The Keith Laumer eForum



FORUMS > KEITH LAUMER FORUM [ REFRESH ]
Thread Title: Keith Laumer, The Man
Created On Tue May 17, 2005 7:01 PM


Leeg
Message # 2


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Tue May 17, 2005 7:01 PM, Msg # 2

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Ya gotta tell us more about your visit...especially the luger incident, but, more details overall...don't leave us hanging like this...

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Jim Maxey
Message # 3


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Tue May 17, 2005 8:27 PM, Msg # 3

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So, yes, there we were, my young daughter and myself meeting Keith Lawmer a few years before he died. We had been corresponding for 20 years or so and calling (mostly me) on the phone, for even longer. There were many nights we talked a couple of hours about everything; god, aging, US Meat, death, cops, government, other writers, and how too many had called him a Nigger Hater, because of some of his derogatory alien descriptions. Strange. Keith Laumer was not a bigot. He was simply too bright for his body, including his brain. I mean that as it sounds. Somehow it's true.

We loved to rant and rave, explore the edge, make fun of things we both hated, despised. More than anything it seems at least, when we talked, Keith loved to hear how much I loved his work, respected his writing, his talent. He would always say, “well, that’s great, that’s good." He couldn’t get enough, it seems. I'd be the same if I was that talented and others recognized the fact. With all his rage, Keith calmed when his intelligence or writing ability was recognized. I'm no shrink but it seems clear Keith Laumer needed to be appreciated, loved, respected for his work. It was his life. And I'm afraid he never got close to being anywhere near appreciated, as he should, at least, after he could not find the same clarity after the stroke.

If there were a god, I'd love to punch him out! Or was it her?

Keith would have laughed at that. When Keith was pissed about something or other, he'd generally growl a few expletives. Yes, growl. Venomously.

In the 1980's I was pretty busy after I founded Event Horizons BBS, which later became extremely successful. A BBS was an abbreviation for Bulletin Board System and was a precursor to the internet. I'd talk to Keith about computers but he always indicated he had no knowledge and therefore not much interest.

I remember one day back in the late sixties, when I had no money and no way to pay for a phone, let alone a bill, I was able to tap into the phone and get a long distance carrier without permission (don't ask). It was the line to the empty apartment next door. For some reason there was a dial tone. So, most of my calls then were free, talking long hours to Keith. There was the three-hour difference in time from Oregon to Florida of course and during one of those long conversations, an operator cut in and told us both that this was an unauthorized call, that the phone was being used without permission. The operator asked Keith his name and without any hesitation, he answered in that high-pitched, incredibly sarcastic voice that totally belonged to Laumer, "Frank Nerd, what's your name honey?

I first called Keith sometime around 1966 or 1967, I think it was, give a year or too. The back of one of his books indicated he lived in Brooksville, Florida. So, I called information and sure enough, there as a Keith Laumer listed. I called and a man with a rather high-pitched voice answered. Now, Keith’s voice was not high pitched as in feminine, or gay. It was just a tone, different than I had expected. It was pleasant enough, not sarcastic then. But I guess I was a bit surprised to actually have the master himself answer the telephone for this poor mortal.

I hung up without saying a word.

Boy. That went well. What a dork. Me. It was another week or so before I worked up enough courage to call him again. I told him I was a fan, read his books, loved them, etc, etc. He loved it, ate it all up. I’m sure I wasn't at all impressive. But I made up for it with enthusiasm. I called him many times over the years and he was always happy to take the call, even if he had been sleeping. Yes, he'd growl a bit but most of that must have been an over the top impression of Walter Matthau.

He hated the idea of marijuana and hippies. I had long hair and smoked grass then. He thought that was a waste of effort. But we were both atheists, rebels, natural jerks, unrealized perfectionists, at least I was unrealized, and we both liked naked woman, sarcasm, standing up for what was right, hated injustice and powerful clerks with an attitude or no brain, or no sense of humor. He taught me. I didn’t have much to offer him then but praise and support.

Keith loved to be on the late side of expected, on the wrong side of right. He was out to save the world and by god, he knew his next move. When discussing the political scene, or the incompetence of the US Government, he'd refer to them as a bunch of God Damn "cocksuckers". "Somebody needed to put a gun to their heads and blow their fucking brains all over the wall". He meant it too. It didn't take much to enrage Keith. He loved it. I guess it was an outlet.

