I am one of those people who work through hard times with words.
This morning, I read that one of the women I first met on duranduranfans.com passed away from cancer. Some of you may have known her as Shadoefyre on the various Duran Duran message boards. Krissie Richardson was a force within the fan community, planning more than one fan convention (DuranCon here in the US), and she will be missed by many, including her wonderfully kind and loving husband, Don. Our heart goes out to Don, Kris’ family and dear friends. We wish we could take at least some of the pain away.
If you ever met Krissie, chances are – you won’t forget her.
I met Krissie on the DDF message board in 2004. I don’t think she’d disagree if I said her “hey-day” with the fan community was mostly in the 90s, while mine has been from 2003-forward. Our paths crossed when several of us began working on convention plans in earnest, and Krissie was enticed to help us out – consulting on what and how everything needed to come together. She had a “no holds barred” approach to just about everything. While I was fairly new to the fan community, Krissie had been around for a long time. She had been involved, going to gigs, writing fanzine material, and planning DD conventions for a long time. From what I could gather, she was well-respected. Many may not have always liked what she had to say, but dammit, they at least stopped to listen.
Krissie was tough as nails to my mushy marshmallow. I was a sheltered soccer mom coming out of hiding when she first met me. She had been around the block and then some. She’d done a lot of living while I’d been changing diapers, that is for sure. It wouldn’t be wrong for me to say I was completely intimidated by her for a long time. She just had a way about her that I both admired, and knew I was completely unable to fully grip. In most ways, we couldn’t be more different, and I liked that about her. Krissie constantly and consistently reminded me that as different as we were – sometimes just having respect for other people to be themselves really is enough. It is something I continue to put into practice each and every day.
I don’t want to make it sound as though Krissie and I were super close. The thing is, she was an important part of my Duranie tribe. When I think about the women I still remain in contact with from DDF and the fan convention, she is right at the top of that list. The thing is, for a time, we did have Duran Duran in common, but probably not a lot beyond that. The funny thing is that when I consider everything I’ve learned during the past twenty years, Krissie’s face comes to mind every single time. I’m so grateful that I knew her. I don’t know how the world is going to manage without her declarations of “a little truth” on Facebook. She had such a way of completely undressing the BS. Even when I wouldn’t necessarily agree with her, I couldn’t help but admire how effectively she would tell someone to pound sand…or worse. Usually worse. It was impressive.
And oh, did Krissie ever have the best stories! I remember when I first met her at the fan convention in New Orleans back in 2004, she told crazy-ass Duran tales all night while we put packets together. I was the resident neophyte that night, enthralled by everything she’d already seen and done. On one hand, I couldn’t get over that she’d already met the band and knew so much (keep in mind this was in 2004 and I had just barely dipped my toe into the fan community ocean). On the other, I couldn’t understand why she was so cynical about the band, management, and other fans. My plebeian-self had no idea of what road lay ahead.
I love Krissie. She had the warmest, kindest-sounding voice and zero patience for bullshit of any kind. I’m also so grateful that she’s at peace. No one deserves to live the pain she’s had to endure for the past year or more. No one.
Pumpkinhead is in good hands, Krissie, make no mistake. Love you, my friend. Rest well. You lived a good one. Not a single moment wasted.