Morris Keesan Hospitalized

By Daniel Dern: (Forwarded at the request of Morris’s wife Lori Meltzer. I’m omitting her email address, since I didn’t check whether it was OK to include it… if you want to contact her and you don’t already know her address, reply off-list to me, and I’ll forward the message to her — dern (at) pair (dot) com)


Date: Fri, 05 Feb 2016 20:21:06 -0500
From: Lori Meltzer
Subject: Re: Morris

I am very sorry to do this as a blast e-mail, but I don’t know if I can do  anything individually right now. I returned from the hospital this afternoon  with very sad news: Morris is essentially dying. He has a primary brain tumor,
also called a glioblastoma. It is too deep and without defined borders to  operate, and will not respond effectively to radiation and chemo. We will  probably do comfort measures only, but need to actually go through certain
hoops. He is OK, just sad. Joseph and I are as OK as possible, also sad.

All of us know you care and are suprised. Things Morris will want Joseph and me  to do, so you will se us: We will be going to shabbat services. We will  probably be at Boskone at least on Saturday. Joseph will continue to go to school. We are accepting hugs, but don’t be afraid if we start to cry! We are  trying to keep everyting as normal as possible to get through the next few weeks and beyond.

Morris is at the Beth Israel west campus, 6th floor SICU [Boston]. He is accepting visitors and is very conversant. Just be sure to put his glasses on so he can see and hear you!

50 thoughts on “Morris Keesan Hospitalized

  1. I am so sorry to hear this. I got to meet Morris at Sasquan and it was a pleasure to be in his company. I have been a member of the File770 community for less than a year, but his many posts here during that time have enriched the experience for me.

    Please give Morris my thanks and best wishes.

  2. This is terrible news. Morris and Lori have both made conventions more fun and more welcoming wherever we met them around the world. Our condolences and our sympathy go out to both of them.

  3. Horrible news. Too much glioblastoma in fandom. Way too much.

    Lori, if you read this, thank you for getting the word out, and no worries on the crying front!

  4. Morris is one of the best people I know, in fandom or out. We’ve been friends since the early 70s and have only grown closer over the years. If I could pick anyone to be my brother, it would be Morris.

    This is just too horrible for words.

    And is there a brain cancer cluster in fannish fandom? Previous victims, all friends of mine and each other, include Terry Hughes, Lou Stathis, Susan Palermo, and Jim Young. Will it never stop?

  5. Thank you for passing this along, Daniel and Mike. I’ve been a bit worried about Morris for a few days, since I knew he’d gone in for tests, but I wasn’t expecting anything like this.

    Yes, I am tired of needing to give this shape of news to people, but that’s because I want the news to stop, not that I want to drop my bit of the information network.

  6. Morris was one of the first people I met in fandom, in late 1969 or early 1970. Not long after that, at a Boston party, he turned me on to American Shapenote music.

    We remained friends, saw each other mostly at conventions (most recently at Sasquan), talked about many things…

    I once received a postcard, written with a fountain pen, in purple ink. It was unsigned and had no return address, but I recognized the handwriting; it said, “Did you know that Ronald Wilson Reagan is an anagram for Insane Anglo Warlord?”

    I do not have the words.

  7. We’re sad to hear it but glad to be told. Much sympathy to his friends and family. I’ve always enjoyed his comments here.

    I hope the rest of his days are as pain-free as possible.

  8. This is horrible, horrible news. Is there anything we can do?

    I’ve known Morris, Lori and Joseph forever, it seems. My thoughts go out to them in this abominable situation.

  9. I’ve envied and respected Morris as a real musician for decades. He and Lori have been stage managers for drama and masquerades for almost as long. He has always been generous with his help and significant expertise. I hope I will be able to see him at Boskone and thank him.

    Nasty news. Hope he is pain free… My Sympathies to Lori and Joseph.

  10. I am not terribly close to Morris or Lori – but know them well enough to say this sucks personally. I’m running out of fingers to count the number of friends and acquaintances who have been diagnosed recently.

  11. I haven’t seen Morris in a very very long time so I remember a younger Morris. And, I remember him fondly. Fun, and interesting to be with. A decent decent human being. Inadequate expressions to his family and many friends. I wish them the best. Nothing I can think of to say will be of help. Another loss for the world coming up. Rick Gellman

  12. This is awful news. I had the pleasure of meeting Morris at Sasquan for the first time and seeing him at the File770 meetup. He was full of energy. I don’t know what else to say.

  13. We’ve never met, but I have read and appreciated his comments here. This is just horrible. 🙁

  14. It feels like I’ve known Morris and Lori forever, or at least as long as I’ve been going to Worldcon.
    They were terribly welcoming to a new fan and it was always a delight to see them again and they were always so genuinely interested in what I’d been up to since I saw them last and in making time to go for a meal or to sit down and catch up.
    With the death of British/Irish fan Joe Raftery only a couple of weeks ago (Hodgkin Lymphoma) and now this, it makes me want to hug all my friends in fandom and then tell them that we’re not going to take this anymore.
    Fuck Cancer.
    Thank you Morris for many years of long distance friendship, and all my love and support to Lori and Joseph.

  15. I am really sorry to hear this. We go back a very long way. My thoughts and best wishes are with you.

  16. Dear Lori,
    This is very sad news. I’ve known you since before you an Morris were married. (You may remember the birthday party we threw for the owner of The BookCellar, and I gave you a slice of cake.) I enjoyed seeing you and Morris as a happy couple ever since, although I haven’t seen you recently because I stopped going to Boskones while I was going through my father’s final illness, and then Peggy Rae’s.