Keith Laumer was my hero. His writing heros were Ernest Hemingway and Raymond Chandler. I know because he told me so often enough.

Christ, I'm finding myself reacting the same way to many people these days. Those petty clerks, the customer service assholes, the people at Comcast, the ... well, you know, the standard cocksuckers.

Anyway, so here we are, at Keith's place, the man I respected, still do, more than anyone else, except possibly Norman Thayer from Golden Pond. When we first met at his home, Keith remarked that I was the sort of guy no one would mess with. I guess he was saying I had that look. But I'm not too big. Keith towered over me, even in his condition. But that's what he had said, so it was even more of a shock that only a few hours later he would pull a gun from near his sofa and point it at me.

Keith got pissed over something I had innocently said about the use of a video camera. He took my remark to mean I was insulting his intelligence. I should have known. He would always go ballistic whenever that happened. He later said he goes into rage when he cannot communicate correctly. And a man who is basically paralyzed on one side, and cannot write well enough as in his former glory, has lots to endure. Keith was a big man, size wise and intellectually. He’d be the first to tell you that he needed more.

So, anyway, here I am standing in the middle of Keith Laumer's living room. Keith is sitting on a sofa and my daughter is standing at the other end of the sofa. He had just blown up at my attempt to explain something about second-generation video, if I remember correctly, which was my answer to his question about it. His rage was sudden and totally uncalled for, shouting something like, "For Christ Sakes, I know that! If I wanted a lesson I'd have paid for it, God Damn it!” Actually, it was more venomous but I don't remember the words. It was out of line. It pissed me off.

I told him so, that if he was going to blow up then I'd just leave. His answer was to insist I leave at that very instant. And that wasn't very friendly. Frank Nerd would have been more cordial. But my video camera was connected to his television. I had been showing Keith some video of our visit to Disney World, believe it or not. Video was rather new back then. I had a decent video camera, at least, good at that time. I told him I'd leave just as soon as I disconnected my camera and got my cables together.

When I turned around from the TV, Keith Laumer was pointing a German Luger at my chest, demanding that I leave now, minus my video recorder, the gun not wavering in his hand from his sitting position. I remember wondering very briefly if he just wanted my camera but I must have dismissed it very quickly. This just have been a strange sight, the man whose characters had sustained and entertained me for so long, so many years, the very man I had communicated with, had talked to on the phone for so long, the man I respected on many levels, more than anyone. Why was this happening. But I know I did not react in shock, not outwardly. I believe I was calm and deliberate. I'd be fucking damned if I was to break down in front of the man, even if the man had suddenly turned strangely mean and super threatening.

I couldn’t tell if the gun was cocked; I was about ten feet away. I admit, it scared me. If you’ve ever had a gun pointed at you, you know exactly what I mean. It had happened before, a man’s ex-wife and I were naked together and he caught us. You get the picture.

But the very idea that Keith would pull a gun, on some personal level really pissed me off. I thought for a very brief second of rushing him, wondering if I could dodge a bullet, if he had one, and if he could pull the trigger quickly enough. But it was only for an instant.

Instead I said this exactly, "Put away the gun, Keith. You're not going to shoot anyone". I must have sounded braver than I felt because he put it away as though he suddenly realized what he had done.

That was it. We said nothing more I can remember, just made it through an awkward few moments in silence. I took a few more seconds gathering my equipment, whatever I had brought, and got my daughter and myself out of his home.

That's the way it happened as best I can remember. I didn't piss myself at least. But for some reason, being angry, I couldn't believe that Keith would have shot me and I could not let Keith get away with such a jerk thing to do, not without a straight comment. But why take the chance?

Honestly, I wish I had been wise or perceptive enough to have told him something like, "Keith, listen man. It's okay. No one respects you more than me. I'm not some dickhead without a life, some dumbshit without a brain. I'm successful and I'd like to believe what I think counts. And as I've said before, you're one of the great ones, one of the best writers and you've helped make me what I am today, through your stories, your sense of humor, your intelligence. You don't want to shoot me because we've shared too much, and I'm not the threat. It's the fucking body man. You got cheated and it sucks. But we're both men and I have a little girl here who wants to know you more. So, let's pretend this never happen and start over.

That's what I would have liked to have said. But I didn't. Hell, he could have shot me for real if I had. Or he could have cried.

Naw. Not Keith Laumer. Right?

