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Thread: R.I.P Ken Valentine

  1. #1

    Default R.I.P Ken Valentine

    Ken Valentine passed away on February 24 from kidney faliure in his home. Thought you guys might want to know.

  2. #2
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    Very sad news indeed. My thoughts are with his family and friends.
    "I handed in the new RJ novel with the
    working title, BY THE SWORD. David says the sales force loved the title at the
    pre Turkey-Day sales meeting, so that's what it will be. That means Paul Ramplin
    gets a credit line in the acknowledgments.
    "

  3. #3
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    That is indeed very surreal. I know he had been in poor health the past few months but someone with as much fire as Ken seemed indomitable.

    A few years ago he and I met at DisneyWorld where I got to know the real guy behind the screen name. He was not at all the insufferable know-it-all type he came across to be on this site.

    He did have his quirks, like trying to sneak a knife into the theme park then when security stopped him he managed to talk the guard into not confiscating it...making Ken one of the few people to be walking around the park armed with a weapon.

    He was rather fragile though, his body betraying his gruff exterior. He was twisted from a fight with polio as a child and could not walk without assistance of a cane.

    Openly he begrudged me when I rented him a wheelchair inside the park, but when we discovered it allowed us access to front of queue benefits he loved the idea that he was able to buck the system.

    It is sad to know that he passed away in his home alone...but in a way it is fitting, he did not take advantage of a medical/government system that he so despised.

    In the end he went out just as he lived...on his own terms.

    I am not sure where we go when we die. In the ground, some type of afterlife, or what. But I do know one thing, wherever he is, he is gonna give them hell.
    I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum.
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  4. #4
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    Well said, Tony.

    A short while ago Neil Smith mentioned that he was sick, but I didn't realize how sick. He used to come to my LA signings and then to the cantina where a bunch of us would gather afterward. I remember eavesdropping on gun talk between him and David Schow. He was one of the folks I'd always contact when I had a weapons question. A unique person. I'll miss him.
    FPWHidden Content
    "It means 'Ask the next question.' Ask the next question, and the one that follows that, and the one that follows that. It's the symbol of everything humanity has ever created." Theodore Sturgeon.

  5. #5
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    OK, I've come on here just because I feel I have to say something of Ken Valentine where I originally came to know him.

    Ken could come across as arrogant and insufferable, I know that. I fell victim to that myself and had a huge falling out with him. But I thought on it and (slowly!) realised that he had been right and I had been wrong. So I came back and apologised. That was when I realised that he could also be gracious and generous and kind. I know there may be people reading this who never saw that but, trust me, it is a fact. Later we found a lot of common ground in our affection for old British sports cars, the only area in which I could hope to match his knowledge, and our mutual love of shooting where his expertise far outweighed my own.

    To summarise. He deserves a far better eulogy than I can provide but all I can really say is that I will miss him. I never met him but I enjoyed knowing that he was there, that I could talk with him, I could discuss things with him and I could seek his opinion.

    I know people who hated him and I know people that loved him. But I don't know anyone who had dealings with him who was left indifferent to him.

    And I think that is the way he wanted it to be. Will we all be able to say that when we leave?
    Well, I've never seen one do THAT before

  6. #6

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    We weren't at all friends, but I respected his convictions. Also, it may make me a horrible person, but I find myself disappointed that he died of kidney failure instead of in a shootout with the ATF.
    "The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself. Almost inevitably, he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable." - H. L. Mencken

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    I don't think that is horrible at all! I think he would have been equally disappointed.
    I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by johntfs View Post
    We weren't at all friends, but I respected his convictions. Also, it may make me a horrible person, but I find myself disappointed that he died of kidney failure instead of in a shootout with the ATF.
    You wish the ATF had killed him? What crime do you wish they killed him for committing?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by t4terrific View Post
    You wish the ATF had killed him? What crime do you wish they killed him for committing?
    Being a Free Man with a Gun, obviously.
    "The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself. Almost inevitably, he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable." - H. L. Mencken

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by t4terrific View Post
    You wish the ATF had killed him? What crime do you wish they killed him for committing?
    I think he was implying that it is always odd when such a gregarious figure passes of such normal circumstances.

    It would be like discovering Jesus died by slipping and falling in the shower.

    Let's face it, Ken hated government, amassed a personal arsenal, and recently purchased a home in the Colorado wilds that I am sure he would have eventually referred to as The Compound.

    He was truly a character and his passing is terrible, but I would have said these things to/about him if he was alive.

    I can't answer for John of course as to why he is "disappointed" but I am sure it is along the same lines.
    I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum.
    Certified 100% Serious

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