Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Lacy Musketeer's Memorial Service at Rocket City


By Bixyl Shuftan


On Thursday July 25, shocking news came to Second Life as it was revealed that Lacy Musketeer (Lacy Wolfram in real life) had suddenly died. Her passing was sudden, and believed to be a heart attack. She is survived by her son Vincent Wolfram and her Second Life/real life partner Crim Mip. She knew many in Second Life, Oscelot Haalan and Amehana Ishtari considering themselves her SL sisters. Her loss was especially felt in Nisa, which she founded, and Rocket City, but she had friends in a number of places.

Two days later, a memorial service was announced on short notice at Rocket City. The event started at 6PM. It is believed about 45 people, maybe more, attended the event, the chairs filling up and a number sitting or standing beside the seating area. A number of people would speak, in both text and voice. Oscelot Haalan would transcribe for those using the later for those whose viewers couldn't use the voice function. Few left early, one who did saying, "I appologize but I have to go, just got a flash flood alert on my phone."

Koterie Itoku told the crowd, " I'm not going to use voice, because I'd just end up choking up and unable to speak. I originally didn't even know what furries were when I first logged into Second Life. Ironically, I had spent three years as friends with a bunch of people I met on Furcadia. (Yeah, I was not very quick on the uptake when I was younger) They are the ones who got me to try 'this new thing called Second Life.' And when I first logged in, one of them immediately sent me a teleport to this placed called Rocket City. I was greeted by a small army of people. But the one who stood out to me was Lacy. I was immediately ushered to a vendor to get my first non-sucky-human avatar. She made me feel at home and welcomed. I felt like I could open up to her and everyone here no matter what was on my mind. And it didn't take her very long to convince me to make Rocket City my home in SL.

"A few months later she convinced me to sell art sketches to afford a ticket to go to the convention and meet everyone for the first time.  A whole group showed up at the airport to pick me up, and it was the craziest, loveliest feeling ever. If you never got to hug Lacy in person, it was one of the best things I will remember about her. I felt like I had known her all my life and was coming home. She's the one who taught me how to use the build tools in SL.She's the one who asked me to give input on events and posters and event builds and eventually let me do them on my own..She cleaned up a kirin sketch I did once and made it into a design that could be printed on a shirt. I was amazed to see it on the table for sale at the convention. I still have that shirt in a plastic bag and have never worn it. It meant a lot to me. My art was never anything I felt worth bragging about or really charging money for, but she was always encouraging of it anyway.  Anything creative, she was there to support and champion. It brought out her spark and her passion and you could see it in everything she did here in SL, especially for this sim. But most importantly, she was that passionate about those of us she called her friends. And I count myself lucky to have been one of them for even the short time that I had in her life. I am happy to see so many of you here to help share and remember the lovely and beautiful things she said and did in our lives. Thank you."

Crim Mip was next, with Oscelot transcribing and apologizing for missing a few details, "Ok I'm going to try to do this in voice, we'll see how long this works until I have to switch to typing. Hopefully you can all hear me. Lacy was here the first night I came here. I was in my ringtail. She gave me the Lindens so I could get a decent avatar. Twenty minutes after I got here, I had somehow commited myself to going to the convention. Sami told me 'Oh you live in my area, you can ride with us' and I was committed at that point. And I met Lacy if not that night that week, and she seemed pretty neat. The thing I remember is she got me involved right away. She said 'Oh we have dances here, do you want to come help with that?' And I pretty much spent the next three years in SL here."

"It was strange going into a building I'd never seen before and knowing my way around. And I ran into lacy and she gave me a big hug. And I immediately felt welcome --- and that was something Lacy always did, she always made people feel welcome. Had a great time. Remember the crazy pool party she had Vince run.. he's much older now. And I was... kind of smitten at that poiint, but neither of us was available at that time. And somewhere along the line we both ended up single again, and... ended up together. And... she's... been my partner... both here and in real life for nine years.

"We've had various homes in Second Life. We've currently got some land on the mainland that we're going to... keep going, because she would have wanted that. And... she's always been an amazing artist and an amazing partner And like all artists she's never been entirely happy with her art even though it was amazing. I'm lucky to have a few pieces she did for me."

