Apparently, Tristan Egolf is dead at 33.

Signing into my blog this morning, I found a new comment by a “dan bloom” (who has apparently been posting the comment, along with a photo of himself, to every blog he can find that mentions Egolf. I don’t much mind the spamlike actions in this case) talking about the writer’s death.

City writer, political activist found dead
Autopsy set for Tuesday

By P.j. Reilly
Intelligencer Journal

Published: May 09, 2005 9:40 AM EST


A Lancaster political activist and author was found dead in a city apartment early Saturday morning.

Tristan Egolf, 33, of the 300 block of West Lemon Street, was found dead inside an apartment in the 400 block of North Charlotte Street.

Sources said Egolf committed suicide with a shotgun.

City police would not comment on the incident Sunday. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.

Egolf was an activist for many causes in Lancaster County.

He was a member of, and unofficial spokesman for, the Smoketown Six, a group of six men who staged a protest during President Bush’s July 9, 2004, campaign visit to Smoketown.

Minutes before Bush’s tour bus reached its destination at a Smoketown business, seven men, including Egolf, stripped to thong underwear and piled on top of each other in an attempt to re-create one of the photographs from the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Iraq.

The men were arrested for disorderly conduct and detained until after the president left the area. One of the men escaped from police, and the remainder became known as the Smoketown Six.

Five of the men, including Egolf, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit accusing East Lampeter Township police, Pennsylvania State Police and U.S. Secret Service agents of violating the men’s right to free speech. The suit has not yet been settled.

A 1990 graduate of Hempfield High School, Egolf wrote three novels, “Lord of the Barnyard,” “Skirt & the Fiddle” and “Kornwolf.”

He was the son of Gary and artist Paula Egolf of Lancaster and the brother of actress Gretchen Egolf.

According to newspaper records, Egolf also is survived by a 2-year-old daughter.

From his publisher’s homepage:

Sad news… A sad sad Mother’s Day.

On 7 May 2005 at approximately 7:00am Tristan Egolf took his own life. (This is no joke.)

Author of Lord of the Barnyard and Skirt & The Fiddle, Tristan recently completed his third novel, Kornwolf.

Sonically, Tristan played frontman for the rather newly formed Doomed To Obscurity, and the previously inclined Kitchchao.

He has been working on fine-tuning the screenplay for Lord of the Barnyard and just finished a rock opera posing Iggy Pop, Meatloaf and a few others auditioning for lead vocals of Led Zeppelin.

After finishing his new novel, while caring for his daughter (Orla Story) with his fiancee, Tristan spent much of his time recently on politically motivated endeavors. After weeks of leading standard anti-war marches in Lancaster, he executed a fantastic bout for free speech through The Smoketown Six. (Federal suit still pending.) Soon after, he organized anti-Columbus Day rallies and even burned President Bush in effigy. (Well it was a figure with a huge 10 gallon hat and a big TEXAS belt riding a missle akin to Slim Pickens.)

Oddly, the plane that invaded White House air space on 11 May 2005 originated from the Smoketown Airport, here in Lancaster County.

There will be a Wake, a night of bachanalian revelry and libations galore, here on Tuesday, 17 May 2005. Starting at almost 10 o’clock p.m. (est)

If you wish to submit something to be read (or played) at the wake, feel free to forward it to:
michael (at) windmillsonline (dot) us

Tristan was a fantastically beloved brother, son, father, fiance and friend.
He is sorely missed. The demons finally caught up with him.

Other coverage:

I am crushed. Completely crushed. Abou will be, too. There just aren’t enough swear words in existence to portray my current anguish.

§614 · May 16, 2005 · ·

5 Comments to “Weeping and gnashing of teeth!”

  1. dan bloom says:

    I am crushed too.

    Email me. I didn’t mean to post the photo of me, that was goof. Just trying to find out if and what happened with Mr Egolf’s life and suicide. Email and we can chat. I am on your side. Not spamming. Am in touch with his editors, agent, etc, trying to piece this thing together. maybe you can help. — Dan

  2. Dan Bloom says:

    I found this on the Internet today. It seems to add some info to the continuing story of Tristan Egolf.


    “There really is a very interesting only-in-America backstory about Tristan Egolf’s
    life and suicide, it now turns out after reviewing material on the
    Internet, from Google searches to Yahoo windows, and even though the
    American media has
    still not reported much on this after he killed himself earlier in the
    year, [May 7, 2005], here is some more information. This is all
    meant as a healing.

    According to Internet searches, Tristan Egolf was the biological son of the
    writer and journalist
    Brad Evans, and his paternal grandfather is a man named Warren “Bing”
    Evans…of WWII
    ”Darby’s Rangers”. He is still alive.

    Earlier reports mentioned that Tristan’s natural
    father was a journalist in Europe when Tristian was born there, in Spain in fact.

    Brad Evans tragically committed suicide himself, in 1987…

    …..Brad Evans was also a brilliant
    writer (Norman Mailer is said to have once sent him a fan letter about Evans’ published short
    stories in print somewhere), or that….he also worked as a roving political campaign manager
    and newspaper commentary writer for
    some ultra-right-wing operatives, so much so that he incurred the wrath
    of some West Coast liberals and progressives.

    According to Internet sources, Tristan’s father Mr. Brad Evans was a
    brawny 6’6″ blond, bearded Viking/Hemingwayesque macho man (think
    with the bulls in Pamplona, and stuff like that, all true, they say), and he was
    also an international traveller adventurer (including
    rebuilding post-earthquake villages in Guatemala as a volunteer with Catholic
    charities). Brad Evans once personally met with PLO leader Yassir
    Arafat during the early 1980s
    in Beirut, perhaps for a news interview.

