This site is respectfully dedicated to the memory of the best friend I ever had. His name is David Wallingsford, and he is the person who introduced me to science fiction, way back in 1967 when we were seniors in high school. The book was Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, and even though I do not think that is the right book for anyone else to begin their exploration of either SF in general or RAH in particular, David correctly deduced it was the right one for me at the time.
David and I were very close during our last couple of years of high school and we roomed together during our time in junior college in Waco. He continued on to the University of Texas but I did not as I could not decide on a career path at that time - still haven't as a matter of fact. We both had aspirations of being writers, and although David did have a career as a writer and/or editor on several publications, I do not think he ever had any of his fiction published. We stayed in touch as best we could for several years, but I regret to say we did not have contact with each other for at least the last ten years of his life.
David passed away several years ago after two separate bouts with cancer. I was not aware of this fact until it was too late, and was not able to see him before he died. I have regretted this ever since and have used this as an example many times of why we should never take our friends and family for granted. Never pass up the opportunity to tell those close to you how much their love and companionship means to you.
I realize this is a very somber subject, but I think about things of this nature more and more as I get older, especially as I am separated from my son by half-a-continent, and also I am now having to witness the fast approaching twilight years of my mother's life (my father died just a few days before 9/11). There was a time in my rebellious youth when I would have scoffed at such an idea, but I now realize the importance of family and friends. In this complex and sometimes frightening world, they are really all we have. Cherish them!