Yesterday afternoon, I was looking at my website stats, as you do, and seeing who had arrived from where. One visitor to my site had googled for the long-defunct magazine I cut my teeth on as a teenager. The rankings were interesting - first up was the owner/editor, who has moved on to great things. I was listed third. And in between us came Harry Horse.
Harry, or Richard as I knew him (for that was his real name), was a year old than me, and immensely talented. I remember when he joined the mag - he would sit for hours in the damp back cellar (we all worked in a basement office), drawing away, turning out brilliant cartoons and illustrations. I used to sneak into that back cellar quite often and just sit with him, watching him draw and chatting to him. I was very fond of him and he was interesting to talk to.
When the mag went bust, we went our separate ways, but I would sometimes run into him in town and have a chat with him. Then I moved away and never saw him again.
So it was a bit of a surprise to see his name pop up on that google search yesterday. I decided to google further and drop him an email to say hi, it's me from your dim and distant past.
Sadly, when I googled Harry Horse I only found his obituary. What a sad loss and a tragedy. Somehow, I found it fitting that I discovered this news on Valentine's Day - to have loved someone so deeply, you'd lay down your life for them moved me beyond words.
I was a month too late. I'll never catch up with Harry now. But wherever you are, mate, I hope you're at peace with Mandy.