I still cannot wrap my mind around the thought of Acidman's passing. His words live on, why not him?
Yesterday found me speechless, profoundly unable to put words to the loss of a giant. And yes, Rob was a GIANT, both in life, and on the keyboard.
While I pecked away ineffectually, Rob was there with encouragement, advice and humor aplenty, helping to launch Smoke on the Water. And launch it he did, sneaking the announcement of this site out there well ahead of it's intended time. His quote (Nov 30th, 2003) is lost to his archives which start in mid 2004. But he basically took great joy in kicking my blog out and into the open, while I was still yet building it. An Acidlanche, as it were.
Mostly (still) speechless, I have read some very moving tributes to Rob, and I shall link to a few through the day in between work and tears. For now though, my thanks to Chris Muir at Day by Day for this:
And yes, Rob leaves that much of a void.
G'bye friend. I'll wait to hear your Gibson on the other side.
I'm still in a state where words fail me. Yesterday, I could barely see to type, and even worse as I circulated my blogroll and Rob's comments on Samatha's "News...." post.
So, I'll let those more eloquent works from those sites speak for me, for now. Myself, I am still distilling what Rob has meant to me, and the impact of his passing.
I know this; it is immense, and has changed my life for the better. Thank you, Rob.
Blogfather, I hardly knew ye.
Now, a few words from his friends:
Denny Wilson, a.k.a. Grouchy Old Cripple in Atlanata
I drove up. As I was hobbling into the restaurant, he looked at me and said, "You're the sorry sumbitch who keeps catbombing me".
We talked about blogging. His philosophy was sumpin' he picked up from Lileks. You throw enough shit against a wall, some of it will stick. So, you write, write, write, and write. Some of it is bound to be good.
I remember him saying that there were three types of bloggers: there were linkers, like Glenn Reynolds; there were thinkers, like Stephen den Beste; and there were stinkers, like Rob and I.
I'm going to miss the ornery little pissant. At least you knew what you saw was what you got. You may not like it, but Rob would be the first to tell you to Kiss His Cracker Ass. And I admired that. I laugh about Catfish having no filters, but I think Rob introduced the blogosphere to mainstream non-filtered bullet-dodging seat-of-your-pants writing. At the risk of sounding trite he did push the envelope, and knock down a few walls. If he went overboard (N-Word!) he would eventually be almost apologetic about it. But you knew deep down he didn't give a shit. He was warts and all. And I admired that, too.
To Robbie. My friend. RIP.
Donnie, at Cadillac Tight
Rob Smith, a.k.a. "Acidman", has passed on. Rob inspired me to start blogging lo those many years ago, and he was always a good friend to me. I'll miss him very much, and the blogosphere will be poorer without him.
Rest in Peace, Pappy.
Dax Montana, as posted by Yabu in his behalf:
As he said: We will share a moment of grief, with a moment of life.
And from Yabu
Thank you Rob, and may God rest your soul.
I’ll be there Thursday.
I was always pestering him to come and visit us, but he never did—he was either in rehab or in too much pain, or else jumping whores in Costa Rica (which is how I’ll remember him, the horny-toad Cracker bastard).
The world will definitely be a less-interesting place from now on…
Misha, at the Anti-Idiotorian Rottweiller
And beneath that rough veneer, beneath all of the raging against the fading of the light, there was a warm, loving man. Most of all I remember his posts about his love of his son, Quinton, in which the “softer side of Rob” shone through like a beacon.
That’s a side of him that I’ll remember well. A side of him that showed me and everybody else who cared to read that, no matter how much anger and frustration one man holds, there’s always more to a man that, that there is good as well as the bad and the ugly.
Some will remember him for the bad and the ugly, some will remember him for the good. I will remember him for all of it.
Because it was all him. He let it all hang out, that was his gift to anybody who cared, and I accept it all gratefully. Warts and all
R.I.P., Rob. I’ll have a drink to your memory tonight.
I know I am not the only one who has struggled to wrap their brain around this. It is amazing that the "good ol days" of Blogworld were only two years ago and change. Rob has had his struggles of late, I know, but I knew he'd come back to us. After all, for many of us, he is our Blogfaddah. And even during the rough patches, I have observed and concluded that he is just too stubborn to die.
So I stared at the words today, and waited for them to go away. To change. To not be true.
Steve of Hog on Ice
Rob was a real writer. Nothing was hidden. He said things about himself that I would hesitate to reveal about my worst enemy. I read his site even when I forgot to read sites belonging to close friends. He was a true original.
Rob feared no one, but many feared him and tried to use the weight of absurdity and political correctness to destroy him. The list is long: his company, the infamous Kerr-McGee, his ex-wife and through her, the courts. He rose above all of them, and cut their absurd lives and arguments to shreds.
Kevin Baker, at The Smallest Minority
Rest in peace, Acidman. If there's an afterlife, I hope yours is a lot like Costa Rica, with sweet nubile women, a working Roscoe, and all the good food, good beer, and good company you could ever want. You will be sorely missed.
