I missed notice of this last month, but on October 30th Hank Reinhardt died at age 73. He was a longtime southern science fiction fan, weapons historian and founder of Musuem Replicas from where I have shopped a few times. Back at the 1992 World Fantasy Convention in Callaway Gardens, I had a fun 30 or 45 minute drunken conversation with Hank outside a room party. If I recall correctly, he gave me a mini-lecture on the history of the invention of the pike, the balance of power between calvary and infantry troops through the ages and so forth. I’d say hello to him at Dragon*Cons through the years. He’s one of those guys who was so thoroughly present in my interactions with Atlanta science fiction circles that it is tough to imagine them without him.
I hope his widow Toni Weisskopf is getting along. Because these are small circles we run in, I also know her professionally via my work interviewing authors from Baen Books, where she works as an editor. Hank was a large presence and I’m sure his loss leaves a giant hole in the lives of his friends and family. I barely knew the man and I miss him. He joins the sad list of larger than life people I know from southern science fiction fandom who are no longer there. We are all lessened by their absence.