Hickerbop (FluffyQuokka Resident) was next, using voice and Oscelot transcribing, "Okay. Sorry if I'm a little weird on voice, I'm autistic. Um. Well, I guess I want to say a few things before I sing a song, but... I met Lacy through the Pony community when I was first joining.. well a few months after I had joined Second Life. When I joined second life I think I was 13 or 14 and ..." Hickerbop paused, then began singing, posting the lyrics for those who couldn't hear.

Time is an illusion that helps things make sense
So we are always living in the present tense
It seems unforgiving when a good thing ends
But you and I will always be back then
You and I will always be back then
Singing will happen, happening happened
Will happen, happening happened
And we will happen again and again
'Cause you and I will always be back then
You and I will always be back then
Will happen, happening happened
Will happen, happening happened
And we'll happen again and again
'Cause you and I will always be back then
If there was some amazing force outside
of time to take us back to where we were
And hang each moment up like pictures on the wall
Inside a billion tiny frames so we can see it all, all, all
It will look like, will happen, happening happened?
Will happen, happening happened
And there we are again and again
'Cause you and I will always be back then
You and I will always be back then
Will happen, happening happened
Will happen, happening happened
And
There we are again and again
'Cause you and I will always be back then
You and I will always be back then
You and I will always be back then
You and I will always be back then
That's why
You and I will always be best friends


There was much applause when Hickerbop finished, "Well done." "That was very beautiful."


Next was Alexander (Alexndeer Lobo), "Many of you probably do not know who I am.  It has been many years since I was active on Second Life.  I met Lacy online two years before we helped start RCFM the convention.   She won my heart with her first email.  She and I had many adventures together online and in real life. I want to share one of my favorite memories of Lacy.  I would pick her up on the way to RCFM.  The best part was our drives home after RCFM each year where we spent the entire drive brain storming about RCFM and the next year.  On one of those drives we bounced around the idea of building RCFM in Second Life.  We started with a triangle shaped wedge of land on the mainland and started building a replica of the convention hotel.  She and I were just beside ourselves with how the community continued to grow.  I will always Love her and the impact she had on my life.  I am so happy to see her legacy continuing in every one of you.

Alexander switched to voice, "Lacy held a special place in my heart. And we had a term for one another, which comes from a story. And that story, the term was 'ashki,' which means 'beloved.' While she and I may not have been as close in the last few years, she will always have a place in my heart, and I will always miss her."

 Next was Becky Nosferatu, "Let's see if lag actually permits me to do this. ... I'm going to give you a fair warning ahead of time that I swear like a sailor." A moderator responded, "It's okay tonight. I won't ban you." Becky continued, "When I first came to Second Life, I came to Second Life just because I wanted something new to do when I was 21. I wanted to continue to pursue technology and arts. For those who don't know who I am I run Magician Productions. We go way back. We made everything that Lacy and Koterie wore at one time. I was actually out of town when koterie messaged me and told me that lacy passed. I haven't actually talked to her in probably about a decade. She gave both me and Maya free spots in I think the old vendor forest. She made sure there was always a free spot when she redecorated. It's also really important to me because like Lacy, I also have a son.

" ... So when my son, destroyed my tablet accidentally... when he spilled a Pepsi can all over it, she replaced it. If she hadn't, Magican Productions would have died a lot sooner. I make mods now, not avatars. She was... a drive for a lot of creative influences, and I'm glad for that. I've never been a 'true furry' I should say, I just always liked to make nonhumans. I didn't live in the Rocket area, so I didn't know for the longest time that this was based off a convention. But that's the great thing about Second Life is that you can make anything you want, and Lacy helped me realize that.

"I'm so sorry to everyone who knew her way better than me. I can imagine the pain you're going through. I don't mourn easily but I can tell you know, I'm struggling. I hope that Rocket City stays until you know... Second Life goes under. It's very rare that you find a PG furry sim that allows everyone and everything to visit. And if it wasn't for Rocket City, I wouldn't be a proud owner of my own mall that has avatar--- And Rocket City ending the vendor forest is why I decided to make my own. And all of that is because of Lacy. I wouldn't be here still creating mods and everything creative if it wasn't for Lacy.