I went back home to Portland and never saw Keith again. But I did call him a few months later. I had imagined that after my hero had pulled a gun on me, and in front of my little girl, I couldn't possibly enjoy his stories again.

But I was wrong. His stories, the very good ones, were as good as ever.

When I did call him a few months later we talked a bit about the rage he felt and couldn't control and his voice broke a bit when he apologized. If you knew Keith Laumer you know that took a bit for him to apologize.

And Keith had finally published his last Brian Bayard story, which I had been trying to get him to do for years. I believe it was called "Zone Yellow". But I didn't much care for the story and told him so when he asked what I thought of it. I was honest, told the truth. I could tell he was disappointed.

I wish to hell I had lied.

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pashasan
Message # 16


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Mon December 19, 2005 10:26 PM, Msg # 16

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wow. i mean i belive evry woord, it has the ring of truth. how sad this story. a great mind struck down by the fraility of the body, a great frendship also dies at the hands of the insecurities that result. fuck man. almost brings a tear. I feel for you. I cant imgine how it must have hurt to end it like that. Its heartening to see that your able to see it for waht it was. It sucks to lose friends, it sucks even more to lose heros.

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Jim Maxey
Message # 17


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Tue January 03, 2006 8:17 PM, Msg # 17

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Pashasan:

What a pleasant message. Thanks for the feedback.

There are lots of Laumer fans out there and I'll check back now and then, to see how it all goes. I wish we had more good photos.

Jim



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JWDome
Message # 18


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Sat January 28, 2006 8:07 PM, Msg # 18

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I knew Keith in 1974 through 1979. I actually knew him for 2 years without knowing he was a sci-fi writer.

I was a bag-boy at Carlton's Grocery. Carlton's had an old fashioned butcher shop, and you could call in your grocery order, and have it brought out to you at the curb. Keith was always very generous with tips, and sometimes came into the store to get his own groceries, but mostly, he called his order in, and would often ask for me to get his order together for him, because I always got it right (yes, he was a perfectionist, and since this was my very first job at 15 years old, I was very influenced and impressed by him). Finally one day when he came into the store, as I was carrying his groceries out to his car for him, I got up the nerve to ask him what he did for a living. I was ecstatic when he told me he was a writer, particularly sci-fi! I had been a book worm and sci-fi nut since I was 12!

The next time Keith came into the store, he brought me a somewhat worn and yellowed, but autographed copy of “Dinosaur Beach.” I started reading it that night, and was an instant fan. Up until he brought me that book, I only knew him as “Keith.” I don’t know whatever happened to that copy, as I’ve moved so many times over the years.

Keith was always cool to me, but I saw his rage flare, a couple of times, when others pissed him off. I was stocking the shelves at the store one day. When Keith came in, he usually had the manager of the butcher shop cut his steaks for him in a special way, as our store was well known for custom meats, cut to order. This day, the manager was out sick, and a new butcher that had only worked there for a week was waiting on Keith. I heard some yelling and looked over to see Keith swing the handle of his cane over the top of the meat case, and just miss the side of the butcher’s head by an inch. If the butcher hadn’t been quick on his feet, he would have caught a hammer-drive to the temple! Keith stormed out of the store, and we didn’t see him again for several weeks. Nothing else came of it, though.

After that incident, I could feel Keith’s rage in some of the characters in his books. I always enjoyed the Reteif adventures, and it was obvious that Reteif’s views of government bureaucracy and inefficiency were Keith’s own feelings.

My family and I moved away for a few months, couldn’t take the cold in the north after having lived in Florida for a few years, then moved back. I then took a job at Publix Supermarket. The parking was set up so that the handicapped spots were right in front of the doors, with a ramped opening for the grocery carts to get through to the parking lot. There were lots of “N...’s” who were NOT handicapped who would park their cars right on the cart ramp next to the handicapped spaces so the could ‘run in real quick’ to get one or two items. At the time, Keith drove a Cadillac Eldorado, and in the ‘70's, those suckers were yachts on wheels. The driver’s door must have been about 5 feet long, so to get in and out of the car, you had to have a lot of room to swing the door open.
Publix didn’t have the call in service that Carlton’s had, so Keith had to come in the store and get his own groceries. One day he was in the store when someone parked right next to his car, which was parked properly in the handicapped space. Keith, being paralyzed on one side, had to swing the door wider than most people in order to get in his car. He came out of the store and saw how little space was left for him to try to get in his car, and he just started cursing up a storm. Them he opened his door and slammed it several times into the offending car until there was a 3" deep dent in it, which gave him enough room to get in his car and peel out of the lot. A few weeks later, he was driving an older Mercury Cougar. He said he burned the engine up in the Eldorado.

