A meditation by the narrator of A Separate Peace by John Knowles notes there are moments that essentially get frozen in the memory. For him it's the era of his school days. Roosevelt will always be president, he'll always be in high school, he says, and so on.
I keep thinking about that passage as I contemplate a favorite story I need to re-read, Sticks, by Karl Edward Wagner. Wayne Sallee, who was close to Karl, has written eloquently about him in a couple of posts, including this one.
Wayne's notes and going through my books, still for Library Thing, thumbing my paperbacks of In A Lonely Place and Why Not You and I, have me thinking about the days I went to a lot of conventions. Karl Edward Wagner always seemed to be there, everywhere, and doing something crazy.
I remember him coming into a panel room once and grabbing a table cloth to throw it around his shoulders or opening a panel discussion on monsters by affecting an instructor's monotone and saying: "We are here today to discuss the care an maintenance of the CXL small engine..."
I remember him acting like a professional wrestler and trading insults, boasts and challenges with Charles L. Grant
In my mind, that's a time it will always be. A floating universe somewhere, where time hasn't moved along so rapidly.
I read "Sticks" first in that big collection of horror stories edited by David G. Hartwell. It's collected in In a Lonely Place, which I bought along with a couple of the Kull books right after KEW died, selfishly worrying they would quickly become hard to find.