Whoosh! Issue 37 - October 1999
Editor's Page

From the Editor-in-Chief: BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN

From the Editor-in-Chief: BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN

After a seven month job assignment in Dallas, Texas, I have finally returned home to Southern California. One of the best things about being a member of the on-line Xena fan community is that you literally have a good friend in every city. I was homesick and miserable and feeling the weight of Texan-sized humidity, when I was rescued from certain ennui and depression by a troop of Texan Xenites who adopted me as one of their own and showed me what southern hospitality really means. In Dallas, I want to thank Cynthia Ward Cooper, Dahak, and Darise Error for their dedication in keeping me company at malls, dinosaur parks, and other sundry activities. The Houston contingent consisting of Bongo Bear, Jill H. (and Nola on the phone!), Indigo, and Fatbroad kept me well fed in cow-parts (yes, I became a full-fledged carnivore in Texas) and allowed me the thrill of standing next to an extremely large liquid fuel tank. The Oklahoma Brigade (yes, Oklahoma has a weird and freaky convergence with Texas) was represented by Baermer. Also, I was visited and kept amused by Mist and Betsy (from NYC) and Kristo (from California). The highlight of the trip was being able to visit with these people as one can only visit people who do not live thousands of miles away. I am greatly missing that accessibility.

And thankfully the wicked have no respite! I will be attending the San Francisco Creation Convention the weekend of October 15, 1999. I will be wandering around so be sure to say hi if you see me.

Kym Masera Taborn
Executive Committee
Calabasas, California
September 28, 1999


When asked what I like best about XENA or HERC, there are many things that come to mind. Just about any single aspect of the show is good or better, whether you point to the writers, directors, editors, actors, set designers, costumers, production staff, office personnel, and on and on. Not everything or everyone is a hit, but overall the quality is far above average. There is something for almost everyone, whether you fancy screwball comedy or high drama or anything in between.

But the one thing that keeps me coming back more than any of the above is: concept. I most enjoy the character of Hercules, who presses on to do what is right in the face of danger, loss, and hardship, and the character of Xena, who constantly struggles to overcome her evil past by becoming a different person. Both characters make mistakes, both stumble, both have suffered enourmously. Yet they press on.

Sounds like the stuff fiction is made of, n'est-ce pas? But some of the best fiction is factually based, inspired, or influenced.

So it was that in the midst of constructing my editorial of the month, I also had to deal with one of the greatest losses I will ever suffer, the passing of a real-life hero..

After a three-year knock-down drag-out fight to the death with cancer, my father finally lost on 1 September. From the day of his diagnosis, he was determined to beat the disease, and he fought it all the way. Initially, his doctors gave him a year. He made that year and two more besides. There were times when he was in excruciating pain, but he never gave up. He gladly traded a few good days for the slew of miserable ones he suffered through, and near the end, the good days disappeared altogether.

Dad was a warrior -- retired after 22 years of service in the armed forces. He was extremely active in his local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) lodge, as well as a number of different lodges in his community, such as Oddfellows, Moose, and others. He was constantly organising fund raising events for these causes and/or participating in them. I've had many people tell me "If not for your Dad, I wouldn't be here today." Were it not for these individuals telling me this voluntarily, I'd never have known; Dad didn't boast about his accomplishments.

His last major cause was the Water Authority in the community he lived in. The village he retired to (and indeed was born in) had been plagued with bad water for many years. The water stank, destroyed machinery, was undrinkable. My father stepped in and supplied leadership to the local Water Authority, taking it from a bankrupt ineffectual municipality to an organisation that ran efficiently, and he even got committments from local and state governments for improvements. Unfortunately, he did not live to see that work completed, but he did get it going at a time when no one else would and he did make improvements.

In the last year of his life, my Dad and I got reacquainted. We spent a lot of time together and did many things together. My Dad would refer to these visits as "punishments" in that he'd put me to work to help drive him to this or that fundraiser when I'd visit, or help set up or take down tables, or run various errands. On one very rare weekend, prior to my coming down to visit him, he said "Son, I can't think of a way to punish you this week. There's nothing planned." It was just fine to sit and chat.

We ended up doing a lot of things we did when I was a kid, but it's funny how roles can reverse over time. When I was very little, my dad taught me how to fish. He'd bait the hook and cast the line for me when I was too small to do it. As my Dad's illness took its toll, we'd still enjoy a good day of fishing, but I'd bait the hook and cast the line for him since he was unable to do it.

If nothing else, it's nice to see that there are still real-life heroes as well as fictional ones. Judging by the turnout and sentiments expressed at his funeral, his community certainly thought of him as one. He'll be missed by a lot of people. But I still think I'll miss him most of all.

Bret Rudnick
Graphics Editor
Executive Committee
Boston, Massachusetts
14 September 1999

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