On November 11, 2018, we filled the space of Flemington DiY on Main Street to pay tribute to Stacy Korn, a woman who impacted each and every one of us in unique ways. Rev. Kevin Ireland spoke so beautifully and passionately. He talked about Stacy’s sense of adventure, her caring nature, and her creative spirit. He invited people to come up for each of those themes to share stories.
I was one of the people pre-planned to speak and I wanted to share what I wrote since it will take a while for the video editing. Meanwhile, there are videos on Facebook saved from the live broadcast, but I’m going to try and pull together things to insert extra content. Black Lab Imaging streamed to Stacy’s profile while I used my phone as a backup and streamed to my AmberUnmasked Facebook page. Over 900 people tuned in collectively to watch online while about a hundred of us were there in person.
When Rev. Kev asked me if I would speak today, I agreed and immediately went searching for inspiration in words by Neil Gaiman. Thereâ€™s this long passage in American Gods where the speaker lists all the things they believe in or arenâ€™t sure of but love anyway. They say:
â€œI believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do.
I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn’t even know that I’m alive.
I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck.
I believe that life is a game,
that life is a cruel joke,
and that life is what happens when you’re alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.â€
Gaiman is not just any kind of writer. Heâ€™s the kind that creates worlds like a little god himself.
Iâ€™m always thinking about what I believe in.
Do I believe in a Mother Goddess wholly and completely or is that what I say because itâ€™s comforting to tell myself?
Do I believe wholly and completely that my beloved animals have crossed a rainbow bridge and are waiting to be reincarnated or was that the only shot I had with them?
Do I believe thereâ€™s a Good Place and Bad Place and a Medium Place where we spend eternity after we die?
Is life only what happens when youâ€™re alive as Gaiman said or is there so much more afterward?
Yâ€™all, I donâ€™t have any flippin idea. I do know that while weâ€™re alive and we cross paths, we impact each other in monumental ways and subtle ways.
Stacy Korn impacted me monumentally. She made me family and she carried me into a strange world filled with toys and heroes and groups of wandering misfits in wild outfits the same way a great writer would do for their readers. In this way, Stacy too, was a little god who created a universe for all of us.
Our volunteers did all their organizing through a group chat. People who couldn’t pitch in the day of still gave feedback about what seemed Stacy-appropriate.
Rachael, Aaron, Tracey, Jesse, Avantika, Selin, Ally, Joe, Bob, Kevin, Tina, Vivian, Coraline, Rob, Cathy, Mallory, and myself. It was a huge team effort to make everything come together. We had a lot of community support from Black Lab Imaging, Flemington DiY, and ShopRite which offered us discounts.
Special thanks once again to artist James Kenneth Woodward for the superb rendition he created of Stacy the warrior with her battle-cats Mouse and Tara.
If you would like and have the means, you can still donate to the ALS Association Greater NY Chapter in Stacy’s honor. I stress “if you have the means” because I’ve heard Stacy tell many customers that paying rent and buying food is more important than comics so in the spirit of that, please take care of your needs first. If you do have the means, please do so. Sharing the information about ALS and how to donate is equally as important.