When Ron’s death was announced in 1986, my first shocked thought was, “Who will truly protect the Tech for us now?” And despite all the entreaties otherwise, I did grieve briefly. In the process, I wrote the following. I’m not a very good poet, but it conveyed how I felt.
Listen, my children to the story of a man.
Once upon a time,
on a barren planet
on the fringe of nowhere
was born a man.
Was he like other men?
Like other men, yet different.
How was he different?
This man had a purpose.
Did he live as other men?
He lived as other men,
ate as them,
breathed as them
loved as them.
Whom did he love?
All other men did he love.
And how did he show it?
He made for them a volcano.
Did it burn them?
No, it did not burn them.
It warmed them
and lit their way on this dark planet.
What else did he do for them?
He planted seeds for them,
and gave them tools of harvest.
What seeds were these?
These were special seeds.
Seeds which gave life to all they touched.
Seeds which glowed with a light of their own.
Seeds which warmed the soul.
Seeds which wove their branches into a Bridge.
Where did the Bridge lead?
To places none had seen since the Creation.
To states none had dreamed of since the Dawn.
And what happened to the man?
It is said that one day the man departed.
And fires consumed his body.
And were the people sad?
They were sad for the loss of his body.
What did the man leave behind?
He left the things a man leaves behind.
And he left his volcano to warm and light the fields.
And he left his seeds whose branches made the Bridge.
And he left his tools of harvest.
And where did the man go?
Of this, little is known, my children.
But it is said that when the moon is right
and the sea is calm
and the breeze blows just so,
you can sometimes hear him say,
“I’ll see you at the other end of the Bridge.”
I suppose my question from 1986 has been answered now. What a shame.