>Yesterday, I learned that the world lost one of its most beautiful people over the weekend. Bob Arter was, for me, a bit of a mentor, probably without his even realizing it. He was the guest editor of the 17th issue of SmokeLong. As a quadriplegic (due to a surfing accident in 1973), he had to write or type using an instrument held in his mouth. Despite that, he offered line by line edits on hundreds of the submissions that came in for that issue, making us see beauty in pieces we might have more easily passed over. I don’t think the writers who submitted for that issue realize how much love Bob put into reading their submissions.
He also NEVER talked about his condition. He wasn’t embarrassed by it, but he just wasn’t interested in calling attention to it. He was gregarious and met several folks from the Zoetrope community in person. It was only through those meetings that others of us ever learned of how he lived his life day to day.
Tonight, around the world, dozens of writers who loved Bob will be reading pieces of his outdoors, howling at the moon, drinking toasts to him. Maryanne Stahl came up with the idea, and folks immediately jumped on board. Won’t you all join us in reading, howling, and drinking to Bob tonight? I’d like to think he’ll hear us.
If you have your own favorite piece of Bob’s, have at it. If not, here are links to several of his stories:
And the Sun Soared from the Sea, Oh Me! (Painted Moon Review)
Back Home (SmokeLong)
The Big Texan (FRiGG)
Dancing with Anthony (Pindeldyboz)
The Gown (Opium)
Holiday (Mississippi Review)
How I Came to Love the Godless Eskimo (Opium)
I Went to Barnes, I Went to Noble (LitPot)
Jenny Craig Confronts Lady Higgs-Boson (The God Particle)
My Mom’s Prom (Pindeldyboz)
Nice Easy (Mad Hatters Review)
The Old Folks (Juked)
Paper Mouse (SmokeLong)
Pictures of You (FRiGG)
Psyche Asea (Gator Springs Gazette)
Remembering Elizabeth (SmokeLong)
Riley’s Shoes (Gator Springs Gazette)
Sinker in the Hole (Hobart)
The Spaceman (Night Train)
The Star (Hobart)
Survivor’s Assistance (Zoetrope All-Story Extra)
That Gladrag Razzmatazz (Absinthe Literary Review)
The Trouble with Fishing (Quintessence… you can’t see the text unless you highlight it all, as this is an archived page that has lost its original dark background)
The Wind (Juked)
We love you, Bob. May you rest in peace, finally free of pain.