Scott D. Parker
What does it mean to be a celebrity? The built-in dictionary here on my Mac indicates that a celebrity is “a famous person; the state of being well known.” Take a moment and think of some celebrities, both the ones you like and the ones you don’t like. Some celebrities are famous for what they do: athletes, entertainment stars, politicians. Others are famous for being who they are: Paris Hilton, any number of reality show contestants.
Often we look up to celebrities, trying to emulate the way they live their lives. One generation of celebrities gives birth to the next generation. Elvis and Buddy Holly influence the Beatles who influence just about everyone else. Authors like Stephen King read Lovecraft and want to carry the torch for the next generation. It’s life, and it’s natural.
Sometimes, our illusions of celebrities are shattered. Up until last November, most people considered Tiger Woods to be an upstanding guy, someone to admire, learn from, and be like. No more.
All of this brings me to the celebrity we lost this week in the mystery community, David Thompson. His death shocked us all. Word spread throughout our community, both on the internet as well as old-school telephone calls. An obvious place where the news spread was Facebook, both on the Murder by the Book location as well as David’s own account. I noticed something as the week progressed and the terrible news sank in. Many different people in the mystery community starting friending each other. I’d see “This Person is now friends with these five other people.” The number of new connections increased considerably by yesterday.
The more I think of that, the more I smile. David is still affecting our lives. We will all truly miss him as the months and years go by. But it’s nice to know that even after he’s gone, our own celebrity, David Thompson, is still influencing people and bringing us all together.