"One thing I do remember, and it's a funny story I gotta tell ya. When Maya made her Pennysnatchers, little itty bitty avatars, they're not even an inch. We - there was like - I want to say eight of us after she made them, we came bursting into Rocket City after - and anyone who saw us just saw these eight or nine little KFC buckets bouncing around." Becky thought someone mistook them for griefers, "So they messaged Lacy and Koterie and they showed up. And she was like 'Now you have to take off the buckets because I want to see what they are.' And so we did and she was like 'those are the cutest things I've ever seen.'

"Her death feels like a little bit of creativity died with it. And I'll be damned if I let it die completely. So for Lacy's sake, I'm going to keep modding, and I'm going to keep making everyone pretty - at least until I can't do it any more physically or Second Life ends. So... thank her for that."

 Speaking next was J├Ąger (DanielDerv Resident), ""Good evening, as you can tell from my voice I'm also a stranger and a foreigner. I've only met Lacy indirectly through my friends but her impact has sent ripples through our lives. Lacy has left you with... I have never met her but I regret this fact in my life - but I know that we are made of the same things - dreams. We must make her proud of it. I am also the owner of a group that seeks creativity and to foster wonder in life. And I am taking the time to do this because I believe in people like you and like Lacy. And even though we don't know each other, we are all out there. And even though I don't know you, I love you all. And I love Lacy. And I wish her the best in her journey. But for now, we must dream on."

Maya Remblai was next, "My mike is on the other side of the room, so I'm just gonna type. So like Becky said, she and I go way back with Rocket City, in Second Life. I remember when it was still the hotel build. That was one of the first place I sold my avatars in fact, and it was because Lacy and Koterie invited me. When I started making original things, besides fanart. And yeah, the first release party I ever did, and most of the ones after, were here, led by Lacy. I'm not much for words, but I just wanted to come forward as another person whose life was affected, for the better, by Lacy.

"I've not been real active in SL for years, because my skills just don't match up to these newfangled technologies, heh. But even so I'd hear from Lacy now and then, and other Rocket City folks. Way back, in like 2007-2008, I was having a really hard time in real life. I had lost my job due to disability and it took a long time for government benefits to start. In the meantime, Second Life paid for my meds. I know for certain I wouldn't have done as well as I did without all of Lacy's efforts to get my work out there. I could see where my sales came from and the vast majority were from here. So y'know...that just shows me how kind Lacy was. I never got to meet her in real life, but I didn't really need to. I just want y'all that were closer to her, to know I mourn with you. That's all I got."

Next before the gathering was Nava Winthorpe, whom spoke in text, "Lacy and I were very close in both of my stints on SecondLife. In many ways, she was like a Second Mother and confidant to me in my formative years as I came to understand myself as a furry and as a person. And she wasn't afraid to put me in my place when I needed it! (I needed it.) She also connected me with a lot of friends, furry and SL friends when I needed it the most.

"I'll be honest. I don't remember how we initially met in SecondLife. But I distinctly remember meeting her for the first time in person at RCFM, after she convinced me to attend my first con. At the time, even in the midst of a massive allergy attack, she was one of the warmest and most wonderful people in the world. And she immediately made me feel welcome and at peace.

"She was there to help set me on the path for many things in my life! I remember I was a pretty generic wolf AV for a while but decided to try out a German Shepherd for a Dog Days of Summer Saturday Dance. She told me that it fit me so much more, and she was right. Kind of a small example, but I always felt that she truly saw me as a person ... dog person. (smile)

"Unfortunately I haven't been in contact with Lacy for years, and I truly regret that. But I feel blessed to have had the chance to know her. The Earth is less bright with our loss, but I know her spirit is dancing with stardust. I love you, Lacy."

