Oh shit. I logged in to write about how good this panel just was, and
I see in my e-mail that Thomas Fuller has died. Damn damn damn damn!
He had a heart attack recently and now he has died. I’ll write about
the Orycon stuff later.
I was not what you’d call a close friend of Thomas. I never hung out
with him in civilian life, but I did see him and enjoy talking to him
every Dragon*con. He was a guest on my live remotes many times, always
a fun guy. His work with Atlanta Radio
Theater Company was consistently good and frequently great. His
radio play “Chronos Beach”, which I heard (and saw) performed at D*Con
many years ago, remains hands down my favorite radio drama,
period. Not Groucho or Dimension X but “Chronos Beach”. Here is how
Thomas changed my life. In 1995, the year that Dragon*Con was also
NASFIC, Thomas and I were sitting in the guest hospitality room having
breakfast the last day. We were discussing our various efforts to go
“bigger time” with our various efforts if not “big time.” He said
these words to me, as close to verbatim as I can get them:
You need to take advantage of the fact that your whole show is you and
a tape recorder. You can do anything you want and it costs nothing. If
we (ARTC) do something, it has to make enough money to feed 20 people,
all of who have families to support. You can do it for next to nothing.
These words and this concept – that I should take advantage of my low
cost of production – is what got me into having a nationally
syndicated radio show. I did exactly that, used the fact I could do a
show for $50 a week to go national. The fact I have the body of work I
do owes a great deal to some stern fatherly words of advice from Thomas
Fuller. I wish I knew him better, I wish I could still talk with him
about old time radio now that I’m more into it. I did at least get to
tell him that his words were the inspiration I needed and to thank him
for it. God rest your soul, big guy. I’ll miss you.