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23 May 2008 @ 09:55 am
Bye, Bob.  
Got the news yesterday evening that Bob Asprin had died just a few hours before heading to MarCon as a guest.

I remember meeting him for the first time, when he pretty much took over a filksing at one of my earliest ChamBanaCons.

I remember meeting him for the second time when he decided the Atlanta Fantasy Fair's tendency to isolate guests wasn't appropriate, so he stayed in the hotel bar regaling fans with his stories and singing a song or two. Late that night (what, me late at night in a bar? Say it ain't so!), we began discussing the responsibilities a convention committee and convention guest has to the fans who attend the convention. At one point a show tune singalong started at the bar piano. I headed that direction, only to be stopped by Bob and asked, "Are you serious about this or not?" We continued the discussion, and thus was I set into my personal code of convention running and (later) guest behavior.

I remember talking to him about Thieves' World, and how interesting it would be to write for it. He replied that the hardest part would be dealing with the politics of character handling, that storms were beginning to brew. As we all know, they would ultimattely lead to the series' end.

I ran into him off and on for a few years before he moved to New Orleans and rather dropped off the fannish radar. Sometimes we ended up on the same guest roster. I would ask him what convention he planned to attend next, and his answer would always be, "Wherever they haven't seen me yet. I need to be out there marketing. I don't go where I've already been."

I remember finding out he was starting to become active again after an appearance at DragonCon, so we invited him to be GoH at GAFilk. It was the first year of the full house band at the banquet, GoH concert scheduled right after. Bob came up to us afterward and said, "You expect me to follow that?" We assured him that he would have no problem at all - and he had no problem at all.

Thursday night before that GAFilk it was Bob, me, Marty Burke, & ladyat in the Con Suite having a grand old time - when the Hotel informed us we were making too much noise. If 4 fen in a consuite make too much noise, 50 fen in a con suite... so the hotel moved us.

The next year Bob showed up on his own, proving that he did in fact attend conventions where he wasn't a guest and had been before.

The re-connection he made with some of the DI at the GAFilk where he was guest was on of the factors leading to him being explicitly asked to show up at Thing in New Orleans. He had been somewhat estranged from the DI for many years, mainly due to a difference in vision between himself and those carrying the DI forward. At the banquet on Saturday night the doors swung open and in came the CommanDammit, flanked as one would expect by Bork TI. The standing ovation both surprised and touched him. Bob always felt his tendency to rub people the wrong way overshadowed the respect and admiration - and love - they had for him. He was wrong.

After the banquet, as a newly beanied kaydet I somewhat jokingly asked Bob and the crowd around him if they would like me to fetch them drinks. Bob immediately commanded me not to be so obsequious.

He had such a good time filking at Thing that he made the jaunt to Mobile for quadrivium's house filk.

I didn't have much opportunity to run into him after that. While honored to be a guest at Oasis this year, I was disappointed we would not be in Columbus to see him at MarCon.

Now we won't have another opportunity.

We won't see his like again.

I've been honored to know him, to spend time drinking and singing and embracing life with him, and to be a recent member of the service organization he founded at the DisCon II masquerade lo, those many ears (sic) ago.

Wow 'em wherever you are now, Bob. Drink 'em under the table - though they might already know your trick. Give 'em your best stories, sing 'em your best songs - keep 'em enchanted. They haven't seen you yet.

And we'll see you in the bar.
Current Mood: morosemorose
Current Music: "My Uniform's Green"
Gypsy Youngravenyoungraven on May 23rd, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC)
Bob's passed?!?! What happened?
sffilksffilk on May 23rd, 2008 07:05 pm (UTC)
Here's a link
to the notice. From what I've been reading, it appears he died while reading a book?
Occam's Pyramidoccams_pyramid on May 23rd, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC)
Katfoxnoir on May 23rd, 2008 07:56 pm (UTC)
I met Bob back when I was assisting in the running of southern SF conventions... However, other than several long conversations in con suites, the memory that sticks in my head the most, is... Nasfic of '85.

You see, I was HUGELY pregnant that year (and miserable with it), due in Oct, and this was Sept, in Austin... Bob came and sat on my bed with a guitar and proceeded, at my husbands instigation, to serenade me... The "Shapes" song...

Luckily, Bob was a fast gentleman... as I couldn't catch him at the time to choke him... However, later, my sense of humor restored itself, and it's a memory that I thoroughly enjoy. :) Now, if anyone comes across the 'shapes' lyrics, I'd appreciate a copy.

May you find what you were looking for Bob. Walk in light.
msminlrmsminlr on May 23rd, 2008 10:12 pm (UTC)
You mean the one that starts out
"completely round is the perfect pearl the oyster manufactures"

You should be able to Google that first line and find it, if that's the one you mean.