May 1 is my father's birthday. Jan de Vries would have turned 71 today, had he lived. Unfortunately, he died twenty-two years ago in Moscow from a ruptured aorta.
Among the many, many things I learned from him is the love of science fiction. My father was an avid reader, and he read many SF books (novels, collections, anthologies) as he travelled the world. He loved to travel and experience new cultures. He would have loved to be an astronaut, given half the chance (I also caught the travel bug from him, and a deep-rooted respect for the other).
I still miss him. It would have been great if he could have seen that his kids have gotten well on their own feet: I think he would have been inordinately proud of the documentary -- "Chasing God" -- that my sister Lenny made; he would have spoiled his two grandsons Boris and Jitte (although Grandma is doing an excellent job at that, right now), my brother Frans's kids; and I think he would have liked my venture in SF writing and publishing, as well.
And I think he would have greatly enjoyed the fall of the iron curtain and the subsequent era of détente: he wasn't anti-communist (although not pro-, either), but he hated the Cold War and the nuclear sword of Damocles with a vengeance.
So this one's for my late father Jan.