Today, Friday, 15, 2019 is the 21st anniversary of Robert Shearer, otherwise known as W.B., which was short for ‘Weird Bob’, passing away on February 15, 1998.
I only met or saw WB a few times, mainly at the Total Confusion convention held in the Worcester, MA area during the 1980s/1990s. The times I did see him he was already wheel chair bound all the time due to his health problems but he still was able to attend and everyone was glad he was there. I distinctly remember for years after WB passed away that members of his group continued to have him be part of the RPG games they played by having WB appear as a NPC in the module for the players to meet. I thought this was great since it showed that even though WB was gone, he had not been forgotten.
In later years, once I was friends with Roger Anderson, I found out that Roger had made and taken care of the funeral arrangements for WB. Apparently, for whatever reason, WB had no family or relatives left to do those thing for him so Roger took care of these things for WB. Fortunately, Roger was around and took care of all of that for WB.
I do not have the background story on how Roger and WB meet, and will ask around to find out if anyone knows, but I expect it was through Roger’s comic book store, Musicquest, and Roger’s RPG groups that Roger and WB became friends.
Every year Roger would go out to visit his family cemetery plots at the Worcester County Memorial Park in Paxton, MA on Memorial Day. Roger would go out in the late afternoon on Memorial Day, after he had closed up for the day for selling flowers and comics. On a number of those trips in the 2000s I went with Roger and his family to the cemetery. Along with visiting his family plots, Roger always went to WB’s cemetery plot, which was just a few hundred feet from the rest of the family plots. Roger’s father-in-law was a few hundred feet towards the other side of the cemetery. Since Roger passed away November 2012 I have continued to go out with his family on Memorial Day weekend and always make sure to visit WB’s plot and leave some flowers each year, just like Roger use to do.
Today, Roger, WB, Roger’s family and Roger’s father-in-law, are all now out at the Worcester County Memorial Park and within a three or four hundred feet of each other. Roger’s father in law is up on a small rise towards the east side. Roger’s family is sort of in the middle a few hundred feet from his father in law, then Roger is about one hundred feet to the west, and WB is near the west edge about 100 feet from where Roger has been laid to rest. Even though it has been a little more than 8 years from Roger passing away, I still find it somewhat of a shock that it now falls to me to be the one to make sure that flowers are left for WB each Memorial Day.
Since Roger was the only one to take of the arrangements for WB back in 1998, and it looked like Roger was the only one to bring flowers each year to WB’s plot, I expect that except for me there would be no one else visiting WB’s plot if I did not go each year and make sure things were done. hopefully, maybe a few of WB’s old RPG group can be found and a few other people can be assembled for visits each year.
I sometimes go out to the plots a few times per year but consider those ‘extra’ and not mandatory visits, where as the Memorial Day weekend I consider a mandatory visit that must be done each year, no matter what is going on.
I am glad to be able to do such important work and show that people have not forgotten about WB even though he has been gone now for 21 years and would have been 70 years old today. While WB is gone, he has not been forgotten and will be remembered.
Good Luck and Take Care,
Louis J. Desy Jr.