To Absent Friends [No, not an obit, thankfully]


Cosmic Mongoose
Over the years, we have (sadly) lost a number of well-respected contributors to Our Community. I am requesting the community's assistance. Below is the list of names that I can recall; I would like the community to assist as follows:

1. Sort the roster below in order, the Friend who has been Absent the longest at the top.

1b. Add anyone I might have missed (and should not have), in their appropriate place.

2. A paragraph - not too long - outlining the Friend's contributions to the community, and maybe a sentence or two about anything else that made him special.

Please do NOT post to the list; send them direct to me at This is being posted by email to the TML and to the Traveller TNE Yahoo! Group, and will be posted to the Mongoose and CotI forums, and to about a half-dozen circles and communities, related to Traveller, on Google+. If I've missed anywhere, please repost there, and let me know about it.

The roster of Absent Friends, as I know it:

J(ohn) Andrew Keith
Bari Stafford
Hunter Gordon
Andrew Boulton
Don McKinney
Loren Wiseman
Greg Lee

[For those of you who saw the original TML post - the hands don't hurt any more, though the wrists are still a little stiff. No damage that time won't heal, and it's not going to slow down Freelance Traveller.]

The idea here is a Challenge Coin, separate from the one being offered as part of the TravellerCON/USA package. The design I am thinking of is the list of names on one side, with the words "To Absent Friends" above on the curve of the coin; on the other side, the sun-and-flame from the cover of the March/April _Freelance Traveller_, with the words "We Keep The Flame" (or possibly just "Keeping the Flame") either above or below on the curve of the coin. Accompanying this will be a little booklet, front and back covers bearing an image of the front and back of the coin respectively, and inside, one page per Absent Friend, outlining the Friend's contribution to the community. It is for the booklet that I am requesting the Community's help, in the form of those paragraphs. I will take what I'm sent, and combine/condense/distill/compose them to fit. Note that if I can't come up with a satisfactory booklet, I will not have the coin done; I consider the two to be inseperable.

I must discuss the rest of the plan with the Con-Com for TravellerCON/USA; ideally, the coin will be for sale, through them, with proceeds going to either or both of (a) supporting funding for future TravellerCON/USAs, and/or (b) to one or more suitable charities, preferably having relevance to one or more members of the community - for example, Bari Stafford was taken from us due to his ALS, Doug Berry has had several bouts of Hodgkin's Lymphoma, and yours truly has been diagnosed as diabetic; foundations promoting research into any of those, or anything else that might have taken one of our Friends (or has a high profile among those not yet taken), would be "suitable".

Please note that until I have the material being requested, I cannot move forward with the rest of the plan, and if I can't come up with a satisfactory way of handling the sales, I will sadly drop the whole plan - but right now, community participation is what I need.