This is the day I found out that IWhoSawTheFace had passed away.
My first thought was denial. But as I get older, the denials are getting weaker, as it becomes 'more usual' to lose people.
I met IWho, for the first time, in a restaurant in the DC area. We had dinner. We discussed whisky and BMWs (we had similar generation Bimmers, so many stories of tribulations to share) and satellites (he designed them and their systems, I treated them like chess pieces in a permanent theoretical game of kill-the-C3I-systems in my head). We discussed women - his starry-eyed looking forward toward the woman of his dreams, and my at the time bitterness of a life spent without.
This was before 2010. I know this because I was in DC later to meet him (again) to watch the premiere of Tron: Legacy. I think. It blurs a bit.
IWho and I stayed in cheerful touch for many years. He went dark for a few years, and we found it that it was literal; he had lost his sight due to macular degeneration (I think) and was struggling to rebuild his ability to stay in touch with folks online.
He met his dream woman, and he wrote about the experience here on E2.
I met my own, and married her, and am infinitely grateful that I got to tell him that.
Fred was one of the most generous and affable and generally supportive people I have interacted with on or around E2. He was our Cliff, or or Norm, maybe with less beer - but if E2 was Cheers, IWho was definitely a regular. Okay, maybe not a Cliff or Norm, because he wandered in and out - but at least a few times a season, the plot would hinge on him and his antics.
I miss him already.
I would like it to be known that Fred Seelig was in fact undergoing physical therapy when the coronary hit. I am assured that the therapists were female, extremely buxom, and very cheerful.
That's Fred's story, and I'm sticking to it.
Requescat I pacem IWho. See you soon.