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Monday, November 21, 2011

Edward "Stu" Bailey (1949-2011)

In the busy days after the release of my latest book, I want to take some time out to remember a good friend. A Fine Likeness is dedicated to my wife and son, as usual, and it's also dedicated to Edward "Stu" Bailey, who died earlier this year. Stu lived in Columbia, Missouri, and one of the highlights of my visits there was hanging out with him.

I first met him at Osama's, a popular downtown cafe. He and Tyree Byndom were playing chess and had a little sign up announcing that this was the first meeting of the Kneighborhood Knightz, a new chess club. I sat down and played. I'm not sure who I played but I'm pretty sure I lost. I could only beat Stu one game in three and I've only ever beaten Tyree once.

Several years later and the Kneighborhood Knightz has grown from its initial three members to dozens. It's a place where minds meet and friendships are made. It's one the the good things Stu helped bring into the world. My little boy even became a member without ever making it to Missouri. He played Stu online.

Stu was the kind of guy I immediately like. He lived in public housing but his apartment was full of books. He loved to party but one of his best friends was a devout Bahai who never touches drugs or alcohol. He was proud to be black but didn't give a shit what color you are.

Stu lived a full life. He spent time in the army in Germany, worked down in Jamaica, and had a variety of different jobs and homes. A few years ago he suffered a stroke that left him in a wheelchair. The depression this caused didn't last long. He soon rallied and took up wheelchair soccer. This earned him new friends and he got to travel across the country. Nothing could keep him down long.

But the end came as the end always does. Tyree emailed me the news in March while I was in Harar, Ethiopia. I intended on writing this memorial then but found I could not. Neither could Tyree. Eight months hasn't made it any easier.

So long, Stu.


  1. Hi Sean,
    Reading your post gave me chills. What a wonderful way to remember your friend.

  2. Why am I just know reading this? WOW! Tears. I miss him daily.


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