gerisullivan: (Indian Pipe)
I've just read in Einblatt! that David Harsh died in Cleveland, GA on August 26th. I'd fallen out of touch with Dave since he moved to Georgia a few years back, pretty much at the same time I moved to Massachusetts. But for the 7 years or so before that, I was touched and honored by his friendship.

That friendship is one that came about because of my involvement with Minicon and Minn-stf. I think we met in 1997 when he came along to a fannish outing to a Saint Paul Saints baseball game that I put together as one of the outreach activities during trying times with Minicon. Or maybe he couldn't make the game, but introduced himself in the process of trying to come along to it. I think he was there, but it's been 11 years, and my email files only refer to the game in passing.

Dave holds the record for being the only person to ever give me a live toad...and a dead one. He brought both from the farm he and his wife, Marie, had in Wisconsin and gave them to me on my 43rd birthday.

I released the live toad into the garden and never saw it again. I still have the shellacked road-kill toad from his driveway. What can I say? It amuses me.

Dave also brought baby goats to Minicon one year, but that's a different story.... He was emphatically not involved with the sheep carcass that someone dumped in the bushes outside the hotel's executive tower on Easter Sunday that same year. Hearing about it (and that the hotel really hadn't liked finding it, much though they were glad that their staff did rather than mundane guests) dissuaded him from bringing a goat carcass the following year, as he'd been thinking about doing as the natural follow-on to the live baby goats. That year's goat party was going to be a Dead Goat Party.

He wasn't as weird as these stories suggest. He was one of the quiet ones...but a nice quiet one. During a highly politicized time when so many Minicon members either loved or hated what we were doing with the convention, Dave just wanted to meet and get to know a new friend. He was interested in what we were doing, and why -- reading the Minicon list is how he heard about the Saints game, and what prompted him to make the effort to meet and get to know me. He came to a couple of work sessions and parties at Toad Hall; we kept in intermittent contact by email, mostly regarding new jobs and a bit about life on the farm.

And now he's dead, dammit. Too young, clearly too young. I don't know his age, only that I'd guess he was somewhere between 45 and 55. I hope I learn the cause of death, not that it will make any difference to the reality of it.

My sympathy to all of David's friends and family. My thanks to him for the friendship, our conversations, and both of the toads.
gerisullivan: (Indian Pipe)
Linda Krawecke reports that Ann Green died this afternoon. My deepest sympathies to Steve Green, her husband of 25 years, and to all of her friends and family.

On July 20, Steve reported that Ann had been unwell for a few weeks, was hospitalized on July 15, and was diagnosed with c.dificile-related septicaemia that day or the next. Things went downhill quickly and steadily from there.

My mother contracted c-diff shortly before she died of other causes. I learned a fair bit about just how ugly c-diff infections can be at that time; I knew that they could be fatal. I wish this one hadn't been. Ann was born in 1961 -- 2008 is way too soon to go.
gerisullivan: (Indian Pipe)
The news is spreading 'round: Jack Speer died earlier today. On the Virtual Corflu, I heard he was doing poorly and had been diagnosed as terminal; I'm glad he and Ruth were able to attend Corflu Silver and help it shine.

Joe Siclari and Edie Stern told me my very favorite Jack Speer story just few minutes after it happened. The last day of Intersection (the 1995 Worldcon in Glasgow), they had the joy of seeing Jack jumping up and down in the Bouncy Castle that was set up in the exhibit hall. I so wish I'd seen that for myself! We ran 3 photos of Jumpin' Jack next to the GoH tribute Joe and Edie wrote for the Noreascon 4 souvenir book, so I can at least look at those in delight and appreciation.

In 1996, Jack was typically one of the last visitors to stop by the L.A. Con III fan lounge late at night. And he stayed up later still -- I remember him standing, listening to the filkers in the lobby as I was making my way back to my room sometime around 3 am after both closing and cleaning up in the fan lounge one night.

More recently, I had the pleasure Jack and Ruth's company during the drive to the Dead Dog dinner at County Line BBQ at the end of last year's Corflu Quire in Austin. That was the last time I saw him, and I'm glad it included some real conversation.


Sympathy to Ruth and the rest of the family, including his fannish one.



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