Bbee’s player shared some of his amazing life story with me months ago after he first got the news he didn’t have long to live, and I’m saddened and privileged at the same time to remember him with you.
There are countless tales of GemStone players who started playing in the early 90s or mid-90s and became lightning-fast typists as a result of our game or perhaps even learned to type in the first place. Bbee’s player also started then but has a story all his own. His starting line was several steps behind most of us, but his finishing line was far beyond most of us.
As he relayed to me, during his first forays into GS he not only couldn’t type but could barely read as he struggled with dyslexia. It took him ten minutes, he said, to kill giant rats in the catacombs. However, he truly loved the game and the community, so he persevered through his struggles. Over the years, he became a better reader, a better typist, and a better writer. He eventually ascended to the level of a professional writer–becoming a news correspondent and a freelancer who wrote plays, poetry, and scripts even for CSI and other TV shows.
Just this January he was excited over a crowning achievement. He’d written a play, which in his words was about a little-known lynching of an Englishman in 1880s Wisconsin–an event he’d been researching for almost twenty years. He read on the Portland Stage in Maine, and Stephen King happened to be there and liked it and recommended it to a production company. It turned into a movie script and then he received an offer on it, to potentially be turned into a docudrama miniseries on PBS.
That news was more publicly known, since he shared it with everyone during a Silverwood event. But earlier on, with each swing of the pendulum on news about his health, Bbee’s player came to me and a few others to make sure that word would get out if the worst came to pass. Through it all, however, he said that he didn’t fear death since he’d had a great life. He attributed his success over the past two decades to GS setting him onto a new path. That’s part of why he gave so generously to our community–because, in his eyes, our community had given him even more.
I don’t think I can overstate how much GS meant to him. He played Prime. He played Platinum. He even said he had 11 accounts at one point. I’m sure everyone remembers the recent month of nonstop guild nights. That was born from his desire to do something big and memorable on his way out, as a final piece to his legacy in case he didn’t have time to do other things he wanted. And, yes, he had other ideas. He had been thinking about gradually auctioning off his lockers and even considered scenarios for roleplaying out the end of Bbee.
Without ever saying these words directly, Bbee’s player embodied the phrase “I’m always thinking about you.” He was always thinking about this community that he loved. I know that we, in turn, will never forget the impact he left on us. Rest well, Bbee.
Everyone is invited to add your remembrances of this giant-hearted guy in a comment. (Press RETURN after filling in your email address to submit. Your Email address will NOT be published. It’s a spam-filtering thingie.)