By Andrew Porter: [Paraphrasing an e-mail by Mark Blackman.] Elliot Shorter has been experiencing some unexplained health issues that taken together show an overall decline in health. After examination at the VA Hospital, it was determined that he has cancer. It has spread to the extent that treatment is more than he can cope with. He is not in pain, but is tired. He is not on e-mail nor phone, but letters can be addressed to him at Harris Health Center, 833 Broadway, East Providence RI 02914.
The time table is uncertain. “He knows and clearly stated, he can’t beat this one. … he sees this as time to quietly enjoy what is left, reminisce about good times past and remain comfortable as long as he has quality-of-life.” Hospice staff will read correspondence to him.
“Do not gift him items; we have begun determining how he wants his current possessions bequeathed and that is taxing as is. Photos and letters are welcome reminders of the good things he has begun talking about, highlighting what he has valued in the past. If you are concerned about items or gifts given in years past or are remembering something he promised you in the past, contact <camorissette (at) aol (dot) com> … so I may relay this information to El. This information may be shared in the effort to notify those for whom El has been a friend or more.”
I think Elliot’s been part of my fannish life since the beginning.
One of the more memorable Elliot events was at the Discon II Masquerade. Jack Chalker was the MC. He was explaining things, got to the “No flash photography” when (pre-arranged) someone in the audience stood up and took a photo using a flash.
Jack looked pained, called out and from either side of the stage came Elliot and one other linebacker sized fan. Into the audience they went, the camera (a prop of sorts) was rather publicly broken, the miscreant dragged up on stage and then off stage. Whereupon loud thwacking sounds were heard along with cries of pain.
“Remember: no flash photography,” said Jack.
Oddly enough there were no flash photographs taken during the masquerade.
My favorite Eliot Shorter moment occurred one evening when I met Eliot and some other folks for supper in Harvard Square, after they had been participating in some sort of SCA event on the banks of the Charles. We went to The Stockpot, a salad-bar-and-soup restaurant, and at the end of the salad bar, there were some loaves of bread, along with knives for cutting slices of bread. Eliot tried using one of these flimsy bread knives, and became quickly frustrated with its lack of effectiveness, and muttering something like the Crocodile Dundee “That’s not a knife. This is a knife.” line, innocently pulled a large, and very sharp, knife from its scabbard on his belt, and used it to cut himself a slice of bread. The looks on the faces of the elderly couple next to him as he pulled out his knife were priceless. They calmed down a little bit when they realized what he was using the knife for, but I don’t think they had fully recovered from the shock by the time we left.
Sad news … According to Elliot’s facebook page, he passed away this morning …
Good-bye, Dear Friends
“Today, at 8:05 am, Elliot left us quietly and peacefully. … Thank you for being part of a life well-lived by El.”
When I was a little girl, back in the fairly early days of the SCA, he would always ask me to hold his favour before he would go into battle. 🙂