Well, enough about his temper, the man was a brilliant author. I just moved back to Brooksville after being away for 25 years, and wondered what became of him, so I Googled his name and found this web sight. He will be greatly missed.

–>John W. Dennis—>

-------------------------
I knew Keith Laumer in the mid 70's

-->John W. Dennis--->

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Jim Maxey
Message # 19


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Tue January 31, 2006 6:32 PM, Msg # 19

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John,

Hey, thanks for sharing. That's what I hope for, a message from someone who met him, what they thought, etc. Dinosaur Beach is also one of my favorites; a lone figure saving the world but doing so with lots of humor, technical ideas, and a hell of a lot of fun. My favorite is The Other Side of Time, perhaps because it was my first. But it fit perfectly into my idea of Science Fiction. Are there any similar writers around these days? I admit to enjoying Mickey Spillane in my 20's. He also drove his characters in the first person, not an easy task to pull off. Most of what I see these days, hell, for the last decade or more, is fantasy, and more fantasy. Give me a time machine built out of nuts and bolts, and a keyboard, with a twist, and I'll take that any day compared to most fantasy. My second favorite of Laumer is A Trace of Memory. Great stuff. And the hilarious The Time Bender. And with The Infinite Cage, one gets the idea they know what Keith was going through.

Another good story is Clifford D. Simak, "Time is the Simplist Thing".

Keep in touch,

Jim



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erbrown
Message # 20


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Mon February 13, 2006 3:03 PM, Msg # 20

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Dear Friends,

I normally am not a "joiner" of forums, but my respect for Keith Laumer mandates that I must throw in with you guys.

Fascinating stories about Laumer the man, melancholy and bittersweet. The account of him collecting hulks of Cougars in order to put together one good car are oddly touching.

I had the good fortune to meet him at a comic and sci fi convention in 1972. I was with a much more experienced friend, also a Laumer fan and who marched right up to him and asked if we could visit and talk! I hadn't even known he was planning on doing that.

I was also alarmed at the sight of Mr. Laumer walking with the aid of a cane and leaning heavily on it.

--This was a convention in Manhattan, where I lived. It took place at the old Commodore Hotel on 42 Street. I was a young 17--

So, at the appointed time, up me and my friend David went to his room. I have to report that he was a tall, lean man, not apparently afflicted except for a difficulty with his legs. We shook hands, his grip was quite powerful, but for a man who used a cane, thoughtfully not over-powering. I honestly cannot recall which side he was paralyzed on, but whatever side, it was not his "skilled hand" side as he signed autographs for us. He was very gracious and made us feel quite comfortable, getting us little cokes and making us sit down.

I was in a mild state of shock, never having done anything like this, so I will try to write down my clearest memories.

My friend began be asking, "what's the best way to get started as a writer?" Mr. Laumer answered to read everything you've ever read over again. I think he mentioned that he had recently re-read Moby Dick as an example. Then you just have to write, to do it. Write whatever you can and just keep writing.

"How do you work?" Everything is written out in longhand on legal-sized yellow pads. There are line spaces left for corrections. I cannot recall whether he said he had the work typed up before he submitted it or if me made a slight joke about sending it in all curled up to his editors. He either said that typing wasn't so important or that he couldn't type-- which I find hard to believe as a career Air Force officer and diplomatic corp officer.

At some point he asked us if we wanted to smoke. We both did not smoke and said so. Mr. Laumer went on a short, but explosive discourse on how weak people were who did smoke. That they should "just pull their peckers out and beat them on a wall." (That part I remember well!)

Also, the door opened and in stepped a very pretty young woman. Since she neither looked at us nor at Mr. Laumer and he did not offer to introduce us, I pretended she wasn't there. Mr. Laumer was talking about something and seemed to look at the floor for a bit. Soon, she collected something and left without a backward glance. I only assume, years later, that it must've been one of his daughters. Having learned of his divorce in 1966 (?) I can only guess that there was some kind of strain between them. Or, she just didn't like fans.

