A noted contributor to local message boards passed away recently. GuestZero, whose real identity will not be revealed by me, died of a heart attack last month (Feb. 2016). A memorial service was held today at Side Cut Metropark in The Lamb Center.
GuestZero was an active, if somewhat acerbic, contributor on Toledo Talk and Swamp Bubbles. Both sites released news of his passing here and here. I met GuestZero several times and found him to be an affable, learned man. I shall miss him.
The memorial service was well attended by friends and neighbors; only a few message board contributors showed up, which didn't surprise me too much. Virtually all people who contribute to message boards do so anonymously, and for good reason. Hence, many are not thrilled about an initial meeting with other users whom they may have had a disagreement with, or who might reveal their true identity online - and some of these users have something to protect.
Food and refreshments were provided by SherryET, who did an excellent job, and to whom I (and several others who attended) raise an afternoon bourbon glass and give a tip of the old fedora by way of thanks and recognition.
In keeping with the tradition of any memorial service, a Baptist minister from some local church (whose name I've forgotten, both the man and the church) gave an extremely brief eulogy of sorts, then launched into an evangelical sermon culminating in an altar call. No one approached the altar, and the minister left very soon after that. To the best of my knowledge, GuestZero was an agnostic, but I can't be certain.
When attendees were asked to stand up and say a few words about GuestZero, I declined. What I had to say about him wouldn't make sense to the crowd, none of whom understood what a message board was or how I ever came to know GuestZero, and I wasn't about to try and explain it.
I stayed for a little over an hour, then Mariner mentioned he was feeling a bit dry, so we bid a quiet farewell to the entire business and went over to Dale's Bar and Grill, there to knock back a cold one. I think GZ would have approved.