There comes a moment in fandom when your heart stops, your breath catches in your chest and your eyes fill with tears, then you look around to find you’re in a room full of people that just wouldn’t understand. You want to slide out of your chair and hit the floor and instead you have to hold it together until you are away from the people in your everyday life and alone. All you want in that moment is for someone to hold you and cry and with you, to share the sudden pain and loss you feel. This afternoon, was that moment for me.
Robin Sachs meant a lot of different things to different people, to many he was Ethan Rayne from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Giles’ evil nemesis, to others he was Sarris from Galaxy Quest, and there were so many other roles he had beside. To me, Robin was the reason I laughed through the pain at the Hallowhedon 2 convention, two and a half years ago.
On the opening night of the convention, I was walking downstairs, alone, my walking stick in one hand and the banister in the other. He looked up when he heard me coming and I smiled and said “Hi Robin”. The following conversation ensued:
Robin: Well hello there. Why is someone as young as you using a walking stick?
Me: I have osteoarthritis in my knees.
Robin: You know what helps with arthritis?
Robin: Exercise, try getting your legs behind your head.
Robin’s convention staff member: ROBIN!
Robin: Well I hope to see you around the convention, and remember, exercise.
He had me laughing so hard I almost fell down the remaining steps. Later on at the convention, at one of the parties, he and the other actors had been riding the bucking spider. We were outside with him and Anthony Head when he said: “You know why I stayed on the spider the longest? I have prehensile testicles.” More laughter ensued.
Robin was the life and soul of the party and he will be sorely missed, not just by his friends and family, who my thoughts go out to at this difficult time, but also by fandom.
Today should have been his birthday, and yet today, we are hearing the news of his death. I’ll have a drink for you tonight, Robin, and remember the good fortune I had to meet you. You gave me levity despite the pain. A rare gift. Thank you.