CurtStubbs passed away September 14, 2019. He’d been a friend to many, and to Hilde and me for over forty years.
We didn’t see Curt as often after he moved to Tucson in the mid-1980s, but we always tried to have dinner with him at TusCon, the annual SF convention there. Curt struggled with a lot of health and financial issues through most of his life, but he seemed to have found a satisfying social niche in poetry, both his own and acting as a docent for the Poetry Center at the University of Arizona; he was also active in Tucson’s gay community. And he still enjoyed reading science fiction and attending an occasional convention. For years, he was the cook for the traditional Dead Dog Chile served on the last day of each year’s TusCon; there have been a lot of good bowls of chile served there over the years, but Curt’s (sorry, you later chile chefs) was the best.
When he was younger, and before some of his health issues surfaced, Curt tended to party hard. This led to some memorable anecdotes, and Curt’s fannish nickname of Captain Coors.
This is one of the stories from those early years:
One morning, after a particularly hard night of partying and drinking, Curt woke up on the floor of the party apartment. He quickly realized two things:
He wasn’t wearing any clothes, and,
Sometime during the night, while Curt was unconscious, someone had decided to paint Curt’s penis green.
And then Curt looked at a clock, and realized a third thing:
He had an important job interview scheduled for that morning, and there were less than twenty minutes before it was supposed to take place.
A moment of wild mental panic ensued: “My penis is green! Job interview! Green penis! Job interview!”
Curt had to make a choice. He found his scattered clothing, pulled pants on over his engreened penis, added shirt and shoes and a quick brush through his hair, and rushed out to make the job interview on time. Every minute on the way, the thoughts “I have a green penis. Someone painted my penis green. I have a green penis,” looped through his head.
Curt arrived to the interview on time, barely, still thinking “My penis is green. I have a green penis,” in the back of his mind
Somehow, he’s able to give coherent answers to the job interviewer. Things seem to be going well. But Curt’s mind is still repeating, “I have a green penis. I have a green penis. Oh, God-d-d-d-d-d, I have a green penis.”
“Well, that’s the end of the formal questions,” the interviewer finally says. He looks Curt straight in the eye, and asks:
“Is there anything else about yourself you’d like to tell us, Mr. Stubbs?”
Curt did not get the job.