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Xenosaga, Say What?, Huh?

[General] Memorial Garb

What on earth is appropriate to wear to a memorial when almost all of the crowd will be SF/fantasy authors and fandom, and the individual being memorialized is one of the most colorful individuals in Seattle-area SF/fantasy fandom (and later, professional writing)? Wearing something staid and formal just seems... really /wrong/, somehow.

(For those who are curious, F.M. 'Buz' Busby's memorial service is this weekend.)

Comments

Wear what he would've seen you wearing, what he would've remembered you as. Now, if this means you show up as a 6-foot squirrel, well, hopefully you've got a big, big mask that covers your face...

In all honesty, memorial services are usually just that -- memorials. They aren't funerals, they aren't as "official" in some regards. And fandom's pretty easygoing as a rule anyhow... wear whatever you want to. Comfort is important in fandom, especially at a sad time.
He wouldn't recognize me as anything; I only knew Buz by reputation. He started or ran several notable fanzines back in 50's, helped run Westercon, moved from the fan world into professional writing himself, and helped get Clarion West organized. Though he's been ill and thus less active for several years, he's still left a huge mark on SF and Fantasy in the area.

At any rate, one of the memorial organizers is trying to get a lot of the local amateur/hopeful writer community there, since Buz was so often a mentor to the previous generation of writers. Hence why I got poked with the poking stick.
Actually, the name sounds familiar to me - probably also by reputation, but then again, I've associated with an awful lot of fen.

In that case, I'd go for something nice, but not overly dressy. You're not there to impress; you're there to remember someone. And being poked in the way that you were is more or less a "just show up" poking, so I wouldn't put major thought into it. Looking just generally nice is fine. :)
Well, you never met him. I'd wear something identifiable as 'dressier than usual' but not necessarily the black suit/dress route.

And maybe a funny hat.
Second that.
In my experience, memorials and funerals no longer strictly follow the old formal dress of mourning black or navy. It depends on the deceased's personality (there's a definite difference between high society and old commune) and the people honoring him. Slacks or a skirt and a blouse sounds like it'd be fine in Busby's case; subdued colors are always safe.

This reminds me of songwriter Malvina Reynolds' "No Closing Chord", which was found among her papers after her death. Pete Seeger put it to tune and he sang it at her memorial concert along with family and friends. It's something I'd like played at my own service.