Category Archives: In Memoriam

Oh Captain, my Captain

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One year ago, the stars lost a captain, and I lost a good friend.

Richard Hatch
May 21, 1945 – February 7, 2017

This was one of his favorite pieces of art.
This song fills my heart with him.

I jumped in the river and what did I see?
Black-eyed angels swam with me
A moon full of stars and astral cars
All the things I used to see
All my lovers were there with me
All my past and futures
And we all went to heaven in a little row boat
There was nothing to fear and nothing to doubt

There was nothing to fear 
and nothing to doubt 
There was nothing to fear 
and nothing to doubt

Pyramid Song
words by Thom Y.
art by Ralph M.

One year now without you, and it isn’t any easier, my friend.
Safe journeys.

Andrew E.C. Gaska

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Loving Leia

tumblr_o0i9uy4g8W1v2fnuuo5_1280Our Princess passed one year ago. While she is mostly known for her role in Star Wars, Carrie Fisher was more than that. Outside of her character, she was a survivor. Carrie was a vibrant, witty, troubled woman who was fighting drug addiction and depression her entire life. A woman who pushed past her problems and made something of herself, instead of succumbing to severely crippling psychological disorders.

I met Carrie once, over a decade ago. Carrie was signing at the Big Apple Convention in NYC and was bored out of her mind. She was cranking out assembly line signatures to fans who were too afraid to say anything to her except, “Thank you,” if they even remembered to do that.

Aware of her fun side, when I got to my place in line, I spoke up.

“Hey Carrie, please sign it to Dr. Pornstar, and write something dirty, too.”

Carrie paused.  A smile began to creep over her face.
Her eyes twinkled.
“Mmmmm,” she said, inspiration taking hold.

Below is the result. Thank you, Carrie. Just as you live on in the Last Jedi, you live on in our hearts. You were and still are a beacon of hope.

Andrew E.C. Gaska

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Richard Hatch could never remember my birthday

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Richard Hatch and I were good friends—and his death this year was difficult to bear. Over three months later,  I almost let this one slip, but I decided I’d say something anyway.
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Richard could never remember my birthday.
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The irony of it, of course, is that we shared similar star signs—we are both Gemini on the cusp of Taurus. His birthday was May 21st and mine is May 23rd. When Richard and I started hanging out in 2004, whenever we would get together we would invariably have some in-depth dinner conversation which would reveal the inner workings and passions of our minds and souls. During these revelatory dinners, Richard would always stop, blink, and ask me, “What is your sign?” to which I would remind him that it was the same as his and that our birthdays were only two days apart. Just like I had told him two weeks before when we had gone to dinner and the month before that and so on and so on.
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Each time his response would be, “Really!?!” He would then sit back in his chair with a satisfied smile and nod, excited once again to realize why he and I were such close friends.

All this suddenly changed last year, when despite the fact that I had forgotten to call him for once, Richard called me on my birthday (although I have a sneaking suspicion that his remembrance of my birth date was the work of Mina Frannea). I was having a rough year and he knew it and wanted to reach out. Richard always wanted the best for me and the other’s around him that he loved. He hated watching us stumble through the same mistakes he had made in life and had already learned the lessons from. I’ll never forget that he could (mostly) never remember when I was born and that he couldn’t tell the difference between a rubber chicken and a rubber duck.

Richard’s birthday was yesterday and mine is tomorrow.

Happy Birthday, my friend. It’s not easy being without your wit. I miss you.

Andrew. E. C. Gaska