It’s hard to believe, but yesterday marked the 28th anniversary of the death of science-fiction genius and genuine American patriot, Robert A. Heinlein. Born July 7, 1907, he passed away on May 8, 1988, at the age of 80. Far too soon.
Heinlein was a tremendous influence on me, not just as child and a young man but also as an adult. To say I’m a fan is an understatement–not only have I read everything Heinlein ever wrote, I’ve literally worn books out with re-reading, bought new copies, and wore those out, too. Among the most prized possessions in my personal library is my collection of hard-cover Heinlein novels and short-stories.
Any of you who have received a personal email from me would have noted the several Heinlein quotes in my signature. I wish I could include all of Heinlein’s great quotes, but there are limits to an email signature.
Perhaps my favorite of his quotes is by itself too long for an email signature, but there’s plenty of room here, so in acknowledgement of the anniversary of Heinlein’s passing I share it with all of you:
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
― Robert A. Heinlein
Twenty-eight years. It’s hard to believe. I’m old enough to remember rushing out to buy his just-released latest novels.
We miss you, Bob. There have been great science fiction riders before and after you, but there’s not been anyone quite like you. Wherever you are, I trust you’re typing away.