Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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May 15, 2015

In memoriam of Blair graduate Lowell Ensel

by Zoe Johnson, Online Editor-in-Chief
As we grieve for Lowell's passing and celebrate his life, we would like to provide a forum for current or former Blazers, family members, friends, peers, teachers and all others to share memories and thoughts of Lowell. To contribute, please email your remembrances to editors.sco@gmail.com.

How would you describe Lowell?

"Lowell was going to be there—we just expected that he'd be there. Lowell was a foundation in the sense that when in doubt, we knew we could call him. He was kind, generous, easygoing, intelligent, organized. He had these little quirks that we would always try to describe when we describe Lowell. He had a lot of habits that drove us insane but we loved him anyway. He was very unique. At the core of it, he was an incredible kid. He thought everything was funny. He was down for whatever." – Blair class of '13 graduate Emma Lurye

"Lowell was just one of the kindest, most thoughtful young men I ever met--and he was extremely talented. One of the things I admired about him was that he could relate to everyone, from all walks of life, no matter what. He had friends in every program. He could just reach out to people. It was a remarkable trait." – English teacher Vickie Adamson

"He was enthusiastic and he was constantly excited about something. He was so determined. He was passionate about so many things, and we used to make fun of him because he was just such a nerd. And he was kind. He was one of those people who saw the best in everyone, to a fault. He was the kind of the person who brought everyone in his life together, and that was when he was happiest, when he was surrounded by the people he loved. He was kind, he was funny, he was wickedly smart…he was the kind of person with a very magnetic personality. People wanted to be around him." – Blair class of '13 graduate Rachel Mussenden

"Full of energy. Always enthusiastic, always laughing, smiling. He was definitely a leader, and he was always the one to pick people up if they were feeling down, encourage people if things weren't going so well, and he was always willing to do whatever was necessary to help the team, very unselfish." – Blair class of '13 graduate Adam Lott

"Honestly, the greatest person you could ever know. We called him Mr. Sunshine because he was just the happiest person, he was always smiling, always laughing, always cracking jokes. He was the greatest person you could have in your life. He just had so much spirit, and he was so incredibly kind. He made you feel so special. He was the sunshine in a world full of rain. I miss him terribly. I don't know how any of us are going to live in a world without someone like Lowell Ensel there. His kindness was something you don't see very often, and it's something the world needs." – Blair senior MaryClare Callahan

"Lowell was the guy you always wanted to see with your son. He was smart, smiling, goofy – literally dancing when the pressure became most intense. He was a senior two years ago…and he wrapped Max and the other younger players in his warmth as he welcomed them to his team." – Blair parent Richard Salzman

"He was such a kind person. Genuinely kind. There are people who you want to have around you because they help everyone else get along. They fill awkward silences, they're congenial…they make everyone feel better, more comfortable. He's one of those people." – English teacher Miriam Plotinsky

"It's important for us to let people know that we found solace in knowing that he was happy—that you would just know. He had an internship at this office, and once someone said to him, 'Do you realize you're always smiling?' And he said, 'I never thought about it,' and he was smiling. When I think of him, the first thing I think of is his smile." – Blair class of '13 graduate Emma Lurye

"Lowell was just very genuine. You knew what his opinion was on everything. He'd have a very strong opinion, and we'd make fun of him, but he wouldn't change anything about it. He didn't really care what people thought. If you didn't know him when you met him, you'd know who he was pretty much immediately. He would just say, 'I miss you,' or 'I appreciate what you just did.' If you were in the car with him, he'd just say, 'I love you.' You always knew what he felt. He was very expressive." – Blair class of '13 graduate David Pilsk

Fond memories

"Once, we were in the car driving to Ocean City, and he was doing something annoying and I was yelling at him, and he was just like, 'Oh, I missed you.' That was so Lowell. That I was yelling at him and he said he had missed me." – Blair class of '13 graduate Emma Lurye

"A lot of my best memories of him are just of going over to his house and sitting and watching movies and talking. We were both really interested in film—he wanted to be a director and I wanted to be a screenwriter—and when we were in middle school we started writing this script, this terrible movie, and he was just so excited about it. He wanted to do it so bad. And he wrote all these movies, and would just bring everyone together and bring the story to life. And it was so cool. He was just a cool dude." – Blair class of '13 graduate Rachel Mussenden

"He always did this thing, whenever he was pitching, where after he would finish with the batter, he would take a lap around the mound. And he had this really sassy walk. And it was hilarious—it was just him getting down to business. It was the greatest thing ever." – Blair senior MaryClare Callahan
Lowell Ensel, third from left, sits with the cast of his film "In the Midterm." Courtesy of Trey Sherman
Lowell Ensel, third from left, sits with the cast of his film "In the Midterm."

