Bruce Dane Has Died (1950-2008)

Bruce Dane died early in the morning of July 12. He had been hospitalized since June 2 due to injuries sustained in a fall. He leaves behind his daughters, Meera, Kelly, Rachel, Kyria, and Samantha; his brother Doug Pintar; and his separated wife, Michelle.

David Klaus had learned from an earlier conversation with Michelle “that Bruce had been taken off the ventilator and was breathing on his own but both EEG and MRI examination indicated higher function brain death.” Then, this morning:

Michelle called me about 4 a.m. CDT today to say she was in a car heading to Denver as the rest of Bruce’s body had now died, too.

It hurts, Mike. It hurts.

Michelle also told me that the concert is still on, although it will be a memorial concert as well as a benefit.

The benefit concert for his two youngest girls will be held July 19, headlined by Boomer Box, a band Bruce belonged to, playing the 12-string guitar.

David Klaus has many memories of Bruce, for one:

Bruce’s ability with computers amazed me. I remember crashing on his couch in Sherman Oaks in the early ’80s and awakening to see him typing away, programming for a client directly in hexadecimal machine code, not in any structured language. After I picked up my jaw from where it had dropped, he said it was easier and faster for him than using a higher language and compiling it later, which caused me to have to pick up my jaw again.

I miss him already, but as we spoke frequently at least I got to tell him how much I loved him before he was gone.

Bruce Dane Benefit Announced

My most recent information about Bruce Dane came from David Klaus on July 4:

I think it’s a wait-and-see situation right now — while he’s occasionally awake, his mental status is what’s referred to as “altered”: not coherent or cogent. He’s still paralyzed. He has a systemic infection which is under antibiotic treatment. He’s been moved to someplace called Porter Hospital (I don’t know if this is part of the last hospital complex which address I gave you before or a separate hospital) and is again in an intensive care unit.

Meanwhile, members of Boomer Box, a band in Bruce’s hometown, will perform a benefit concert on Saturday, July 19, 12:30 PM – 10:00 PM, in Soda Springs Park in Manitou Springs, Colorado. The Classic “Baby Boomer” Band plays cover tunes and original music from the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

They have a PayPal button on the site to make donations towards Bruce’s care. Contributions can also be sent by mail to the Bruce Dane Rehabilitation Fund, c/o ENT Federal Credit Union, P.O. Box 15819, Colorado Springs, CO 80935-5819.

Bruce Dane Follow-up

David Klaus reports that Bruce Dane has been moved to Denver:

Select Speciality Hospital
2525 South Downing Street
Denver, Colorado, 80210-5817

“I’m a couple of days behind in current information about his condition,” David explains, “so I’ll update that when I know better.”

The Power of Both

Two former Hillary Clinton staffers started Vote after the primaries, a site advocating a unity ticket of Clinton and Obama. Key backers of the “dream ticket” include Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and Sen. Charles Schumer of New York.

I mention this because Westercon begins this week in Las Vegas, one of the rare conventions that changes sites each year as voted by the members, and I’m reminded that somebody once had the bright idea that “Both” would be the perfect solution for a pair of Westercon bids. Let me tell you how well “Both” worked for us. Then you may consider yourselves warned.

From File 770 #35, August 1982:

Even on the morning of its last day, [the 1982] Westercon had not exhausted its bag of tricks. Prelude: When Portland and Phoenix announced their 1984 Westercon bids, fans noted they were not bidding for the same days – one would have started before July 4, the other after. Certain pundits, who shall remain namelex*, conceived a campaign for BOTH. Let them both win. Let them both put on a Westercon. Let’s go to both. Witty, computer-typed flyers advocated, “If you are a Phoenix local or a Portland local, this is a great opportunity to get more con for your money: You can attend the portion nearest you if you’re on a budget; You can attend both cons for little more than if you were going to the con farther away; LA locals can check on their cats on their way to the other con.”

After a weekend of people running about asking each other whether they voted for “Both,” the bidders agreed to count the ballots after Site Selection closed 7 PM Sunday, and not release the results until the next morning’s Business Meeting. Randy Rau (Phoenix), Craig Miller, Ben Yalow, Pam Davis (Portland) and Bryce Walden (Portland) were the counters. After the counting session, Rau, who was also chair of the ’82 Westercon and therefore custodian of the ballots, walked from the room down the fire stairs to the con level (the most efficient way of getting around, given the elevators). By the time he got to the bottom, somebody came up to him with a rumor that a bid had won by one vote.

Seeing as one of the bids had, indeed, won by one vote, Rau was infuriated. Other Phoenix fans, figuring they had lost by one vote, mobbed the Business Meeting Monday morning demanding to exercise their right to vote at the Business Meeting (which seemed unclearly provided for in the bylaws). Now it was the second year in a row that a breakdown in the site selection process forced the Business Meeting to get involved in who won. (The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society Board of Directors is the last-resort custodian of Westercon, who had actually been forced to take a role in the ’81 meeting. Since many members of the Board were also bidding for this little thing called the Worldcon, the last thing they wanted was to have to arbitrate this emotional mess.)

“Bullets, not ballots,” suggested Seth Breidbart. After extended private huddling between the bidders and parliamentarian Fred Patten, a decision finally came forth. Rather than risk having to let the meeting vote whether to reopen balloting (which it easily would have done, considering the pack of irate Phoenix fen), Randy Rau announced that the Phoenix bid withdrew. Portland was proclaimed winner. Chairman of the meeting, Bruce Dane, revealed 374 votes were cast; now being rushed to the shredder. There was much applause. Westercon rules actually mandated the release of the voting info, but everybody pretended to forget that in the interests of peace. What had really happened? Milt Stevens’ analysis of the situation led him to believe that the “Both” bid had won. If Portland had won by one vote, the matter could have been resolved by merely sticking to the agreement that balloting was closed the night before. If Phoenix had won by one vote then they wouldn’t have had to pack the Business Meeting. They wouldn’t have had to withdraw their bid to resolve the crisis. (“Both” ceased to exist when one bidder folded.) Nor would there have been such haste to destroy the ballots.

As she was preparing to leave the con, Genny Dazzo loudly announced that she was going back to New York and start a Phoenix in ’84 Worldcon bid, to repay the “Both” bidders for their hubris.

[* A reference to Lex Nakashima, the alleged mastermind.]

The Moral of the Story: “Both” seemed a clever idea to just enough Westercon voters to make the election three times as controversial as it otherwise would have been, and to leave the winner just about as unhappy as the loser. The saving grace in 2008 is that party delegates are much less likely to try and force “Both” on unwilling candidates.

Bruce Dane Hospitalized

David Klaus reports: “On Monday, June 2nd long-time Colorado (and formerly Arizona/California) science fiction convention fan, filk musician, and Worldcon volunteer Bruce Dane, already ill with degenerative disc disease, fell while taking his youngest daughter to a movie and was paralyzed ‘from the nipples down,’ according to his former wife, Michelle.”

David gives more details, and an address for sending cards, below

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