I asked him about one name in particular, probably because I had just read it, an incidental character named, "Rex Googooian, the Armenian Valentino." My memory of the facts of the answer are vague, specifically when this took place, but it was on a boat that he seemed to work on. He spoke of being below decks, which I assume means he was employed. He was laughing when he told the story that another sailor would make fun of Googooian's name by pretending to be a ventriloquist and making a sock-puppet talk. He would squeek the name and apparently go on and on-- this, Mr. Laumer was doing in a high-pitched voice. We all were laughing.

Near the middle of our half hour stay, he opened up a bit. "Boys," he said, "not 6 months ago, I was the picture of health. I used to work out every day with weights." Then he was hit with a paralyzing stroke and had been trying to recover since. I mentioned that, from what little I knew of strokes, that in some cases, other parts of the brain take over some functions. Suddenly, I was looking into a hard stare from Mr. Laumer. He was struck by this rather hopeful statement from a kid. But I remember those eyes.

The conversation picked up again. I had a copy of one of his freelance assignments, a merchandised book about the TV series, The Invaders. I had bought it at the convention downstairs and had not read it. He seemed diffident about it, so I asked why he did it then. I was not very well informed about writers and work. He said he did it, "for twelve hundred and fifty good reasons!" and gave a short laugh. (It was the first of, I believe, two Invaders he wrote-- I only have the first-- quite good, even if it has little to do with the show.)

Then we were interrupted by, of all people, author Linn Carter. He came in with a pile of hardcover books and had Mr. Laumer autograph them all. They kept up a running chatter about all sorts of meaningless things to us kids. Harry Harrison was brought up, and at an opportune moment, I asked Mr. Laumer what he thought about his work. The answer was about Mr. Harrison, who was an "insufferable man."

I had gotten my Invaders and also my copy of Plague of Demons paperback autographed by him. I asked for and he graciously gave he a writing address in Florida. I never managed to write (damn me!) and in a move, I lost the address.

I believe we left with Mr. Carter. I was in a tizzy, my buddy was a lot more non-plussed.

Keith Laumer was a hero to me. He wrote just what I like to read. I know there is a before-- and after-- his stroke, and yes, there is a difference, but I enjoy his later work too.

His ideas of character and the way he presents his heroes acting have always influenced the way I have tried to do business in life. It hasn't always worked out that way, but I know I tried to live up to a Laumer standard. Let's just say I know when I didn't.


This site is a nice idea and I hope there are more Laumer enthusiasts out there who will find this and contribute.

Laumer is tightly wound around my psyche, along with Heinlein, Clarke, Asimov and Niven. Lately, as I enter my 50s, I have found a new grit and even more humor in Laumer's stuff. Catastrophe Planet, Planet Run, Plague of Demons, Trace of Memory, gee...

I cherish my tattered, well-thumbed paperback collection of his work... I miss new Laumer.

With that, there are some great-- "addendum" (post-humous-- in the vein of-- ) works, the Bolo concept enlarged upon and made vigorous, for example.






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James Van Hise
Message # 31


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Sun July 30, 2006 7:33 AM, Msg # 31

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In 1971 Keith Laumer edited a book titled FIVE FATES which also included stories by Harlan Ellison, Poul Anderson, Frank Herbert and Gordon R. Dickson. A couple years later Harlan was being interviewed by a Miami radio station and the host abruptly mentioned that he'd interviewed Keith Laumer, and that Laumer had called Harlan a son-of-a-bitch, and wondered why. Harlan sighed, explained that he hadn't planned to bring this up but the fact was that while Laumer had received royalties from FIVE FATES, he'd never split any of it with the writers, and Harlan had confronted Laumer about this after confirming with Laumer's agent that royalties had gone to Laumer to divide among the contributors. He then went on to explain that Laumer had been very intollerant of imperfections in the people he dealt with, and that after the stroke he'd become a very bitter man. I reprinted this interview (with Harlan's permission) in the Ellison issue of RBCC I published back in 1980, and which I still have copies of. To my knowledge Laumer never spoke publically of this feud, other than in calling Harlan names. -- James Van Hise

-------------------------
James Van Hise

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Laumer
Message # 37


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Tue August 22, 2006 11:04 PM, Msg # 37

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How interesting and emotional it is for me to read these posts. Keith is my father, and I was 14 when he had his stroke. I was living with my mother and my new step father when I got the news, and i did not understand the seriousness of the condition. When I went to visit him that summer, I was not prepaired for the sight of him at the airport, skinny and in a wheel chair. Last time I had seen him he was a tall, handsome man who women made eyes at. He was now in a wheel chair looking abashed and years older.

