Without a doubt, the absolute worst way to find out about someone’s death is through referrer logs.
Among the people I interviewed for the documentary were a couple in Toronto, who for the purposes of identification were called “Milky and Liz”. We talked about diversi-dials (ddials), early BBS culture, BBS meets, and a whole other range of BBS-related subjects. All told, I interviewed this couple for about three hours, one of my longest interviews.
The interview was conducted in 2002, at the beginning of my interview sets, and since I didn’t know how many interviews I’d ultimately have, we covered everything we could. They were tolerant of my all-over-the-place style (I got better) and my talking too much about myself (I got better).
Ultimately, a good amount of the footage from their interview got in, comparatively: probably 2-3 minutes of clips across all the episodes. They were a happy, bouncy couple who had a lot to say and were wonderful to talk to.
I talked to them one more time after the interview, this year, to get a spelling of Milky’s favorite BBS for the subtitles, so it would be spelled right. They sounded different, but I assumed it was just me catching them on a bad day.
Today, from referrer logs, I found out Milky has died of cancer. He was around 30 years old.
Milky had another name, which I didn’t put on the documentary at his request. It was Ninjalicious, and he was the editor of Infiltration Magazine, a zine about urban exploration. He was a giant in this hobby, a figure many looked up to for advice and fun stories. His website is at infiltration.org.
Stories are pouring into the thread that started showing up in my referrer logs. It is heartbreaking.
I am now digitizing their three hour interview. It will go onto archive.org next, a memorial of sorts of a very fun and brilliant man who touched my life like he touched so many others.
In the last months of his life, Milky worked hard to finish his book about the art of urban exploration. I don’t know what I would do if I was given the news of a terminal condition with regards to my current projects, but he finished his. The book is available for sale from his website and I would heartily suggest purchasing a copy; reviews have been very positive.
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