Heaven gained another star and SL lost another avatar. Bear Rasmuson – gentleman, scholar and music aficianado extraordinaire – passed away on Wednesday, June 8. I have known Bear for a long while now. Bear was a good friend of and to Callipygian Christensen and so we would often meet at Calli’s art exhibits or when she was DJ’ing. I have been spending more and more time lately inworld following the good music. I discovered that Bear DJ’d and was a fantastic DJ – informative, personable and with great taste in music and a huge play list. I joined Bear’s group and wore my “Dances with Bears” tag proudly.
Last night as word spread of our loss, many mourners began gathering at FogBound, a great SL blues club where Bear was often to be found – both DJ’ing and listening. Meredith Mistwalker and Yannik Lytton own FogBound. Meredith informed the community:
Anyone who knew him will be saddened to learn of the passing of Brother Bear Rasmuson out in real life. He was a great friend to many, both at FogBound and throughout SL. He loved the Blues, but loved sharing the Blues with others even more. He will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family in this time of loss.
We all began to share reminiscences in local chat. Bear had mentored many of the DJs that were there, including Minx Nootan who was directing the wake. Minx started the set the way Bear started HIS sets, with “Soul Man”. As Minx spun the tunes, she would tell us why she’d picked that tune, what it meant to her, to Bear, to us. The people kept coming – at one point there were 67 folk in the venue. Bear DJ’d at The Wharf Rat Blues, the Savoy, FogBound, JJ’s Joint, and Riverside to name just a few of his homes and friends.
I am glad that I had finally begun to know Bear personally. I remember all the times we shared a table at Tribeca listening to Calli spin the Blues. Part of me regrets that I didn’t chat more with Bear, learn more about him, but most of me feels that Bear and I were communing then in the way he most preferred: good music and good friends.
I’d like to share what Kohrabi Wittels said last night as Minx played “Soul Man”:
Bear is really a Soul Man now – watching over all of us, I’m sure.
I’m sure too, Kohrabi. Bear lives on in our thoughts, our memories, the way he taught us, educated us, shared with us, influenced us. His memory is a blessing. Thank you, Bear Rasmuson.