Hello All! Our friend and longtime Legionnaire Rich Lane is having health issues, and could use any help that anyone can give. Per his son, Patrick, "He won't be able to be at full strength again and will need someone to be with him for the rest of his life."
Rich has started a GoFundMe , if anyone is in a position to help out financially.
No pressure, I know what it's like to be skint and just getting by yourself, but anything you can do would be appreciated

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I would have to believe that they've explored every conceivable option.  I'm not knowledgeable on the subject, so I don't know what limitations there might be. I always heard that there can be a very long waiting list for transplants.

Captain Comics said:

I guess they've explored the idea of a liver transplant. This is just awful. Just awful.

Livers are not as difficult as kidneys. Compatible donors can donate a portion of a liver without ill effects for either person. This may depend on how advanced the disease is. I don't know a lot about it, either. 

Well that's terrible news.

When you're a young man just beginning to make your mark in the world, diseases and infirmities, like what Rich Lane is suffering through right now, are things out of mind.  Those things are for old people, and you're immortal.


But, for those of us here, Rich's friends, it strikes closer to home.  We know that, but for the grace of God or the caprice of Fate or the roll of the dice, it could be us, instead of him.  And that makes us feel for him much more.


As with all men, the mark that Rich has truly made on the world lies with those he has personally touched.  With his family, with his friends, and certainly with the students he taught for so many years.  A teacher's greatest influence shows not in the facts and figures he teaches, but in the moral lessons he demonstrates.  Based on what I know of Rich, he taught at least one excellent life's lesson.


Rich has that capacity to disagree without disrespecting.  He can condemn (with a "d") an opinion without contemning (yes, with a "t") the person holding that opinion.  That's an increasingly rare quality in to-day's intolerant society.


Rich embraces the ethic that men can disagree on ideas, on approaches, on solutions, and still be of good will.


Many years ago, in a thread on this board, Rich and I embroiled in discussion over Joseph McCarthy, the Red-baiting senator of the 1950's.  I argued on the basis of clinical details, which in some ways ran counter to "what everybody knows".  Rich disagreed with a passion, and he didn't hold back in rejecting my position.  Our debate raged for at least seven or eight pages before burning itself out.  I have no doubt that the moderators let it go on that long because neither Rich, nor I, criticised each other personally.


But what really drives home the point that Rich assails ideas with which he disagrees, but not the people, showed in a personal message he sent to me toward the end of our public discussion.


He told me that he had received messages from other members of this site, who were concerned over what appeared to be a personal rift developing between him and me.  It was the correspondence equivalent of physically stepping between two brawlers.


Why do they think that, I asked Rich.


Beats me, he said.  He wasn't mad at me.


I wasn't mad at him, either, I told him.


That's what Rich had told the concerned message-senders.  But he wanted to check with me---just to be sure that he hadn't stepped on my toes.


Taking pains like that is just the kind of fellow Rich is.  Pummel my opinion?  Sure, he'd do that all day.  But he wouldn't risk, even inadvertently, offending me personally.  That was his standard.


We could use a whole Congress of those with Rich's ethic.  Hell, a whole country.



Rich was the one who contacted me about doing my own Silver-Age-related column on this site.  The title, "Commander Benson's Deck Log", was his idea.  I couldn't think of one better.


The notion of doing something like that had never occurred to me, until Rich invited me to do it.  I was flattered that he thought someone might actually be interested in what I wrote.  If I hadn't respected his thinking, I probably wouldn't have accepted.  As it was, I figured that I would run out of ideas in a year or so.


Shows what I know.  Fifteen years later, and Commander Benson's Deck Log is still around, and it's still fun to do.  It's been a rewarding experience.  All of you have been so supportive all these years.  And I have to admit it's kind of neat to see me and my work cited or referenced as expert information on sites I'd never visited before.


But what Rich really did for me was more personal.  From doing my Deck Log, I learnt how to develop my writing skill and, more important, my writing style.  I've always admired the casual-yet-effective writing styles of Craig "Mr. Silver Age" Shutt and of our own Captain Comics.  That wasn't me.  All I knew how to write were impersonal operations orders and point papers.


Through the constant effort of writing my column, though, I found my own style, my own voice.  I'm not in Craig's or Cap's class, but it works, I think.  I owe that to Rich; I'm a better writer because of him.



I hate that this thread has turned into a death watch.  That sudden turn-around that we've all fervently wished for seems less likely, now.  If the bugle is blowing retreat for Rich, I know he'll confront it with his typical gallantry.


Hello Everyone-

Pat Lane has updated the GoFundMe page mentioned in my original post, there's mpre details there but the key information is this:

"Hello all. Rich's son Patrick here. I wish we had better news to share with you. Dad has entered hospice care. We've been told we're now looking at hours to days at best. He has his family by his side keeping him company."

I have no words.

I don't know what to say.

It's hard to believe it's been 20 years since I looked forward to logging in here every day. Rich was one of those people who made it such a great experience. Even after all these years, this is heartbreaking. 

Ah, Rich...

I'll miss you, man.

Unfortunately, I had been expecting this. As most of you know, my wife lost her battle against a relapse of Multiple Myeloma (bone marrow cancer) in December 2020. Once it became clear that her body was completely unable to replace her blood cells there was nothing to be done except hospice care. We were both grateful that she could be at home with hospice visits. Her transfused blood cells, like all blood cells, had a lifetime of at most three months from their creation. Unlike Rich Lane’s situation, she was comfortable and able to talk to visiting friends for about five weeks. The last week was very difficult. Coincidentally, today is sixteen months to the day since she passed away.

Many times in her three-year struggle, Gayle benefited from donated blood transfusions. Over the last 40-plus years I’ve donated a lot of blood to the Red Cross, as did Gayle until she became ineligible. I urge everyone reading this to donate blood. It’s very safe.

Parabbi here.  I had the pleasure to meet Rich about ten years ago.  I took my boys to Cleveland and made a side trip to see Rich. 

Rich and I did not agree on much of anything.  But our friendship never hung on agreement.  I could agree to disagree, and disagreeably, with Rich.

In my line of work, I see death lots.  I hate Rich is exiting our world, but his exit will be welcomed by me.  The reason: Rich is suffering and I want to see his suffering end. 

I pray for Rich, Delores and the kids.  My prayer is simple: God, be merciful to Rich.  Comfort Delores and the children.  Help us all find the strength to carry on." 

My heart and concern for this oasis we found years ago still carries on. 

I'll miss Rich a lot: he was always a good online friend to me. He once sent me an mp3 of some of my music that I had completely lost track of!

I just saw this posting on Patrick Lane's Facebook page about Rich: 

Patrick Lane said:

Thank you everyone for your kind words for Dad. Unfortunately, time was not on our side and he passed away early this morning with Mom by his side. I'm at a loss for words. We love and already miss him dearly.

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