Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Steven Hart

I am sitting here in shock, having just learned that college friend, writer, curmudgeon, appreciator of beer, bookstore entrepreneur, truth teller, father, husband, friend Steven Hart has passed away.

This will take some getting used to, it is not right that we lose him and are left with the idiotic bastards that he so eloquently railed against.

Steve (along with Ron Fischer, Joe Zitt and a few others) introduced me to much of the music I still love today: The Talking Heads, Tangerine Dream, Brian Eno, Robert Fripp and more. We had similar tastes in genre fiction and introduced each other to many books (less so to genre movies and television, that was too small a market not to have seen it all, but he introduced me to many non-genre works such as Kurosawa), both genre and non-genre.

He got me started in music in another way: He had an all-in-one phonograph/radio (speakers were separate where the phonograph had broken. He sold it to me for the cost of a six pack of beer and a pair of meatball subs from the "gut truck" that parked near the dorms at Livingston College. Ron Fischer was able to fix the phonograph with a bit of grease and it worked fine for years afterwards. We both got the best end of that bargain!

We were both on the college radio station and the college newspaper (but he stuck with the newspaper until graduation while I dropped both when I started working full time as well as going to school full time).

When he opened Nighthawk Books in Highland Park (it should have been an ideal place, but the town government seems to have this distorted view about how to grow the business tax base), I unloaded a hunk of my collection there to help him grow.

It was a real joy to see him start in his own books and as his own publisher!

Rest in peace, Steve.

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