Very Social(able) Media
In 1988, I was one of a handful of copy editors making southern New Jersey safe for grammar via The Press of Atlantic City. Just a few days into my AC Press career, I edited a story by a reporter I hadn’t met yet because he had been covering the space shuttle landing in Florida since before I joined the staff. Two sentences in, I was head-over-heels in love with this guy because, well, his writing was just that good. Two days later, Rob Laymon was back in the office. I stifled my starstruck idiocy long enough to introduce myself, and we’ve been close friends ever since. It’s an honor and a pleasure that I don’t take lightly.
Rob has since devoted himself to the sea, living and working on tall ships and dividing his time between coasts. He’s still a quirky, eccentric kind of adorable. It’s that enigmatic nature and the writer in his soul that keep him trying new things and draw people to him — so much so that last year, one of his brothers began a Facebook page called “Rob Laymon Lifestyle” to both mock and celebrate the special strain of strange that is Rob Laymon. It was a fairly dormant page, with a few dozen sailors, writers and other unsavories checking in for the occasional laugh and to leave (in)appropriately snarky comments.
In July, my friend came under sneak attack by a diseased mosquito and contracted West Nile virus. Then encephalitis set in. His brain swelled. He was in and out of consciousness, and the doctors kept him going with aggressive antibiotics and tubes to help him eat and breathe. He was on a ventilator, then off, then back on again. It was far too precarious for far too long.