Dana of Frankensoul
And now he's gone. My heart is broken. Rob, you will surely be missed. While I am very sad that you are gone, I am so very very happy that we became friends and that my life was graced with your presence. My life is better because you were in it.
Daniel Medley of LoBoWalk
I can’t make it, but if it were in anyway possible, I’d be there in a heartbeat.
Peace and love, brother. Peace and love.
Oceanguy, Somewhere on A-1A
They need to know their father was a good man who loved them both with all he had. I hope these eulogies from so many strangers will help. I hope their memories of bad times is extremely short, and that, in a very short time, only the good memories remain and their pain is replaced with the joy he would want them to feel while remembering him.
Good-bye Rob... Rest in Peace.
Matt of Baboon Pirates
I never played the blogparent/blogchild game, but Rob's blog is one of the first I read on a don't-miss daily basis, and I sure wouldn't have started writing mine if I hadn't been hooked into the blogosphere by Rob and a few others.
Rob Smith was one of those other people. You read his blog, and you didn't know whether to curse him out or laugh out loud. You looked at the things he did in life, and you had one of two thoughts. It was either A) "Oh hell, I wish I'd done that!" or B) "Did you mean to fuck it up that bad, or was it an accident?"
Never once did you read his writing and go "Meh. Whatever."
I will miss his delightful cackle, his deeply sweet Southern drawl, his promises to come visit (I'll likely always be a bit pissed that he let me down on that one), I'll miss his wonderfully warm songs, the beautiful music he created, and I'll miss not being able to have him watch, or at least hear, my son play the guitar Rob sent him.
And damn if it wasn't just last week that I was on the phone with a blues legend, telling him of Rob's kind gesture. You see, the guitar was sent to Little Dude because he'd seen this bluesman in concert. Rob had seen this man at Merle Fest and understood the inspiration. The guitar was Rob's contribution to my son's future as a musician/storyteller. He always did stuff like that.
Jenny, a.k.a. Trailer Park Girl
We lived far apart and had each had little idea of what the other was like on an everyday basis, yet we learned some of each other's deepest secrets and glimpsed some of each other's darkest aspects. We also had some good laughs and saw some of each other's nobler qualities.
My good friend Marcus, of On the Patio
I only met the guy in person once and that was recently in Austin. I was having breakfast alone and he had woke up late and was looking for the group that had already departed for a while. He joined me at my table, ordered food and neither of us really had an appetite. So we talked a bit. My impression was that he was not the same person that wrote all that stuff on his blog. Denny mentioned that he had played linbacker in school weighing in at 130 lbs..."he played above his weight." Denny was aluding to the fact that he had been a fighter all his life, and the point is well taken by any that did read or had met him.
Well, my impression is that he wrote above his weight as well. In person, what I saw was a quiet man that had something to say.
This guy had some of the funniest stories, some of the saddest stories, some of the meanest stories. He was a complete asshole at times, a racist prick and a soft hearted bastid. But he always told the truth and he didn’t give one gottdamn who pissed in their Cheerios that morning over it.
Jay G., of North Georgia Dogma
You’ll be missed, Rob. You’ll be missed.
And if you’ll all excuse me, I’m off to the range. To shoot a bunch of guns I don’t own.
RW, also with North Georgia Dogma
Crap. This sucks. Rob was one dude who never let PC get in his way (whether you agreed or liked…didn’t matter, he spoke from the gut, just like his site’s name implied). Sadly, IIRC, he was an athiest so I’d be lying if I tried to be the type of person he’d hate and say “see you on the other side” so I’ll simply say “so long, my friend. You defintely left your mark.”
Jeff Soyer, of Alphecca:
Rob was haunted by many demons, some physical and some caused by others in his life. He faced them as best as any of us could have. The difference is that he never shied from sharing them with us. That's what made many of his posts so engaging and vivid.
Eric at Straight White Guy
… I took the news of your passing this morning with a very heavy heart… as I sit here now, I am listening to the song I asked you to play for me in Austin back in April… you know the song I’m talking about… the one that you could sing so well… thank you for singing it for me in Texas….
… damn, I am sad to see you go…
…. remember when I first met you in Dahlonega and you tossed me that ugly-assed Jawja Blogger tee-shirt as I walked up to the table?... I had only been keeping a blog for three months when I met you and the gang… and I never felt so welcome… remember back at the cabin with all of us playing and singing and smoking?... what a night… Kelley and orgia singing “Me and Bobby McGee”?... man, Halloween on Blood Mountain… what a trip….
Dale of Mostly Cajun
He had a lot of acquaintances and probably most of them called themselves his friends. I call myself one. You don’t have to always agree with your friends.
I hate that it ended like this…
Rob, we’re gonna miss you, buddy…
We should all wish to leave such a mark on this world.
For now, that is all.