"I ask a question the first day of Creative Writing, 'Why you came here,' and his answer was really focused: he said, 'I'm here because I make movies and I want to learn how to write scripts for movies and do better with them.' And he was really focused on that goal, but that wasn't all he did. It was pretty cool that he made scripts and then he would film them and show them to us, but the way he made other people feel about themselves was incredible. There was this one girl who was really shy and in her shell and I could tell that she didn't think very much about her writing, and he was always telling her, whenever she said anything, how funny she was, or how smart, or 'I wish I could do that!' kinds of comments. And I just watched her blossom and get more and more into it, and I think it was pretty much because of him. It was him, making that happen. That was just the environment he nurtured in the class, the most positive place. Whenever anyone brought in baked goods, he'd be like, 'This is the best thing! It's the best day!' He was a happy, happy guy." – English teacher Miriam Plotinsky

"Everyone associates Lowell with Childish Gambino, because he just loved him. And Lowell had every single song on his phone; he had everything from 'It's Raining Men' to Aly and AJ to 'Freaks and Geeks.' We were always talking about how one day we would all be Lowell and come to school in plaid shorts and have a lunch with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and chocolate milk and a Rice Krispies treat and applesauce. He ate that every day from kindergarden to college." – Blair class of '13 graduate Emma Lurye

"I wouldn't be the same person I am today if it wasn't for Lowell Ensel. Back in 9th grade I was considering quitting baseball, and when Lowell heard about he immediately found me at practice. He told me that if I quit I would be making the biggest mistake of my life, and honestly he was right. Lowell embodied everything about Blair baseball that makes it so special. He cared deeply about everyone on the team, played the game hard, and enjoyed the opportunity to play every time he got it. I never knew him super well, but he still had an impact on my life. Thank you Lowell, and RIP." – Blair senior John Ramsey

"One thing I keep thinking of—baseball was a big thing for us; we played together for a long time. There was one time in middle school when there was a hurricane or tropical storm or something, and we decided we'd play whiffle ball in his backyard during the storm. That just keeps popping up. It was like, well, we don't care, we're going to play whiffle ball." – Blair class of '13 graduate David Pilsk

"It was senior year, and a bunch of people had spent the night at his house, and we decided in the morning that we wanted to go to the Tastee Diner for breakfast. So we went there, and we were all there ordering our food, eggs or pancakes or whatever, and Lowell says to the waiter, 'I'll have a bacon cheeseburger and a root beer.' And we're like, Lowell, what's wrong with you? And he was like, 'What are you talking about? It tastes good. I don't understand the problem.' That was just so him. To just not care what anyone else thought and do whatever he wanted and not understand why other people thought it was weird. That was very unique to him, that he would do that." – Blair class of '13 graduate Adam Lott

"He made this movie towards the end of the year called "The Last Day," about the last day on earth. And he needed a mom and a baby, so they came to my house over spring break to film. And in order for that scene to work, he had a lot of clocks going on in different scenes, and he bought this alarm clock that had a monkey face on it. My son loved the alarm clock. He thought it was such a cool clock. And Lowell just gave it to him. He was like, 'Here, you can keep it, it's for him.' It was something that he did that was kind, and he pulled people in. He was someone who wanted to experience things with other people, and make them feel like they were special. And I think that's why he was special." – English teacher Miriam Plotinsky

"Junior year I would go into Creative Writing tired and stressed but that class would brighten my day. One of the people who always managed to bring me joy was Lowell. I'm still in denial about his passing. Lowell, you'll be missed so dearly." – Blair class of '14 graduate Chala Tshitundu

"In 8th grade, he printed out this picture of me from a Facebook profile or something and wrote my name, my number and 'Relationship Adviser' on a piece of cardboard. He always took things to another level—that's such a Lowell thing to do." – Blair class of '13 graduate Emma Lurye

"When we graduated, I pretty much fell off the radar, until Monday, when our friend called to tell me. I had always sort of told myself that I needed time and distance and when I had had enough time and distance I could come back and it would be okay. This has really taught me very fast not to be complaisant about the people coming in and out of your life. To send that email that you've been putting off, and call somebody if you miss them. Your life matters to a lot of people. So reach out." – Blair class of '13 graduate Rachel Mussenden

"Every day, whenever I saw him in the hallway, he would shout his nickname for me really, really loud. So loud that everyone in the hallway would turn around and be really confused. Even though I was embarrassed, I loved it. I loved every moment of it." – Blair senior MaryClare Callahan

"While Lowell's years have been short, his reach was very long, and that was reflected when over 200 students attended a vigil earlier this week at the University of Maryland. Lowell's love of life had a big impact on our office as well. He handled every project we gave him with a positive attitude and a smile on his face. To my colleagues, I know that each one of you has special people like Lowell in your office. These are young people, who work long hours for little or no pay, because they want to make a difference in this country. In honor of Lowell, please take a moment and thank these unsung heroes that work in our offices every day." -- Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL), in a tribute during Wednesday's House of Representatives session



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  • blazer on May 16, 2015 at 11:04 AM
    I demand one of these for Mr. Roth.

    Now.
  • RIP Lowell on May 17, 2015 at 12:41 PM
    This just made me cry. He will be missed
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