Sunday, July 12, 2015

On the Passing of a Friend

At about 8:30 Sunday night, I was sitting in the living room playing a video game when Lana, who was on facebook, gave a gasp. I asked her what was wrong and she told me, with a catch in her voice, that Randy Johnson had died. I jumped up and rushed over to her computer, hoping, hoping that it was a mistake, or that it wasn’t the Randy I knew. I’m afraid it was the Randy I knew, not the baseball player of that name, but the voracious reader, the music lover, the blogger, and my friend.

I may never have met Randy, although I spoke to him once on the phone, but he was definitely my friend. And he was the friend to a whole lot more of us, both in the blogging world and on facebook. We shared many interests in books and movies and music. He liked westerns and pulp stories and SF and fantasy. He liked Spaghetti westerns and was something of an expert in that area. He’d seen more of them than anyone I know. He liked hard rock and heavy metal music, and he had a great sense of humor.

Most importantly, Randy was a kind and thoughtful man, and a loyal friend. He cared about the rights, and freedoms and dignity of all humankind. He tirelessly supported me in my writing, and I know he did the same for a lot of others. He was the kind of person I could look up to. To say that he will be missed is an understatement. I am heartsick.


Randy had a chance to say his last piece in a blog post and facebook post put up by his nephew. I’ll leave you with the link to that blog

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37 comments:

Bill Crider said...

Very sad news, indeed. I wish I'd known Randy better.

Ty said...

Sorry for Randy and his friends and family. Yeah, wish I'd known him better.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

I'm sorry, Charles. I knew Randy in the blogging world and more recently on Fb where I discovered he had many interests from politics and current affairs to culture and literature. I'm glad to have made his acquaintance, however fleeting it was.

Charles Gramlich said...

Bill, Yes, would have loved to have met him in person

Ty, one of the best of us, he was

Prashant, I had the pleasure of knowing him for years

pattinase (abbott) said...

My husband cannot understand why he woke up to my crying. Hard to explain these online relationships to someone who doesn't have them. But I have known Randy online for nine years and communicated with him almost daily. I have neighbors I know a lot less.

Paul R. McNamee said...

Sorry for your loss - which is everyone's loss, too.

R.T. said...

know that heartsickness because of grief does not pass quickly. Nevertheless, I hope you are able to mitigate your grief by thinking only of the great moments you shared with your blogging friend. Those moments make life worthwhile.

And isn't is amazing that so many unique friendships arise from blogging? Ah, 'tis a brave new world.

Charles, may peace, comfort, and great memories be your constant companions.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's terrible! I saw his last post but I didn't know he'd died right after that.
I'm very sorry, Charles. I know how I felt last year when Tina Downey died. You lost a good friend.

Greg said...

That's horrible. I'm sorry for your loss. He sounds like a great person.

Chris said...

I was struck by my reaction as well. The man will be missed.

Charles Gramlich said...

Patti, yes, friendship crosses those barriers and I guess those who haven't done it don't quite understand it.

Paul, he would have been friends with the world if they'd all known him.

R.T., thanks for the kind words. They help.

Alex, I'd seen the post too and that always seemed to mean that all was well.

Greg, he was.

Chris, still feeling devastated this morning.

Keith West said...

I''m very sorry to hear this. Please accept my deepest condolences. I've got online friends who are as important to me, and in some cases more important, than my friends I interact with physically. The loss of either is painful.

Elgin Bleecker said...

Thank you for posting this sad news and for the tribute to a good guy.

Richard R. said...

I just found out a few hours ago, when I went to his blog on my daily route of reading blogs. I was - am - shocked. Then posts popped up all over, here, Crider's blog, a comment on my blog, Jerry House's blog, and so on. He was a really good guy, we exchanged books, talked on the phone a couple of times, stayed in touch by email, but I had no idea he was so close to death. Maybe there were hints on Facebook, which I don't do, I don't know.

He'll be missed by us all. RIP, Randy.

Sarah Hina said...

So very sorry, Charles. To you and Lana. I didn't know Randy, but I wish I had. I hope that time is kind to you and all who loved him.

sage said...

I am sorry for your loss. I didn't know him, but I have felt the same way as you concerning other internet friends who have died. His last post was thoughtful and it was good there were people like you to keep him connected to the world during his lonely days.

Richard Prosch said...

I'm in your corner, man. Still hard to believe. As you wrote, he was a tireless supporter of our writing, and a solid voice in the world of online reviews. If Randy said something was good, I added it to my list without question. As with our departed friend Ron, We won't see his likes again anytime soon.

Lana Gramlich said...

Hugs

Cullen Gallagher said...

Lovely tribute to a wonderful man. Thanks for sharing, Charles.

Cloudia said...

Condolences to you, my true friend

Charles Gramlich said...

Keith, yes, not a very good day.

Elgin, thanks.

Richard. R., I don't think anyone knew except maybe family. I talked to him on facebook but did not know.

Sarah, he was well worth knowing.

Richard, I know. Just hard to imagine 'em both gone.

Lana, thankee

Cullen, a very good fellow.

Cloudia, thanks.

Garnett Elliott said...

Sorry to hear this. Randy wrote some really thoughtful reviews on Amazon. After hearing more about him, I wish I'd gotten to know him.

Riot Kitty said...

I'm so sorry, Charles.

Oscar said...

Nice post, Charles. I'm sorry about Randy. He occasionally commented on my blog and it as a shock.

David Cranmer said...

I've been friends with Randy for seven years and was knocked hard by his passing. There's a strange feeling/need to reach out and hug him and tell him what he meant to me.

Charles Gramlich said...

Garnett, a wonderful fellow.

Riot Kitty, thanks.

Oscar, yes, very much so.

David, I know. I wish I'd had a chance to tell him.

Barbara Martin said...

Condolences, Charles. Blogging friends often become close over the years, and I understand your loss.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

This ethereal world is filled with many wondrous things... including loss. If only the loss could be imaginary.

Charles Gramlich said...

Barbara, Thanks.

Bernard, yes, if only.

jodi said...

Charles-I am familiar with that heartache. It's so very painful. Be good to yourself while working thru this horrible process. xo

Charles Gramlich said...

Jodi, thanks, I appreciate it.

Erik Donald France said...

Deep sympathies and a high salute to Randy. That is a bummer.

Charles Gramlich said...

Erik, yes, so much.

Snowbrush said...

Charles, isn’t this your second blog-buddy loss within the last year? I’m so sorry that Randy died. Until I followed the link you provided, I assumed that his death was unexpected, but the post showed that it was very expected. He appears to have been lonely, yet he obviously meant a great deal to many.

Charles Gramlich said...

Snowbrush, it is the second. We lost another blog buddy, Ron Scheer a few months back.

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