Though he found out he was HIV-positive at the same time many of our dreams/illusions/organizations were shattering, he was careful to listen to everyone around, cared that they were getting through it all right." Veteran activist Bill Eisman died November 18 from injuries suffered when he fell from a ladder outside his home. He was 71. In 1979 Bill helped found the U.S.-Vietnam Friendship Association, which he co-chaired with his wife Beatrice. He made numerous visits to Vietnam and was preparing to go again in January to bring supplies and support. Shortly before his death he had also finished collecting a shipment of medical goods for the 1994 Friendshipment to Cuba. Bill was a member of the Committees of Correspondence in Northern California, chairing the region's Peace and Solidarity Task Force. Donations in memory of Bill Eisman can be made to the Vietnam Friendship Village Project U.S.A., 849 Almar Avenue, Suite C-194, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. Darrell Ringer, a widely respected progressive farm and labor organizer in western Kansas and a leader of the National Committee for Independent Political Action, was killed in an tractor accident December 7. Darrell was 40, survived by his wife Margaret and five children. Darrell and Margaret were indicted for leading a militant protest in the early 1980s against a farm foreclosure. In 1984 Darrell ran for Congress, and in 1986 he came within a few percentage points of winning the Democratic primary in an effort to run against Bob Dole for U.S. Senate. Darrell sacrificed for his commitment to fighting the powers-that-be; he lost a farm in the mid-'80s and was fired from a packing plant in 1992 because he was organizing with his fellow workers. Darrell and Margaret were struggling to hold onto the new small farm they had acquired; it will now be even more difficult for Margaret. Contributions can be sent to Margaret Ringer, Box 224, Concordia, KS 66901.