His temper was always hot, but after the stroke it became ridiculous, like a 2 year old child. I could not bear to go to restaurants with him, as inevitably he would blow up at the poor waitress. He was really a kind and sensitive person at heart, but it was so upsetting to be around him with his explosive temper.

As his daughter, I wanted to respect and admire him and I did in many ways. He was highly intelligent and was almost like an encyclopedia---anything I asked of a scientific nature , he could answer. He was also very funny, and often did impersonations and dialects that were hilarious.

When we were kids, he would often tell me and my 2 sisters wonderful spontanious bedtime stories that we were allowed to contibute to. He would ask each of us in tern "What do you want in the story?" For example, I would say a magic golden tooth brush and another sister would say a choclate butterfly and the other would say a pink sun and then he would immediately make up an incredible story. We did not write them down, but all 3 of us are very creative individual with creative kids.
Sabrina
sabrinalaumer.com


-------------------------
Sabrina Laumer
www.sabrinalaumer.com

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frozenjourney
Message # 43


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Thu August 31, 2006 3:52 AM, Msg # 43

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It is very emotive to read what Sabrina Laumer says. And I know how sad is to see someone change so drastically as Laumer changed because his stroke. Only the people who has seen some parent or some friend or some loved person change abruptelly can understand this. Not the rest of the people. In the distante of place and time, I tried many times to understand what ocurred in Laumer´s brain. But it is impossible.
In any case, the love for a father, or the admiration for a writter that provided us with a lot of funny hours of joy and emotions, can help to support that. Life is so cruel sometimes.

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Jim Maxey
Message # 44


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Thu August 31, 2006 3:45 PM, Msg # 44

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Sabrina,

Thanks for sharing some of your memories of Keith, the father. That's what we need, most of us, more of the man we wanted to know, but did not.

I enjoyed speaking with you on the phone yesterday and hope we have more of your visits and perhaps some photos of our father, any photos, when he was a child, a toddler, young man, old, anything would be better than what we have.

I'm sure others won't hesitate to ask you questions when they have them because it's apparent you loved your father and want to know more about him and share the man with us. That's why I created this website, for that reason and for others to learn more about him. It looks as though it's beginning to happen.

Again, you know how to reach me. If you loose any of my information, you can always contact me here.

Jim

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Adams61
Message # 45


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Sun September 03, 2006 5:27 PM, Msg # 45

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i got hook by his writing from the retief and the bolo's. his books got me thru some rough times and it saddens me that great writers such as him and david gemmell are no longer with us to help us dream of other worlds and times. I will raise a glass in their honor and pray that other writers will keep their works alive like a few have done with the bolo's.

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Cantom
Message # 54


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Sun November 05, 2006 5:45 AM, Msg # 54

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Thanks for setting up this website Jim. It fills a need...

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GinnyRED57
Message # 65


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Mon January 29, 2007 7:05 PM, Msg # 65

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After reading the preceding anecdotes and memories, I just wanted to add that as a Retief fan, I must have spent hours and hours laughing hysterically with friends because of those books. Often when reading or re-reading a favorite, I'd call a friend or two who also liked Retief and we'd riff on some of the quotes and jokes until we were giggling helplessly.

These friends weren't girls, they were guys. Guys. Giggling helplessly. The man had a gift for wordplay and screwy alien syntax.

I must have bought my copy of Retief at Large, the short-story compilation, four times over in the mid-70's. I kept loaning it to friends who liked funny science fiction, and they'd refuse to give it back. So we'd call each other and make with the insults ("My gosh! Heck! Darn! Such indignant my language lack...other obscenities as required!") or conjugate improbable Groaci infinitive verbs. I still have my last copy, along with everything else about Retief I could find, even after all this time. I never could get into the Bolo series, but I did have a bang-up nightmare one night that based on one of his other "serious" SF books. He had a way for making things get into your head, and stay there.

Keith may have been an angry, difficult, and even unlikeable individual in his later years, but he's still making people laugh, and think, years after his passing.

-------------------------
ginny

"You are gave 1 minutes Eastern Standard Time for total abandonment of vicinity. Counting!
9, twelve, 2, several..."

