Robert E. Bates

E. Bates, 1981 – 2001

Judith and I went
to see the French movie Amélie last night. It’s a blithe,
enchanting celebration of life, and I hope everyone gets a chance
to see it.

On our return
home, I discovered my friend and gaming industry compatriot Phil Lacefield
had called and left a message on our answering machine.

Robert E. Bates,
better known to members of the Dork Tower mailing list and the Dork
Tower Yahoo club as Gades_Erim, was found dead in his hometown of
Findlay, Ohio the morning of December 26. I was stunned to read he
was only 20.

Right now, I’m
angry with myself because among the *many* e-mails I’ve got on backlog,
waiting to be answered, I’ve found one from Robert from a few months
ago. I’m sorry it never got answered. I’m also sorry I missed seeing
him at Origins last year.

From my (much
too brief) acquaintance with him on the mailing list and from other
e-mails sent back and forth, I didn’t get to know him well, but I
got to know that he was a great guy. Very nice, very enthusiastic,
and very, very thoughtful. Just a super person.

My heart goes
out to all who knew him better than I did, and at the same time I’m
so very sorry that I and others never knew him well enough, and now
never will have the chance to.

The Dork Tower
mailing list has turned into a vibrant little community over the last
couple of years, in part because of Robert’s presence and vitality.

We’ve just lost
one of the lights that made it bright, and those who knew Robert better
have lost so much more.

Just remember,
everyone, life is PRECIOUS. It’s a cliché, but it’s the truth.
NEVER take it for granted. Tonight, tell someone who you love that
you love them.

We’ve lost too
much already this year. Please keep Robert and his loved ones in your
thoughts and prayers tonight.

– John


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