From a Friend

(Podkayne Fries)

"When we post to the Usenet we expose ourselves." - Cronan Thompson

And Cronan did just that.

Cronan was offline for a while in the spring. Before his departure, he announced that he had just purchased a Dreamcaster and was planning to devote all his time to gaming. After a while, people who hadn't seen that post began to question his absence and a masterful troll started - Cronan was gone because he was about to get married.

Unbeknownst to all of us, the troll started while Cronan was in the hospital, undergoing chemotherapy and surgeries. It's my guess that he posted this after his diagnosis and didn't want his online friends to worry.

When Cronan posted "Me and My Cancer", I sent him my phone number and told him to call me whenever he wanted. He called me on June 15th, terribly confused over what everyone was saying online about him.

You see, Cronan walked into the middle of the troll and didn't realize that everyone had moved on to troll another poster. He read some of the posts and was worried that people were upset with him and thought that he had lied about his cancer. He was *devastated*. He was hurt and upset and worried that maybe no one liked him anymore. I sent him copies of some of
the posts and did my best to convince him that he *was* loved by many of us and had been sorely missed.

Cronan wasn't an easy person to know. He was brash, opinionated and maybe a little too smart for his own good. In the Real World, these aren't the qualities that endear you to people. On Usenet, those are the qualities that can compel others to view you as a net.legend. Cronan suffered for some of his opinions. Posts were forged in his names, nasty things were posted in groups where normal people don't post, but he never gave up - he never backed down. When something similar happened to
me several years, ago, I tucked my tail between my legs and ran like hell, vowing never to post my True Name again. I was in my mid-thirties when this happened to me - Cronan was around 17.

I'm looking at the most delightful picture of Cronan right now. It was taken on New Year's Day 1999, and Cronan was mugging for the camera. You can see the sweetness and humor in his face. He was a dear young man, and a world without Cronan is a sorrier place.

As Nanorc, Cronan signed one of his posts - "To die will be an awfully big adventure." - James M. Barrie, _Peter Pan_

- Christine M. Evans; known online as Podkayne Fries

Return to Online Tribute to Cronan Thompson.