    In addition, Tristan’s ”godfather ” when he was born was none other than William F. Buckley, the famous
    conservative writer and publisher of The National Reviewa rightwing monthly magazine — Brad Evans
    was once a close friend of Willim F. Buckley. Evans was a speechwriter for Nixon and Agnew at the time.

    In addition, according to Internet websites, “California” magazine
    published two articles about Brad Evans’ flamboyant, gifted life and
    personal style during the early-mid-1980s, when he was working as a
    campaign manager for ultra-rightwing Senator John Schmitz of Orange
    Richard Trainor was the reporter who covered Evans, and the pieces he
    wrote were high drama, indeed. In fact, they were eerily
    prognosticative, one might say, upon reading them now.

    Both father and son were apparently sufferers of
    depression, and this was never explained in the media before.

    Of course, like all people, fans everywhere were saddened by Tristan’s gruesome choice of
    exit-strategies. May he rest in eternal peace, and may
    there be closure all around, among Tristan’s many fans and readers,
    among his publishers both in Europe and in the USA, and among literary
    critics and reviewers around the world. And, of course, for his
    surviving family members, mother, father, sister, daughter Orly, Orly’s mom Karla, half-brother, grandparents, all…… There is no doubt that
    Tristan Egolf was loved by many.”


    I found this info interesting. Maybe the national media will pick up on it.

  3. danny bloom says:

    A tragic, and familial, ending

    By Alex Beam,
    Boston Globe Columnist
    June 30, 2005

    The recent death of 33-year-old Tristan Egolf, a novelist cursed with promise at an early age, has given rise to a literary detective story. Obituaries published last month failed to name Egolf’s birth father, Brad Evans, a flamboyant writer, political activist, and right-wing adventurer who shared many of his son’s gifts and demons — and who, like his son, died by his own hand.

    Egolf’s brief life story reads like a fairy tale. A punk rocker turned street busker in Paris, he struck up an acquaintance with the daughter of Patrick Modiano, a prominent French author and screenwriter (”Lacombe Lucien”). Modiano helped publish Egolf’s first novel, ”Lord of the Barnyard,” in France. Subsequently published in Britain and the United States, ”Barnyard” received gushing reviews. Le Monde likened Egolf to Mark Twain, J.P. Donleavy, and Cormac McCarthy. The French daily and the Times of London both compared Egolf — presciently, it turned out — to John Kennedy Toole, the talented New Orleans novelist who killed himself at age 32.

    Outside his writing, Egolf achieved some renown as a political agitator. In July 2004, Egolf and a group of friends — the ”Smoketown Six” — were arrested in Lancaster, Pa., for stripping down to thong underwear and piling on top of one another during a visit by President Bush, to protest the treatment of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison. Also last year, he organized an anti-Columbus Day rally and burned President Bush in effigy. You can hear Egolf discuss his protests on his multimedia website,

    The trajectory of Egolf’s life eerily parallels that of his birth father, Evans, who was divorced from Egolf’s mother, Paula, when Tristan was a little boy. (Tristan was adopted by his stepfather, Gary Egolf.) Evans was a University of Louisville football star who worked on riverboats and at a small newspaper in Kentucky before drifting into the ambit of William F. Buckley’s National Review magazine. Buckley’s sister Patricia and her husband, L. Brent Bozell Jr., were Tristan’s godparents.

    Moving further to the right in a society that was tilting leftward, Evans became a speechwriter for right-wing politicians and a publicist/activist for extreme-right fringe groups such as Bozell’s militantly prolife Sons of Thunder, which had declared ”a state of war” between the Catholic Church and the US government. At the end of his life, Evans claimed to have been engaging in paramilitary operations in Central America, according to his father, Warren Evans, and Amber Faith, the mother of Brad Evans’s third child. All of his children — Tristan, Gretchen, and Siegfried — were named after characters from Wagner operas. ”He was very Wagnerian,” says Faith, who lived with Evans for six years.

    ”Brad was approached constantly by these soldier-of-fortune types — they really freaked me out,” says Faith, who ended her relationship with Evans shortly before his death from a drug overdose in 1987. ”He died under questionable circumstances,” says his father. ”It was called suicide.”

    To what extent, if any, was Tristan Egolf’s swashbuckling literary and political lifestyle influenced by his father? The two met only a few times before Evans’s death, although Tristan later developed a close relationship with his Evans grandparents, living on a farm near them in Indiana a few years ago. ”I had the feeling that Tristan had a crush on Brad,” says his godmother, Patricia Bozell. ”Brad was this wonderful, Errol Flynn-like guy. Can you imagine being his son?” ”He remembered his dad very well and rather idolized him,” Warren Evans says. ”They were a fascinating and, for a grandfather, a sometimes heartbreaking story.”

    Why was Brad Evans purged from his son’s obituaries? ”I’m speculating, but I think Paula didn’t want to share her grief with us,” Warren Evans says. ”I know the family has been extremely tight-lipped about Tristan’s father,” says Judy Hottensen, publicity director at Egolf’s publisher, Grove/Atlantic. Reached at her home in Lancaster, Pa., Tristan’s mother, Paula, decried the interest in her first husband and said, ”I am not going to tell you anything.”

    Tristan Egolf’s third novel, ”Kornwolf,” will be published in January.

    Alex Beam is a Globe columnist. His email address is

    [© Copyrighted 2005 Globe Newspaper Company]

  4. abou says:

    That is some very interesting stuff you posted, Dan. I really appreciate it; as does Heliologue, I imagine.

  5. sashka says:

    I’m one of tristan’s daughter , i’d like to talk to “dan bloom” but i cant find his mail , contact me on

Leave a Reply