Over the years I've heard people talk about one man, alot, in the furry fandom.
Uncle Kage, the con chair of Anthrocon.
For some since they started going to Anthrocon, others are part of the old guard that saw the transition over to where AC is now, in Pittsburgh.
Its become something of the norm that when one talks about Anthrocon, they talk about Kage. Good or bad, he's the face to a con that has driven a boat of activity through the furry fandom for the last several years.
...not everyone likes Kage. The points they've brought up aren't all ones that I disagree with either. I've had my own issues with Anthrocon as the years have gone by. Its become part of a rite of passage that your not truly furry until you gripe about AC, complain about the con and talk about why you dont like Kage.
But while I know a great deal about why people don't like Kage, I know also a great deal about why they do.
I've seen the tiredness of a Friday morning, eternally moving about and fixing things and calling people. I've seen him stand ontop of computers during registration and apologize to attendees for not upgrading computers. He's stood for me and smiled on command for a portrait. He's helped raise money for others.
I wont ever know what he's done; wrong or right, is true. And I can't say that the rights he's done can fix any wrongs if they are real. Thats not a place or power I have.
But regardless of those details, Kage is just a person and I can look past my own views to see the future with the knowledge that one day, inevitably, it will be a future without him. Without the face of Anthrocon.
It will go on of course, everything does, so will Anthrocon. Everything moves forward, or it doesn't. Thats how life progresses, whether we can accept that or not. So its not the matter of questioning will Anthrocon survive without him, because of course it will.
Its wondering how things will be without him.
For anything I disagree with what he does,I will still miss him.
He means well, I know that much, talking with him. And thats all anyone can really make any sort of decisions upon, especially feeling the weight of Pittsburgh on your shoulders.
I saw him outside the lobby this year, waiting.
And he smiled and seemed happy. And I'm not sure why.
But that made me happy too.