the weeks brothersThis afternoon (Sunday), Michael and I drove up to Rockville, Md., to the home of my friend Linton Weeks and his wife, Jan Taylor Weeks. We had to park a block away. Dozens and dozens of people had come to their house.

On Thursday night, Linton and Jan’s two sons, Stone and Holt Weeks, were killed in a horrible car wreck on I-81 in Virginia. Stone was 24 and Holt was 20. They lived in Houston (Holt was going to be a junior at Rice University; Stone, a University of Delaware alum, worked as a researcher at Rice for the historian Douglas Brinkley). They were driving home to Maryland for a visit and to attend Brinkley’s book reading. They were almost there — maybe another hour away. A slowdown on the interstate. A tractor-trailer failed to stop and slammed into the Weeks brothers’ car. Their dog died too.

I’ve known Linton a long time. He was a writer in the Style section at The Post and part of my regular lunch posse. He’s one of the nicest, even-tempered and funniest people I’ve ever worked with, just a real gentle soul and a very clear writer. And such a great dad. Because I wasn’t close to my own father, who died in 2007, I’m always impressed by the men I know who seem to have really worked hard at being fathers, how part of it is luck and part of it is steadiness and determination.

Linton took the Post buyout offer last year, left Style, and was immediately scooped up by National Public Radio, where he’s a national correspondent for their web site. I was in the NPR building doing a show about two weeks ago, and when it was over, I stopped by his cubicle and we talked and laughed for a while. He walked me down to the lobby.

Sunday, Linton and Jan were in front of their house greeting all the people who came by. I hugged Linton and he remembered that we’d just seen each other at his office. He told me: I will never be that person again.

I wished I’d had something better to say than “I don’t know what to say.” Because I do know what to say, now, hours later: Linton, you just be here, be whatever person you can be, and I’ll take it.

Wakes are a powerful thing. Walking up to the house, you brace yourself for the unspeakable grief within — a couple has lost their only children.  And, yes, it’s there, but so is the love. My God, those people are loved.

The funeral is next Sunday at the National Cathedral. I feel sorry for whomever has to give the sermon. People of course want to know the impossible; why horrible things happen to good people. I suppose that part of the problem is that the world is mostly filled with good, nice people, ergo the odds. But we’re talking about the very worst thing and the very nicest people. That’s what I can’t get my head around.


  1. Leanne Potts on July 27, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Even bad people don’t deserve this. How do you even go on living when both your children die at once?

  2. Lex on July 28, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about this. I exchanged some friendly letters withLinton, whom I’ve never met in person, back in his Southern Magazine days. What a horrible thing to have happen.

  3. Jolene on July 28, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    A terribly, terribly sad story beautifully told. Stay close to them. It will mean a lot to them

  4. Desson Thomson on July 28, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    You speak for so many of us who love Linton – and Jan.

  5. Jerry Barboa on July 29, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    Damn Hank,
    This hits close to home. I have two sons. I would not survive without them. Excellent writing, extremely sad story. My condolences to the family.

  6. JoEllen Murphy on July 30, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    I am glad you were able to put this into words.
    This is the saddest thing imaginable to happen to one of the nicest men I know.

  7. Taylor Young on July 31, 2009 at 12:05 am


    You are right that Linton is such a great dad. I am one of Jan & Linton’s cousin’s. I remember in 2003, right before I got married we were at a family reunion in Ocean City, NJ and Stone was finishing up Senior Week at Dewey Beach DE. Stone was to take the Lewes-Cape May ferry to meet up with the reunion. Instead of just picking Stone up in Cape May, Linton took his car on the ferry to DE, picked him up and returned some 6 or 7 hours later and thought nothing of it and obviously enjoyed going to pick him up. I asked him why not just pick Stone up on the Jersey side and said that he was looikg forward to spendig time with Stone. I remember thinking, “Wow, what a devoted father!” Now I have 4 year-old red-headed boy and a little girl and I understand the joy that Linton got from going to pick up his son.

  8. Jane Lemperg on August 3, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    I think about Linton and Jan everyday. Hope they can continue their lives in comfort and peace because their sons would have wanted it that way. Wonderful people, all of them.

  9. Mary Morris on August 4, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Thank you for your beautiful blog post. I was out of town when I heard. It is good to know that Linton and Jan were embraced by so much love and support. My heart and prayers go out to them, too.

  10. Carol Preston on August 11, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Our son played baseball with Stone in elementary school on the team
    coached by Steve Newman. Stone was a great hitter. Linton watched
    Stone with one eye while he played catch with ‘little’ Holt.

    Stone, lithe and athletic, more often hit the ball well into the
    field. How quickly that memory flooded back into my mind. There
    are no words to wrap around this heartbreak.

  11. Chris White on August 12, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Nice writing on something so heartbreakingly sad.

    I was part of the crew that helped out with the coverage of Katrina and Linton stopped by the “gator camp” to resupply, clean up…. and tell stories, of course.

    Like you said, he has a great sense of humor and a solidness about him, and whenver he spoke of Stone or Holt, he’d always light up a few more notches. It was clear to see that this is a dad who put in the effort to be a plugged in father and loves his boys immensely.

  12. Eva Guggenheim on March 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Mr. Steuver,

    I am an alum of Rhodes College (formerly Southwestern at Memphis). I was younger than Linton and Jan so I did not
    know them well. I remember how much in love they were, however.

    Your words brought tears to my eyes, sir. I found out about their heart-stopping loss in the Rhodes alumni magazine. I have thought about them a lot; I have two sons about the same ages as Holt and Stone.

    I do hope that Jan and Linton have found some solid ground now that a little time has passed, but Linton was correct: he will never be that person again. Sincerely, Eva

  13. Toni Gjini on January 5, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    I knew Holt from school, he was the nicest person I have ever met… literally. Even when mistreated, he acted with such grace and nobility. I was at a loss for words when I heard what happened. I too had a similar conflict to the writer. How can such a good person have such a cruel end? I hope that Mr. and Mrs. Weeks find some modicum of peace and tranquility because only angels could have raised a person like Holt.

  14. Dorothy D Fitts on August 20, 2021 at 7:57 pm

    So very sorry for your loss…Proud of you and your wife for the wonderful things you are creating. I am quite sure I knew your parents in Memphis during the 50`s.
    I worked for Sears as did your Dad….He was quite a gentle man. We talked a few times after his move to Atlanta…. They would have been so crushed over your grief…..Keep up the fight…I was such a big fan of Sourthern…so had to end.

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