Why, God, why did you take Joann away? "Jees, Punkie, nothing personal," seems to be the reply. "I doubt Jo would want you carrying on about it. Eventually she would have poked fun at it until you stopped."
I can't think of Jo without thinking of her good friend Cindy. Cindy also worked Elspeth's table. She was a cute, buxom girl with red hair and usually wore green. Another Rennie. When Cindy (her fan name was "Ladyhawk") wailed at Jo's wake at Evecon 6, I nearly lost it; that cry still haunts my deepest nightmares. I didn't understand what grieving sounded like until that day. There's a guttural sound of true pain and mourning that cannot be faked, even by the best of stage actresses. I heard it during 9/11 in the voices of people dealing with the losses of loved ones. I hear it all the time when they show some funeral in the middle east.
I can still remember Nybor saying to her, "I know that Jo and you used to trade Star Trek novels, so her mother and I made sure her collection goes back to you." I don't know what that meant to Cindy, but she cried again like a new wound had been torn open when she couldn't have imagined the pain getting any worse. Perhaps memories of Jo and her giggling over something they read, or maybe it wasn't about the books, but of memories associated with the trading. Nights on Jo's bed or moments at the Faire where Jo played that saucy wench and jeered at people from the crooks trees (she really threw herself into that part).
I don't know where Cindy is. Elspeth told me she lost contact with her long ago, and wishes to make contact with her again. I hope Cindy knows, 5th hand as it were, that Jo's death has been avenged in some legal way, even if it took 17 years.
Miss you, Joann.