This year, we exceeded 200,000 members. As of this writing, there are 213,185.
2011, to me, felt a lot like a year of passings and passages, where we said an awful lot of good-byes and precious few hellos. We took note of the passings of persons as diverse as Steve Jobs, Al Davis, Dennis Richie, Amy Winehouse, Vaclav Havel, Patrice O'Neal, Joe Frazier and Andy Rooney. We talked about Betty Ford and Peter Falk, and even Ryan Dunn, Clarence Clemons and Jack Kevorkian. Geraldine Ferraro and Elizabeth Taylor were on our radar, as were Kenneth Mars and Sargent Shriver. Even Jack LaLanne - who seemed as if he would live forever - was not immune.
And on A2K, two losses hit home very personally for so many of us.
Lightwizard was remembered as a creative soul who had ties to old-style Hollywood and was a true expert in lighting and interior design. He was one of the first people I really knew on Abuzz, and he was an enthusiastic and hysterically funny participant in the Tinfoil Hat Brigade topics.
I offer this video because of the many ways I remember George - I imagine him suave in the manner of old Hollywood, but always with a tinge of anarchy underneath. There is a reason that his avatar was Sully from Monsters, Inc. I don't think he ever took himself too seriously.
And then there's the dys. Dyslexia was known for his quick wit and irascible personality, but under that crusty exterior he was kind and thoughtful. Perhaps his greatest legacy is his great love affair with Diane. If we can all be known best for the people that we love, well, can't that be one of our greatest legacies?
I look at pictures of Bob, and my own mental pictures of when I met him, and I think of Willie Nelson, and also of Waylon Jennings. What else could I do but offer a song which features them both?
Both of them joined in 2002, and were and still are the very fabric of this place. I offer you this space, gentle readers and commenters, to post remembrances and pictures, favorite quotes and the occasional, "I can't believe it" moments about both of them.
If there's an A2K Heaven, it's brighter now, and everyone there is a poopity-head.