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frozenjourney
Message # 144


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Fri June 05, 2009 1:23 AM, Msg # 144

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This is a date that I remember having read a few months before Laumer´s death.
In a science fiction publication --perhaps it was "Science Fiction Chronicle", I´m not sure-- there was a news saying that Keith Laumer was in a difficult personal situation and needed help for living (that is, money and food). Not much longer after that, Laumer died.

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DHJENKINS
Message # 148


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Tue June 09, 2009 8:52 AM, Msg # 148

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I'm not sure where that information came from. He had a part-time caretaker, the pantry was fully stocked (including 30 cases of Samuel Adams lager) and he lived on an 'island' surrounded by 4' - 8' gators.

His difficult personal situation was that he was hated by everyone who ever came in contact with him and was banned from almost every business in the area.

The caretaker admitted to recieving a call in the middle of the night of someone moaning and hung up - this was before caller ID. More than likely, as several newly purchased pieces of equipment were absent when we arrived to deal with the aftermath, he probably knew who it was and hung up anyway.

He died of a heart attack, not poverty; and according to the M.E., it was probably not in his sleep.

-------------------------
Grandson of the late, great Keith Laumer.

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cheriefetrow
Message # 242


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Mon December 31, 2012 10:59 PM, Msg # 242

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i am new to this website and very glad to be here, my mother worked for Keith all of my childhood until he died, i worked for him when i was a teen and young adult, when he died i was pregnant with my first son...it has been 19 years.. WOW... he was very hard to be around but my mother had found a way of getting around all of that and taught us kids to do the same, Mr Laumer's grandson is right, he had everything that he needed and was cared for until he died, he did try to call someone for help the night that he died and was hung up on, the person he called said that he thought that he was just a prank call because all he heard was moaning, then the large piece of very new and costly equipment was missing when we arrived the morning of his death, my point being the scum sucker or "waste of skin"( that is one of mister laumers sayings. lol) he called that night for help went over there and took it knowing that he had passed away, mister laumer was still in his house when i arrived, the corner was still there, my point being is that the person mister laumer called he trusted and it was the first time in my life that i even knew that a person could sink that low and steal from a dead man, it to this day disturbs me.. when i was young i would have to go to his house with my mom while she worked for him, i remember many stories that he took the time to tell me and even then i knew that he was a very angry man and not one that you should mess with, i was never scared of him physically... he would tell me that he was a grand father and he always made it out like his grandson was great because he was related to him...lol one of the things that i know for sure is he truly did love his family, he did not often speak about his daughters or grandchildren to me but when he did it was always in a loving manor. the whole time that i knew him even from a very young age i knew that he had to work at being nice to me and it was also very clear that in most cases it is
something that he had no control over. i believe the story that is told about the gun just because that is how he was, i do NOT think he would have shot anyone, however had he been pointing that gun at me i would have left the recorder. he loved his car collection, he loved pringles, he loved planters cashews. i had a very hard time knowing when he was telling a joke or being serious, he told me a story once about when he was married and his wife had cooked him dinner, he came home and sat down in a hurry and scarfed down the meal when his wife asked him if he liked the pie he asked her why and she replied saying because it was your favorite kind of pie, he then told me that he yelled at her and was very angry because had he known that he would have eaten the pie slower... joke??? for real???? will never know.. He was always very fair with me and my siblings, he never asked us to do anything for free, he always paid us for our work, i can even remember when i was small and was not feeling good and he was in a good mood that i sat on his lap while my mother took notes. I remember very well one time that he got kicked out of a super market for his anger and when he got home he was trying to tell my mother what happened , he was so very frustrated and angry he was shaking..... when i looked at his face i could see a tear coming from his eye... when i asked my mother why she told me that despite all of his anger and despite all of his feelings about people in general he knew that it was him... his fault.....his stroke.....when i had gathered the courage to ask him in the coming days he told me the very same thing that my mother had explained except he had said ........it was him....his fault........his stroke......his weakness... he sure did go through an awful lot in his life time and his condition cost him a great deal..... Cherie Fetrow

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Cantom
Message # 244


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Wed January 02, 2013 11:20 PM, Msg # 244

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Thanks for your post Cherie! Difficult subject but interesting for Keith's fans.

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cal
Message # 250


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Tue November 05, 2013 9:14 PM, Msg # 250

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I appreciate your web site, Laumer has been a favorite of mine for almost 50 years.
as is Clifford Simak and "City"

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FORUMS > KEITH LAUMER FORUM [ REFRESH ]