I was just informed of the passing of old friend Nick Postiglione, of the Midwest Comic Book Association and The Source Comics & Games in Minneapolis. I’m capricious about death, so I won’t linger on sadness and sentiment, not too much.
I am truly sad that Nick isn’t with us anymore. I just saw him at San Diego, only a couple weeks ago. The Source’s booth was merely 50 feet, tops, from ours and I watched Nick go about his business every day. His business seemed to be, as it’s always been, loving comics and sharing that with as many people as he could. I first met Nick when I started doing the MCBS’s Fallcon in Minneapolis, back in the early 90s. In those days, FallCon was held in an unbelievably wacky place, the Thunderbird Hotel.
Imagine, if you will, if Frontierland had been designed by David Lynch. A relic of mid-20th century pre-politically correct America, the Thunderbird was pretty much as charmingly alien as the 1950s appear in retrospect, the BACK TO THE FUTURE version of the 1950s. Indian motifs abounded. Not Native American, no, no, that would have been sensitive. INDIAN. The Thunderbird had a 30-foot fiberglass Indian on the front lawn, making the “HOW!” sign. It had rooms like ‘the Wampum Room’ and ‘the Menomonee Lounge’. It had probably the largest collection of stuffed animals I’ve ever seen, and I’m PRETTY sure some of the taxidermy there was the last of several now-extinct species. Owls. Wolves. Bears. It was INSANE. We called the dealer’s room of the con ‘the Hall of Heads’. The hotel reeked of old Masonic temples and Kiwanis clubs, of the Boy Scouts of America and cigarette smoke, baked into the worn-down carpeting.
You could get offended at the Thunderbird, pretty easily, and many did. But, if you had a sense of humor and you realized that the way we were was the way we were, that to grow up you had be a dumb kid at one point, you could enjoy the hilarious insanity that was the Thunderbird. And Nick Post (as we called him) laughed at that joint the loudest.
Nick GOT IT. He got the joke. Not just about the weird old hotel, but everything. He understood how things were, and he had the wonderful ability to laugh about it on one hand, and roll up his sleeves with the other. He did a lot of good for people in his life. I never heard him utter a bad word about anyone, unless that person was a bona fide idiot or villain who was out making life unhappy for others. He might rant and rail and concoct schemes to confound the bastards, and then he’d laugh. He always laughed, as I recall. He’d get red in the face, laughing his ass off at a hilarious plan to thwart the crumbums in life. He was mischievous and big-hearted and fun.
I cannot picture Nick without seeing him as the first time I met him, in that glorious old ruin, the Thunderbird Hotel. For me, the two are intertwined, at least in my small memory of the man. Well… Nick, just like the Thunderbird, is no longer with us. They belong to the ages, to the collective memory, to the melancholic remembrance of good times and great laughs and the best of possible times. No one and nothing lives forever, and while Nick has sadly left us far too early, he’s left us for the better, just because we had the outrageous good fortune to know him.
~Adam Hughes, August 8, 2014~