Kage Baker was born on June 10, 1952. She would have been 61 years old today.
I don’t think she would have liked it.
No question, she’d have been glad to be alive! That would have meant she’d beaten the cancer. By now, her hair would have been growing back; she’d still be skinny, from the surgeries and therapies. God He knows, she wanted to live. I just don’t think she’d have been best pleased at being 61. She was never flattered by those letters from AARP that we all start getting when we turn 50 years old.
But she’d have found ways to have fun with it. Assuming the mantle of age and wisdom would have been fun. She’d have had the chance to make a Granny Weatherwax costume, and she’d have looked damn convincing in it. She would have been able to see her eldest niece, Katie, following the family trade of painting; she’d have cheered the middle niece, Anne, in graduating with her degree in law. And she’d be proudly watching the youngest, Emma, as she prepared for the entrance exam for West Point and going on to another family tradition of service: the first girl to do so.
And there are all our friends’ kids, too, to watch grow. She’d enjoy watching her namesake, Alexander Kage – who just yestreday learned how to climb over the baby gates and made a successful escape into his parents’ garden through the dog door. She would be so proud of Patrick and Garrett for making Eagle Scout, and so happily impressed with Meagan, who is now making art with her camera, her pencils, her paintbrushes …
Kage would have had more books out, more stories written. I’m trying to take up the slack there, of course, but I think she’d rather have done it herself … on the other hand, having gotten me to finish Nell Gwynne II, Kage would probably not have let me completely off the hook. She always wanted me to write. She was convinced it would do me good.
And she was pretty much right, too. The advance from Company of Thieves, which has the new Company story “Hollywood Ikons” in it, has just paid for the transmission on the PT Cruiser getting repaired. Saved once again by a timely check from a publisher! Kage would have been absolutely smug about that.
And some interesting weirdness today, in the mail. I got an offer from a marketing company. You know, the sort that sells pens and pencils and coin purses and keychains with your business name and vitals on them, to hand out to potential clients. In my case, it would be to hand around at conventions, I guess … what they sent me was an order form for little LED flashlights, which were really pretty keen. There was a sample, too – engraved with what these folks evidently figured was my company’s name: Dr. Zeus.
Now I’ve got this teeny little flashlight, bright enough to blind someone yet small enough to conceal about one’s person. And it says Dr. Zeus. And it got here on Kage’s birthday.
So, I guess I’ll order some. I can give them away to Kage’s fans and friends, and bind everyone to the dread service of The Company. It’ll be a late birthday present from Kage, Hobbit-style, to everyone else. Pretty cool.
Happy Birthday, kiddo. Don’t think about the years. Just think how your creation is lighting the world. That really is pretty damned cool.