    There is no easy way to go through this. All you can do is realize that and give yourself and Joseph permission to grieve, to go weird at times, and to sleep when you become exhausted (no matter what time of day). Be gentle with yourself, and have the wisdom to accept help and hugs from friends and family.

  17. I have memories of talking to Morris going back at least twenty-five years. Lori, I’m not as sure about, but I think it’s before I moved to Massachusetts, so it’s nearly that long. But I didn’t really get to know them until we had small kids in the convention kids’ tracks together (and I haven’t spoken to them nearly as much since my kid got a babysitting certificate and I stopped Wrangling Kids as a con activity).

    I am sad today to hear this news. My sympathies are certain with Morris, and Lori, and Joseph, and I will say so at Boskone if I get there. But if I’m at Boskone, I will best honor Morris by talking to somebody I’ve never met before, in the hallway, after a panel. Fandom can truly be a great thing.

  18. I’m very sorry to read this. I only know Morris from this site, but I enjoy his presence.

  19. I am so sorry to hear this. Morris and Lori and Joseph, if you are reading this, please know you are in my thoughts. I know what a shock this kind of news can be. I hope your time together will be filled with love and gentleness, and the time after with comfort and good memories.

  20. While you have relationships with Morris over fandom, I have been blessed to sit beside him in the Harvard Summer Pops Band for 25 years. I join you in mourning. Morris is one of a kind. We rejoiced when Lori brought Joseph into the fold, and Morris parades pictures of Joseph each year. He soothed me philosophically over my cancer and loss of grandson, so know he has a very deep spiritual center. Bless you Lori, Joseph, and peace Morris.

  21. There are no words. Morris and Lori have just always been there. He will be missed. (((((Hugs))))) to Lori and Joseph.

  22. Oh no. 🙁 I’m very sorry to hear this. I hope that whatever treatment is necessary is as painless and side-effect-free as can be managed.

  23. Oh, how terrible. I’m so sorry. Best wishes to Morris and Lori and Joseph, and all who know them.

  24. Damn – Suzle and I send our thoughts to Lori and Joseph. We’ve known Morris and Lori about as long as Jon Singer has. Words fail.

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  26. Such terribly sad news to hear. Morris was one of my earliest fannish friends back in the early 70’s and shared a deep love of music. I just don’t know what to say, but you are in my thoughts.

  27. I’ve known Morris just as long as I’ve known anyone in fandom. He was one of the group I heard came out of Newton just before I hit NESFA in the aftermath of LACon II. By the time we all went to Toronto in ’73, we were all friends. Morris was always the cool guy off to the side of the room. Morris was the guy that we all knew had done something different with himself, but we couldn’t figure out what, until he pointed out that he’d shaved one side of his beard off. None of is standing there could see.
    I was grateful that when Morris went to the twin cities for his job, years ago, he thought of me and we visited together for an evening.
    I love you, man.

  28. Random Morris-related personal memories, etc:

    I first met Morris when I was up from NJ for (my first) Boskone, sometime between 1966 and 1969. I was (still) in high school, I had some Boston friends courtesy of summer camp. Morris remembers (he mentioned this when we visited him yesterday) that I was wearing a Jews Harp around my neck. (Like any loyal Jean Shepherd fan would, of course. (I also met Dan Hatch at that con, somewhere I’ve got a small piece of his art.)

    Over the next decade or so, I’m sure I ran into Morris at sundry folk music events, Boskones, etc.

    We were both working at BBN during some of the 1980s.

    During then, Morris suggested I come to the monthly RISFA-North fan get-together that was at his and Lori’s house in alternate months. I met Bobbi, my SO, there. She and I have been going to R-N’s since. Not all of them, but probably 6-8/year.

    Morris and I share sundry non-SFnal interests, including Flanders & Swann, also (IIRC) The Goon Show. When I was doing a reading at (Boskone or ReaderCon) a bunch of years ago, he started laughing when nobody else was… because he recognized I was repurposing the classic Arkansas Traveler joke routine into an sf/fantasy framework.

    We were at Joseph’s Bar Mitzvah.

    I’ve got a picture of Morris from a con that I’ll post, of his “articulated toe shoes.” True to form, when he saw where I was pointing the camera, he quipped “My eyes are up here.”

    Along with David Hartwell, we are tie aficianadoes. He has one of the (hinged) wooden ties, which is beyond what I would do. I believe we both showed up at Boskone one year with the same “Earth colliding with something large” tie, presumably inspired by the same recent astronomical news.

    Morris introduced me to File 770 (sic), back in May, asking if I’d heard about the Sad Puppies and the Hugo [stuff].

    And of course seeing him running room audio at ReaderCon panels, co-hosting room parties, wandering around with Lori and Joseph,

  29. *sigh* Morris Keesan has always been friendly to me and my family, so this is just a sad thing to read about. There’s not much to say, and much stuff that generally is regarded as unprintable is going through my mind.

  30. I’ve been a long time digesting the news of Morris and I can but wish the best for him and his family in this awful time, and my love and prayers to Morris, Lori and Joseph.

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  32. I am watching some articles on 60 minutes about polio treatment for glioblastoma – unfortunately too late to help Morris 🙁

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