( I write this as I listen to Van Morrison performing: Piper at the Gates of Dawn)
I was going to title this : Bob's Gone, but I feared to many readers of this blog might feel that I was referring to Bob Fitzer-I am not.
I AM referring to Robert Anton Wilson who passed, nah, who died last Thursday, January 11th.
from Bob's website:
January 11, 2007*
*Robert Anton Wilson Defies Medical Experts and leaves his body @4:50 AM on binary date 01/11.*
*All Hail Eris!*
*On behalf of his children and those who cared for him, deepest love and gratitude for the tremendous support and lovingness bestowed upon us.*
*RAW Bedside Update
October 10, 2006*
*Like manna from heaven, donations poured in after word got out that Bob Wilson was increasingly burdened with steep health-care costs. Bob and his family are profoundly grateful and humbled by your support (see note below). This kindly swarm of donations has fully enabled Bob to receive the care he (and everyone!) deserves.*
*Here's a quick history of Robert Anton Wilson's scenario. Bob has post-polio syndrome which has severely damaged his legs and weakened his body. He had a hard fall in June of this year which landed him in the hospital. He has since not been able to walk and is thus confined to his bed (overlooking beautiful Monterey Bay fnord), requiring 24 hour care. Due to Bob's acute weakness in June and July, many of his family and friends felt that Bob could go at any time. He has since rallied slowly with ups and downs, and like most things, his condition seems in the maybe state. Bob has no pain, has a hearty appetite, is in steady good, sharp humor and is surrounded by family and friends. Praise Bob! All hail Eris!*
*Note from RAW
October 5, 2006*
*Dear Friends, my God, what can I say. I am dumbfounded, flabbergasted, and totally stunned by the charity and compassion that has poured in here the last three days.
To steal from Jack Benny, "I do not deserve this, but I also have severe leg problems and I don't deserve them either."*
*Because he was a kind man as well as a funny one, Benny was beloved. I find it hard to believe that I am equally beloved and especially that I deserve such love.*
*Whoever you are, wherever you are, know that my love is with you.*
*You have all reminded me that despite George W. Bush and all his cohorts, there is still a lot of beautiful kindness in the world.*
*Robert Anton Wilson*
REALLY long-time listeners to the show will remember R.A.W.'s visits-always controversial,always thought provoking,always(for those that allowed themselves) humourous.
I fondly recall my first encounter w/ R.A.W., quite a number of years ago in Cleveland. R.A.W. and Dr.Timothy Leary spoke,well, had a casual discussion at a hall that was formerly a Jewish temple.
After their 'talk' , which included Leary's fascination w/computer possibilities, audience questions were invited. I was happy to have a couple of my questions selected.
Upon entering my radio days(daze), I asked my producer,The Lovely Ms.Bun-E-Face, to do her darnedest to secure Robert for an interview. I had read a few of his books,listened to some of his taped presentations,attended the Cleveland gig,etc. Bun succeeded-then I got nervous about the coming interview. I had so admired R.A.W.'s ability to 'think outside of the box' I doubted my ability to interest R.A.W. and inspire him in the interview. My concerns were quickly put to rest even before we went on-air. R.A.W.'s warmth off-air eased me. We began an interesting relationship, that sadly ends with his death.
Lucky are we who enjoy R.A.W.'s insights,humour and creativity, as Bob left much for us. R.A.W. was an industrial can opener for closed minds.
As Bob said shortly before his death:
*"Various medical authorities swarm in and out of here predicting I have between two days and two months to live. I think they are guessing. I remain cheerful and unimpressed. I look forward without dogmatic optimism but without dread. I love you all and I deeply implore you to keep the lasagna flying.*
*Please pardon my levity, I don't see how to take death seriously. It seems absurd.*