Rest in Peace, Julia Miranda

Julia and her brother, Luthor Miranda, at the only rave held in the last 15 years in New Hampshire - at the Laser Center in Hooksett

Julia and her brother, Luthor Miranda, at the only rave held in the last 15 years in New Hampshire – at the Laser Center in Hooksett

Julia Miranda, the first true love of my life, passed away last weekend at age 34. Julia moved to New Hampshire with me in 2006 as part of the Free State Project. She was a longtime co-host of Free Talk Live, originating here in Keene, where she lived and once even ran for office. Her boyfriend and former FTL co-host and comic artist Marcus Connor spoke at her memorial service in Peterborough yesterday and shared some kind words from one of the many listeners of Free Talk Live who she touched with her witty, compassionate, and intelligent comments on-the-air. Julia loved electronic music, especially the Happy Hardcore subgenre. Since she discovered them as a young teen, Julia also loved attending raves and it was her passion for the electronic music scene that led her to my radio show, Free Talk Live.

In October of 2005, there was a ridiculous and shocking police raid against a peaceful rave in Utah. The raid included a helicopter hovering with spotlights and armed men rappelling down to violently kidnap approximately sixty people whose only crime was dancing without government permission. It was an outrage, but for the rave community, it was nothing new. Police had been harassing and arresting ravers for more than a decade prior to the Utah rave raid in 2005.

Because of her rave community connections, Julia heard our broadcast on Free Talk Live where we discussed the Utah rave and she was amazed that anyone in the media would actually empathize with the situation and further, support her right to live life how she wanted. After listening to Free Talk Live and later calling in to tell her own personal story of police harassment and arrest over cannabis possession, Julia sent me a very nice email. From that moment, our lives were never the same, and we would be forever intertwined, for the better.

It wasn’t long before Julia had signed the Free State Project‘s pledge to migrate to New Hampshire and moved in with me in my house in Florida. She’d lived on the East coast of Florida for years, while I’d lived on the West coast for my whole life to that point. Within months, we’d made the move to New Hampshire on Labor Day of 2006 as partners.

As Dave Ridley remembers in his recent video memorial for Julia, she excitedly ran for city council, and was horrified by the experience:

Beyond being threatened by the Attorney Genital over her campaign promise to return her paycheck to the people, a local politico had come into Panera, where she worked as a manager at the time, and bugged her about her campaign. For her, this was an unacceptable result of political action and she decided she wanted nothing to do with the process from then on. Politics is a nasty business and it wasn’t right for Julia, understandably. She decided to focus more on her career, our relationship sadly ended, and after working for years in the corporate world, she became a self-taught graphic designer.

Without ever having spent a single day inside a college classroom, Julia became a capable and competent graphic artist while working in the charitable giving department of C&S Grocers, one of Keene’s major employers. That was what Julia did – she mastered anything she set her mind to.

Julia in Toronto before the last Hullabaloo

Julia in Toronto, feeling great before the last Hullabaloo

She was super-smart and also very beautiful. It was a pleasure to be her partner for as long as I was. I’m definitely a better person today because I knew her.

While there was a time when Julia and my eventual teenage love, Renee were not close, thankfully they ended up becoming great friends, as I hoped they would. Renee loved raves as much as Julia, and Julia ultimately became her “rave mom”.

After leaving the corporate world, Julia set out as a freelance graphic designer and took a Christmas season job at Target in Keene to help pay the bills. Since she excelled at everything, they of course asked her to stay on after the holiday season. Julia always had an inspirational work ethic, and loved her new job in the electronics department. With her lifelong love for robots and computers, it was an easy fit for a her.

While the autopsy has not yet come in, I suspect her early demise at only age 34 had to do with an injury she recently suffered in her workplace, where two weeks before her death, she accidentally turned around and ran into a metal column, and as she described it to me, “almost got knocked the fuck out”. Apparently she did not go to the hospital, despite being laid out on the floor by the impact. Like Julia, I dislike hospitals and would probably have done what she likely did, brushed herself off and went back to work, as best as she could.

Julia passed away last week at an electronic music festival in New York. Renee and others were with her at the time, so she was with those who loved her, at a place where she felt at home. Some will take the easy road and blame drugs for her early death. Those people didn’t know Julia. No one I’ve ever known in my life was more careful about recreational drug use than Julia. She always tested what she’d acquired and spent time researching what she chose to put in her body. She also made it her mission to educate other ravers and anyone who was willing to listen, about responsible recreational drug use.

Julia and Ravage

Julia, aka “Soundwave”, and our kitty Ravage

She was an inspiration, kind, intelligent, compassionate and generous. I’m so grateful to have had the privilege of spending my time with her. She was both my sharpest critic and also my first love. Most of the time, she was right. I am so thankful that at the end of her short 34 years, we’d again become good friends. In fact, we were supposed to have dinner together at Pho Keene Great this week.

