Dave Clapper posted the following on Facebook yesterday:
Yesterday, I learned that the world lost one of its most beautiful people over the weekend. Bob Arter was, for me, a bit of a mentor, probably without his even realizing it. He was the guest editor of the 17th issue of SmokeLong. As a quadriplegic (due to a surfing accident in 1973), he had to write or type using an instrument held in his mouth. Despite that, he offered line by line edits on hundreds of the submissions that came in for that issue, making us see beauty in pieces we might have more easily passed over. I don't think the writers who submitted for that issue realize how much love Bob put into reading their submissions.
He also NEVER talked about his condition. He wasn't embarrassed by it, but he just wasn't interested in calling attention to it. He was gregarious and met several folks from the Zoetrope community in person. It was only through those meetings that others of us ever learned of how he lived his life day to day.
Tonight, around the world, dozens of writers who loved Bob will be reading pieces of his outdoors, howling at the moon, drinking toasts to him. Maryanne Stahl came up with the idea, and folks immediately jumped on board. Won't you all join us in reading, howling, and drinking to Bob tonight? I'd like to think he'll hear us.
If you have your own favorite piece of Bob's, have at it. If not, links to several of his stories can be found here: howl for bob arter
We love you, Bob. May you rest in peace, finally free of pain.
I started at five, on the porch, with red wine. I red Riley's Shoes, aloud.
Then I read Springtime on the Moon, Grace, Corinna, Pictures of You, My Mama's Prom, Phiddie:A Remembrance, Telescopy, Jenny Craig..., Remembering Elizabeth, a few more, and then Audrey's Garden. Some I read silently. Most I read aloud but softened the racy parts, on account of the neighbors.
Sometime after six I went back inside, lay on the bed with Jim, had dinner.
At 8 I went outside again. The moon was rising. I read Spaceman. At times my throat hurt so bad I could barely read, but I pressed on, wiping my reading glasses every few sentences.
At the end, I was sobbing. But I stood and looked at the moon for a good while as it hung in the trees. Just before I turned to go in, I whispered, Good night, Bob.