Next was CmdrKitsune Webb, "I'll keep it short. I met Lacy when I first starting doing conventions. I either met her at MFM or MFF. There was a whole crew of people from the Mid-South area that hit those two conventions. Lacy and Yotewah were the ones who convinced me to attend Rocket City FurMeet. But I really have to give Lacy the credit for getting me to come down to Alabama where I made a number of friends. She truly was an enabler of friendships. I will miss her dearly, but the friendships she helped me create will live on! Thank you all for being here."

Then came Morgan Freepony (illya Leonov), "I will be brief, because I do not type well. When I was a lad, men did not type. I am paying for that now each day. I have known Lacy for longer than most of you. I met her in 1996. She was working at a screen printer across town and I was repairing some of their equipment. I immediately fell in love with her. We dated for two years. Then she broke my heart and let me tell you if you have not had your heart broken by her you have not loved. All of our hearts are broken tonight. But I still loved her. I always will. She was like that. She gave me my dear Greyhound Iris who was my companion for many years. She rescued dogs. She rescued people. No one person could know all the things Lacy loved and did. There was simply too much of her. There was more than enough of her for everyone. She led me to furry, which led me to Kittie, my love. And Kittie led me to Pony, which has opened up SO much of my life and given me direction.

"I am looking at my wall now which holds an incredibly beautiful portrait of a unicorn which she drew. Everywhere that I look in my life I see the influence of Lacy. She has sat beside me at work now every day for over ten years. In the days leading up to her passing, we were in negotiations for her to buy my screenprinting business. She was SO happy and excited about it. I was going to be HER employee for a change. So many facets of my life will be affected by losing her. So many places in my heart.  ALL of the places in my heart. I will miss her so much. My life will never be that same. But, my life will ALWAYS be so so much richer for having known her, as will the lives of countless others. I love you all, thank you."

Next up was the one whom had transcribed those speaking in voice, Oscelot Haalan, "I wrote this in advance because I knew I wouldn't have the words when I got here. I am her sister, Oscelot. I wear with me the avatar of our sister Amehana, who couldn't be here tonight due to a prior engagement. I'm not prepared to memorialize her yet - I think I would shatter. But I wanted to say a few things quickly. I wanted to say thank you. It means so much to me to see so many lives she touched. It means so much to me that you are sharing these facets of her life and love that I never got to see from my limited perspective. I also wanted to let you know that I am fiercely devoted to safeguarding her legacy, and that all are welcome in Dreaming Twilight. We will hold a memorial there within the next week or two, and all will be welcome there. Also remember. Our hearts are still here. We live. Remember her with joy. Do not stop telling her tales. Do not let her be forgotten. We do not die until we pass out of memory.

Inconspicuous Hammerer was the next speaker, "Lacy let me follow her around sometimes while I told stupid stories that may have partially been made up. She never got annoyed and wasn't ashamed to introduce me to a friend. I regret I didn't stay in touch. Because she put my avatar vendor in the vendor forest, she helped me raise $51 for the Humane Society."

Then came the most popular of the four founders of Luskwood, Michi Lumin, "When this world was new, we were all finding our way. awkwardly. . . . . Rocket City was one of our first allies. and to us, Lacy was the face of that. Eltee got to fly out and spend time with the Rocket City FurMeet folks. I never did.but,  I was in her orbit for about 12 years here. As we went through this -- Second Life, a swirling sequence of joy and mess, Lacy was a constant. That allegiance was never in question. When I had health problems and running some of the regions were piling up on me, I would get messages like this from her:

[2015/06/06 15:02] Lacy (lacy.musketeer): Just figured a hug would help.

"This was the pattern, with her.  It was never me coming to her. It was her coming to me when she saw that I needed it. I can count on one hand, not even a full hand, the number of people who do that. The last time I talked to Lacy we were talking about a sick cat.  I had logged off, -- the last things I got from her......

[11:58] A'ri (lacy.musketeer): (Saved Mon Jul 24 06:55:16)Michi.
[11:58] Michi Lumin: mmh yeh Lacy?
[11:58] User not online - message will be stored and delivered later.
[19:51] A'ri (lacy.musketeer): Thank you. *hug*
[19:51] A'ri (lacy.musketeer): Thank you. For everything.