Julia had used her graphical prowess to design the excellent logos for my recent activist projects Cryptotip and Bitcoin Embassy New Hampshire. Her talents were, as always, outstanding. She even took the time to explain in detail the reasons she’d made the graphical design choices she did. Her rationale was always impressive.

She touched the lives of countless people through her rave life and her radio career which spanned both the nationally syndicated radio show “Free Talk Live” and the subsequent comedic podcast “Puke and the Gang“. Julia spent many weeks over her entire life constructing elaborate kandi bracelets and necklaces for her loved ones and total strangers and distributed then at the various Happy Hardcore rave parties she attended from her time in Florida through her time in New Hampshire. Her talent was exceptional and her outlook eminently positive.

Surely, I could go on. She was wonderful. I love you, Julia and thank you for all you did in your amazing time here. Wherever you are now, I know you’re feeling great.

Julia and I at a Panera Christmas party more than a decade ago.

Julia and I at a Panera Christmas party more than a decade ago.

Now you can subscribe to Free Keene via email!

Don't miss a single post!


17 Comments

  1. Beautiful memorial. So sorry for your loss Ian.

  2. Godspeed, Julia.

  3. Thank you, Andrea.

  4. While I never got to know Julia it sounds like she was an amazing person. It’s sad to hear she’s left us.

  5. She inspired more people than she could ever know, including me. If a stranger like me being moved to tears by this loss is an indication of her impact on the world, then I hope to live as she did.

  6. Thanks for writing this, Ian. I suspect it was my words that Marcus shared at the funeral, though I have no doubt that many others were touched by her time on FTL as well. I deeply appreciate you sharing your story of Julia. I knew you had dated, but didn’t know the extent of your history together. I know things were hard between you for a time and I am so glad to know your relationship had healed before she was taken from us.

    I only talked with Julia a handful of times but it was obvious that she was a very special person. The world is worse off for her passing.

    Sending love to you all out there.

  7. I noticed that Renee got a robot tattoo with a blue heart to honor Julia. If you’re considering something similar, I’m thinking a tattoo of the decepticon Soundwave, standing tall, with a blue heart on his chest, and Rumble, Laser Beak, and Ravage at his feet, also with blue hearts on their chests would make for a nice tribute to her memory.

  8. This is such a sad thing to hear. Julia was a good friend of mine. We met on the FTL message board. I’d messaged her because I wanted to make a FTL shirt. There was a picture of her and Ian where she was wearing a T-shirt with the shows logo. They didn’t have merchandise so I figured she made it and asked her about it. From there, we became good friends and would talk online all the time. Starting from her early days in Sarasota to the move to Keene and several years more. We shared a lot of good times with each other and some bad.

    Ian shared an example here. I remember the night she said attorney genital on air and ya laughing about it that night after the show.

    As happens, we drifted apart as life took us on different paths. I also drifted away from the show and haven’t listened for years. I came here to see if you were talking about a specific topic that came up recently but saw this. I’m a little sad that we hadn’t had the occasional conversation over the years now but I’m more grateful in the memories of that time we talked often. It was enough to last a lifetime. Knowing her will always define an era of my life that I will alway remember. I will always remember her.

    Ian, Mark, and everyone, I hope you are all getting through this as best you can. I hope it doesn’t take too long before thinking about her makes you happy and not sad.

    Chris

  9. Shocked and saddened to read this. Even though I live in Europe and never met or spoken to any of the Free Talk Live hosts, when you’ve been a daily listener since 2011 (and also listened to Puke and the Gang and other podcasts) you can’t help getting emotional.

  10. I don’t think it’s a good idea to automatically jump to the defense of drugs, when you seem to know she did some and the cause of death is still unknown, even if she IS responsible and careful.
    I bet, if there are percentages of how young people die; drugs and drug related causes are probably near the top of the list.
    It probably exactly as Ian said.
    But young people die from drugs and drug related causes that is indisputable and sad.

  11. RIP

  12. Ian, I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful memorial you wrote about Julie. It is very sad that Julie died so young and I hope she is with us in spirit.

  13. Sorry I mistyped Julia’s name in my first comment. I apologize for my mistake here.

  14. I met Julia through Ian, and I can’t really find the words to say. I’m sorry for your loss Ian and all of those who were lucky enough to have known Julia. I will never forget the awesomeness that she brought to the world.

  15. Sorry for your loss Ian

    I am a mexican podcast listener of FTL since 2006, this news hit me like a bucket of cold water, I got to know a little more about her life as I listen to the Puke and the Gang podcast, and in fact she was a very responsible as well as an awesome woman, my prayers go to her.

  16. i guess people have to say nice things aboot dead people.. except like Hitler… Well she didn’t have death camps so that’s good..

  17. So sorry to learn about this! She was such a beautiful and marvelous person. Great piece, Ian. My deepest sympathies.

Care to comment?