Bones paused by his computer. "You probably haven't seen this.." He looked at the screen, then looked at me. "John Floyd passed away. I think you knew him..?"
Yes. And it was my honour.
Floyd was a haunter and a videographer here on the east coast. I probably met him in Chicago somewhere around ten or twelve years ago..but he was one of those people that pop up in unexpected locations, so I can't really pinpoint when or where we actually met. By the time he filmed my first (and only) masquerade entry at Arisia in 2003 or so, we were already friends.
And that's how most of us got to know Floyd..somehow, it was because he was videotaping us at a haunt or a convention. He was infamous for taping something and saying, with complete enthusiasm, "That was great! Do it again!" And you did it, and you didn't mind, because Floyd was always such a positive force.
He would drive from New England to western PA, to our house that was never locked. Sometimes the first inkling I had that he was in town was that I'd stumble into the kitchen in the morning and find him carefully scrubbing my landlady's kitchen floor. He always insisted on doing some sort of housework for her in exchange for the use of an air mattress on the floor of her sewing room.
And he'd film for a night or two at the haunt, and then get back on the road to New England by the end of the weekend. His arrival gave us a bit of new energy, and it was always a little sad when we realized he was already gone for the season.
He would have been a marvelous Grisly. His humour was, in my experience, as sweet and as innocent as one would expect from a Grisly. He pretended to speak Chinese so believably that it took someone else commenting on his joke for me to realize he did not, in fact, know a single word of that language . (janusaries, you may now point and laugh.)
He was perfectly willing to put on a dress and stand in a window of the Lizzy Borden house, posing with an axe, so that a fellow haunter could draw attention to him from the street so they could tape people's reactions.
His response to a particularly embarrassing belch from me one night was to say, without missing a beat, "I will MARRY you!" One friend has commented to me that half of the laughs he remembers have one common denominator..and that's Floyd.
In January, I was told Floyd had lung cancer. He lived a healthy life, making the diagnosis bitterly unfair. Treatment left him with a high wispy voice, but by April he was starting to poke fun at his condition. He visited a haunt in Salem and posed next to one of the skeletal props, asking which of them looked worse.
And that's pretty typical of Floyd.
It is surreal, and impossible, to believe that I won't see John Floyd at some random event in the near future. He was, simply put, one of the sweetest haunters I've ever known...and I'm pretty sure he's thinking up some ridiculous way of making his presence known from whatever afterlife he's videotaping from right now.
He will be missed.
9/10/60 - 8/12/12
Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.Obituary here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/