...nothing here is promised, not one day... Lin-Manuel Miranda

How do you talk about being lucky (Part Two)
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Anyone hanging out on Facebook today and bumping up against dozens of us talking about David Hartwell has heard that we lost a great friend. In my last post, I was talking about the support I had in grad school, and how an Eagles song brought it all back. I was all settled in with the memories of how I was virtually carried through our required statistics class, and remembering how my friend Jane's daughter came in her place a few times to class and I stocked up on elephant jokes for her. About how Ernesto Miranda wrote a term paper and "the Sideways Bobsled Team" sat together. It was about feeling welcome and wanted, fortunate as hell to be included in a warm,caring group.

Then came Lizzy's first post about David, which led to hours of hell for his family,for those who loved him, the awareness that he was gone. I can't remember when I met David, whom I still think of as Dave, which I could swear he allowed. I don't know who, what or when, it was just "here, good people, look!" that was what science fiction fandom brought me. What convention? What tie? Who brought that to drink? And he's a really enthusiastic, articulate fan of the genre, and finder of the best talent.

How did I get so lucky to be able to walk into a room, a house, a magic club and feel welcome, welcomed, safe,happy and appreciated. Where I would never be at a loss for a great conversation (although some of them might have been a little inane). When I wonder what life would have been....but I don't really. I don't have to.

Star Trek led to Isaac and Harlan and Sharon and Mike and Linda. New York and Chicago and Oakland. Conventions and dinners, parties and collating, club gatherings (complete with appropriate newspaper headlines about "aliens in California"). Star Wars, and very funny jugglers, obscure jokes about jello and armpits and boats and eggplants. Apartments with names. Drawing up charts of who meant what to whom, and oh wait, that was last week. Border skirmishes (you're stealing our fans. Give them back!) and train trips, and singing. Sushi and hunan food. Love. And friendship.

And there were always those moments at conventions that told me I'd get through another week at work, or month in my life, as I sat giggling with friends making wonderful terrible joke. (the party where news of the new "Ford Probe" automobile led to the creating of the "Dodge Speculum" and more. Plus.) Always being made to feel welcome, always part of the group. Damn.

Of course I knew David Hartwell, everyone knew, everyone didn't know David. in those days when conventions were sort of automatic and it felt like a small enough world, I would have thought everyone knew David.Well, hell, I did! And and and he knew ME. By like, name, and everything. And was glad to see me. And talk with me. ("with", never "at". Or even "to", but "with".) I am so glad so very very glad that I had some of his time. That we sang every word of "Tell Laura I Love Her" more than once. I think the last time I spent any time with David we bumped into each other - get this - at the opening of the SF Museium here in Seattle. One of those "hey! good to see you" "hey, what's up?" friendships of catching up and rolling our eyes at how vastly superior we were (who were we kidding?)

I lost Stu Shiffman, the fan, artist, writer, love of my life, Hugo-winner, fanzine editor, warm, witty funny brilliant genius goof a little over a year ago. Stu was recovering from a stroke when he fell and yes, hit his head. It happened super fast. He was on coumadin. He never came back, though we were hopeful. He died 4 weeks after he fell.

Love. Listen to the music. Sing whatever songs you need to, you want to, you hear. There's been apparently some "I'm hip cuz I dug Bowie and you're not uz you liked the Eagles" going around after we saw two artists die within days of each other. Well, I'm here to make it worse. I loved "Leader of the Pack", I would sing "Teen Angel" wtih David every chance I got, and now you get to cringe big time, as I quote John Denver:

"Friends I will remember you, think of you, pray for you.
And when another day is through, I'll still be friends with you."

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