Whoosh! Issue 66 - 
March 2002
Editor's Page




From the Graphics Editor:
The Knight Of Fourteen Thousand Days

From the Graphics Editor:
THE KNIGHT OF FOURTEEN THOUSAND DAYS



All Black fan extraordinaire

Kevin Smith, 1963 - 2002


For someone who is supposedly good with words, there are times when words alone cannot begin to convey the depth of emotion in a particular situation. The passing of Kevin Smith is absolutely one of those occasions.

Not only did Kevin Smith help out Whoosh! and other websites from time to time with an interview or a few contributing words, he always went out of his way to be gracious, accommodating, and otherwise available even at the expense of his own precious personal time.

Although we were introduced by his work for Pacific Renaissance and mine for Whoosh!, Kevin and I became friends over the years to the point where we would sometimes socialise when he was in L.A. or I in Auckland.

Fans knew Kevin for his graciousness and good will. He was ever the gentleman and always had a kind word for everybody. At convention appearances, he would usually end each question with a "Cheers mate!", a thumbs up, and a broad smile for the questioner. He'd stay to provide an autograph for anyone who wanted one. He greeted everyone he met with warmth and enthusiasm. I've seen him phone sick fans in hospital or make special visits to those who could not come to see him.

In his private life, he was the same. Fame did not change him. Family, friends, and people in general were his top priorities.

One of my great regrets is that so many fans will not know of another talent Kevin had: his writing. He and I exchanged e-mails from time to time, and I was deeply impressed by his command of the language and turn of phrase. He was educated, insightful, witty, and could run rings around most of the so-called literati I was familiar with. Every message from him was a delight and pleasure. I will share some of his prose in an article I'm doing for the April issue.

I have so many fond memories of Kevin, but I'll share one here that is just so typical of him. Several weeks ago, after a performance in Auckland of A Streetcar Named Desire, he and I and a couple of other friends were standing outside the theatre, deciding where to go for a post-performance libation and chinwag. A fellow came up to us and spoke to us as if he knew us, but the chap was so intoxicated I doubt he'd know his own name. We looked at one another briefly, assessing the situation, but Kevin, who had been talking amiably to the fellow, was the first to act. He took out a ten-dollar note from his pocket and said "Here's a blooie, mate, let's get you home safe." [NZ$10 notes are blue in colour] We called a cab and did just that.

To paraphrase the words of Professor Marvel to the Tin Man in The Wizard Of Oz, a heart is not measured by how much one loves, but by how much one is loved by others. In either circumstance, Kevin Smith had the biggest heart of any other individual I know. May all of us aspire to possess a fraction of the heart he did.

Bret Rudnick
Whoosh! Executive Committee

Hermosa Beach, CA 17 February 2002









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