Everybody, everywhere are posting their Rory Root stories for all to see. For those who don’t know, Rory was one of the real landmark retailers in the country. He managed to run a huge shop in a competitive market, cater to everyone, and, do it with a kind heart and a smile. In this business, that’s a rarity. He was a man who geniuinely loved what he did, and wanted everybody to love it as much as he did. Earlier this evening, he passed away.
At Comic-Con last year, I was signing at his booth and he didn’t have any copies of Elk’s Run on hand. He’d ordered the books, and Random House for whatever reason, failed to deliver. He was furious. Not at me, but, at my publisher, and at himself. And not one of those huffy “You’re losing money, asshole!” ways. He said that he was upset that a creator who’s work he loved was at his booth and that he was being embarrassed by not having his favorite work by that author at his booth.
It might’ve just been Rory feeding me a line, but, I know that I walked a little bit prouder knowing that Rory at the very least knew who I was, and cared enough to put on a good show. The guy was a class act, with an even bigger heart. His kind words of encouragement always brightened me up during a grueling con, and frankly, the thought of San Diego without Rory perched on his stool… it’s hard to imagine.
So, here’s to Rory wherever he is, I’m sure it’s well-organized and stocked to the gills with all of his favorite books.