Al Harron (left) and Miguel Martins atop Caddo Peak, Howard Days 2011
I’ve begun to hear from people in Robert E. Howard fandom that Miguel Martins has passed away. I don’t have any details at this time.
I only met Miguel once, at Howard Days in 2011. I liked him immediately. Miguel was one of the first people to follow this blog. When I met him, he complemented me on it. That meant a lot to me, as I had been blogging for less than a year, and at one point a few months prior I had considered shutting it down.
This was the year that the Conan movie was released. Miguel asked for my thoughts after a presentation on the movie Saturday afternoon at Howard Days. I was somewhat caught offguard and babbled something. It couldn’t have been too incoherent because Miguel took a drag on his cigarette and gave a reply that showed he had listened and seriously considered what I’d said. That also meant a lot to me because I wasn’t as involved in Howard fandom then as I am now. Someone who was much more involved wanted to know what I thought, and listened carefully.
Saturday evening at Howard Days is the barbeque and hike up Caddo Peak for those willing to brave the heat, the snakes, the prickly pear, and the steep climb. I climbed the peak with Al Harron and Miguel. We had a great time, managed to avoid any snakes and the copious thorns on the prickly pears that covered the top of the peak. They asked me to take a picture of them, which I did. It’s the one at the top of this post. It was one of the best years as far as company on the hike, and company in general, was concerned.
I didn’t hear from Miguel after that, and he drifted away from Howard fandom over the next few years. Since he was from France, I wasn’t surprised that I never saw him at Howard Days again, although I always hoped he’d be back. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen.
Rest in peace, my friend.
Jeff Shanks has posted a tribute here. Al Harron’s is here. Barbara Barrett’s is here. I’ll post other links as I become aware of them.