RARA-AVIS: Re: Mario Gone

From: Kevin Burton Smith (kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 20 Oct 2010

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    I eased back onto this list a short while ago, after my own wilderness year, looking forward to swapping crime spit with old friends like Kerry, Mario, Jim, Mark, Karin, Juri, Fred and all the rest.


    I feel particularly bad because I had just joked a few days ago about the whole Jacques/Mario/time/space continuum. Did he ever explain why he used different names?

    Mario was virtually a charter member of this list. In his very first post, way back in 1997, when the list was a mere ten days old, he responded to a thread on books about heists by recommending Elmore Leonard's FREAKY DEAKY and Richard Stark's Parker. And he was off!

    In the early years, Mario posted more than anyone, according to a survey founder Bill Denton (who's also been MIA for way too long) had compiled. But what was really refreshing and remarkable was that Mario's posts were almost always about something -- he wasn't flooding the list with endless, pointless BSP to flog his latest book or short story or conspiracy theory. In this age of 24/7 CyberHype Drama Queens, that alone should have earned him a Nobel nomination. That, as co-moderator these last few years, he managed to mostly keep Rara-Avis from turning into the Atta-Boy! Circle Jerk so many other lists have become pretty much cinches it.

    So Mario's been part of my life for thirteen years or so, and while we certainly rattled our cages at each other enough over the years (I'd like to think he was Felix to my Oscar), I always appreciated the passion and wit he would bring to his posts.And even when I did disagree with his conclusions, I knew those opinions were based on actual, first hand knowledge. He'd read the books, seen the movies, heard the music.. so he knew what he was talking about. You just have to respect that.

    Damn. I'm gonna miss him.


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