The next day I learned otherwise. Michael Moore, the DJ on our sister station, KRTY, asked me "Are you going to Maria's funeral?"
"Maria WHO?" I replied.
"Maria Carrillo -- in Traffic."
Maria Carrillo, KRTY's Traffic Manager, had collapsed while playing bingo the prior weekend. Turns out she'd had a heart attack, then a stroke, then another heart attack, and was finally taken off life support earlier that week. There were no notices around the station, which shocked me, because she performed a vital role for the organization. Even though she officially was in charge of KRTY's logs she often worked on ours at KLIV. One of her sons had even worked in sales at the station, so I especially felt obligated to pay my respects since I knew one of the principal mourners. I went to her viewing last Sunday. It was really sad. I chatted with her older daughter, Maria, and with Jose, her son. Jose had to excuse himself to help his grandmother to the casket. Yee-ouch. Warren couldn't bear to go in. "I've had more death than I can handle." I didn't blame him.
This Friday my boss was in the Sunnyvale office. "Let's keep our fingers crossed," she said.
Then drfilk died. Yeouch. John wasn't at all on my "people I'd expect to die early" radar. It sounded like he was healing well, then kaboom. When I first saw pondside's post I couldn't believe it. I'd hoped I was misinterpreting something. I wish that were the case.
I don't know what I could say about drfilk that hasn't been said. I'm in shock.
I don't know how many years I've known John, but I can't remember not knowing him from the time I started getting active in filking. I remember him being a regular at Musicon and an occasional Worldcon attendee. One year he even rode his motorcycle out to Los Angeles to attend Westercon.
John was always fun to talk with, friendly, warm, and just plain interesting. When he and hsifyppah started doing music together I got to see what he could do musically in a brighter light. He was a fantastic musician, not just because he played well, but because he made others around him sound good by just being with them. I was ecstatic to hear he and hsifyppah were Interfilk Guests at Concertino. John provided Brooke with a foundation she could relax upon to do her music, and Brooke returned the favor by causing folks to notice John as a musician.
My heart goes out to Brooke, John's family and closest friends, and to anyone who knew him. Those of you who didn't know him missed out on a great experience.