Sanity, Good Humour, Joy, Possibility, and Wonder
Sleep Well, Space Cowboy
by Rylla Cathryn Smith
Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
In memoriam: Lester Neil Smith III
How am I supposed to tell you who my father was? If you’re reading this, then you probably already know of his career, of his politics, and of his steadfast defense of individual liberty.
I’m not my dad. Oddly, after a hard left swing in my teens and twenties, I’ve ended up more conservative than he ever was. But it’s due in large part to his influence that I ended up here, and I owe him thanks that I never gave for his guidance, his friendship, and his endless support throughout my thirty-one years on this earth.
I shared this on Facebook the other day, but I think it will do to sum up my feelings, for now, anyway.
My dad was a pretty cool person. He was a science fiction novelist. He was a political commentator. He was a gunsmith. He was a great many things to a great many people. But he was something unique to me, and I had a privilege that no one else had, that of being his only child. He raised me to be headstrong and to have the courage of my convictions, to be a leader and not a follower, and to never back down when I believed I was right. This led to a great many arguments with my old man through the years. Sometimes he was right. Sometimes I was right. It didn’t really matter. It still doesn’t.
What does matter is that he raised me this way, supported me when I was figure skating as a child, doing martial arts as a teen, being a rebellious punkass in my early twenties, and when I finally got back to work on my largest and most ambitious writing project late last year, he backed me wholeheartedly. We spent many a night sitting in his office discussing it and he and my wonderful mother listened raptly as I read aloud from the book—and then, happily, my dad got back to work on his project and began reading aloud to us. I will always treasure those nights. I have seldom felt closer to my dad and I’m so grateful to have had them.
His favorite character of mine is named Malcolm Taylor, and he asked me over and over when I took a hiatus from writing this summer, “what’s Malcolm up to?”
Well, Malcolm never really knew my dad. But he and I are mourning. And then we are taking a step forward. Because my dad always taught me that fear is natural and normal... but that step forward is what separates courage from cowardice.
I love you, daddy. I miss you.
This site may receive compensation if a product is purchased
through one of our partner or affiliate referral links. You
already know that, of course, but this is part of the FTC Disclosure
Policy found here. (Warning: this is a 2,359,896-byte 53-page PDF file!)<
L. Neil Smith‘s The Libertarian Enterprise does not collect, use, or process any personal data. Our affiliate partners, have their own policies which you can find out from their websites.