"People who don't take you for granted are the ones who are thinking about you when  you're not there, not engaged with them at the time. It's not a common quality. I never knew then I'd never get to thank her. And I think back to it and, I just wish I had called that out then because I remember thinking, 'Wow. people don't do that out of time and place like that.' We're still getting over a shock because she was constant. It still feels like I could light up her IM now. She definitely left 'in media res.' But, the magnitude of that shock that we feel is directly proportional to the impact someone had on us. The fact that we hurt right now, it means that she was a powerful force. Thats what we're feeling now, we're feeling her force, her impact, her goodness. So, let yourselves hurt. It honors her spirit, everything she was. Let what she's put out into this world become part of you, formative for the rest of your lives. Integrate her into your lives and carry her with you, so she gets to travel with all of us throughout the remainder of ours.

"No,   *thank you, Lacy.* ...  there's my final offline message to you, Lacy."

Next was Camstone Fox (Camstone Box), "Like many, I came to the convention at Huntsville. I had been a furry for only a short time, but I fell in love with the convention, the area, and most importantly, many of you. Lacy was special, because the one thing I certainly remember, was the hug that I received when I came there. I met Brody, Alex, Ko, and so many others. Then I came here to SecondLife. And here was RCFM too. I was amazed at the care it had taken to replicate the convention hotel, the spaces, and even the Apollo Moon Mission rocket. A lot of things can be replicated. Friendships, cannot. Friendships must be given. Friendships, like hugs are things that once given, are always there.

"As we all look around at each other, I see my friends. I see the friends of Lacy, and I feel the hugs that she gave us all. As you feel that hug that she gave you, remember this. You have the ability to share that friendship, and that hug that she gave all of us, with others. And I will end with the thought that she would want that. I'll end  with this from Shakespeare, in Richard the II, 'I count myself in nothing else so happy -  As in a soul remembering my good friends.' And for me, as you are, Lacy is a good friend to me. And I will always remember that."

Bunny Mickley (Bunny Halberd) would tell everyone, "Her family has stared a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses. https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-magic-of-friendship-beyond-life." Then added, "Illya would like to close with one last poem if we're at the end."

Morgan Freepony then spoke up, "I have been asked to give the eulogy at her funeral. It is a great honor to me. There is a poem I wrote years ago for a grieving friend. Lacy loved the poem. I am going to paste it here."

For those who grieve..
And those who love them.

Darkness floods the  pathways of our minds
And we plumb its depth for answers
We struggle to grasp the richness of life
While avoiding its own grasping tentacles
Meeting on common ground
We seek the path of those who surround us.
We look into our hearts for their pain
And into their hearts for ours
If we are cut, then we look to the wounds of others for consolation
We try to understand another’s pain by looking at our own.
In many ways this suffices,
Indeed it will have to do so.
But do not look for the loss of another’s loved one
In your own eyes,
Or the loss of your loved one in theirs.
For while cuts and sores
May be equivalent,
Human lives are not, nor are
Those of any animal.
There are as many worlds as there are minds,
And each one unique.
This is the beauty of life,
And its tragedy as well.
For we are spared the true loss of another’s pain
and they are free from ours.
Our joys and our sorrows belong to our own unique worlds
The windows of the soul are very small
And it is with great patience and care
That souls are ever shared.


Morgan got quite a bit of applause, "Thank you, Illya. That's beautiful." "That's a lovely poem." "I can't think of a better way to wrap up."

With that, the speeches, ended, and people began to head out, or chat, "She will be a hard act to follow.  I'm honored to have known her." "I'm glad to see you all, just wish it wasn't because of this. ... Hey, maybe she'll meet Stephen Hawking!" "I didn't know her that well, but it really warms my heart hearing her story told and seeing just how many hearts shes touched in such different, unique ways." "Lacy told me to make a whippet av and I did, and when i showed it to her she said she liked it even though it wasn't actually that great."

Eventually, the crowd got smaller as people went there separate ways.

There is another memorial service planned to take place at Nisa, though it's date still has yet to be determined.

Bixyl Shuftan

1 comment:

  1. I just found out about this. really sad now. Had known Lacy for years on and off SL. Feels like a piece of me just vanished.

    ReplyDelete