David Hines (hradzka) wrote,
David Hines

a brief note, re: Andrew Koenig

I met him briefly about ten years ago. I was in Los Angeles on another matter, and at the time David Gerrold was working on a project called Galaxy Online. This was an ambitious start-up trying its hand at science fiction entertainment on the web. Lots of SF writers were involved in some capacity, including Gerrold, Spider Robinson, and Ben Bova, and B5's Claudia Christian and STAR TREK: VOYAGER's Tim Russ represented the acting side. I had a few days in LA, and arranged to interview Gerrold about the new endeavor in the hope that I could sell the resulting piece to CINEFANTASTIQUE, for which I wrote occasionally (alas, I couldn't). While Gerrold wrapped up some business, I chatted with other people in the office to get an idea of what they did, and what kinds of things they were into. One of those people was Andrew Koenig. Gerrold had mentioned to me earlier that he was Walter Koenig's son, so I knew about that connection; I'd seen Andrew on GROWING PAINS, but didn't recall his name from the show and didn't recognize his face from it, so I didn't mention that at all. At that stage of removal from the series, I don't know if he found that lack of recognition pleasant or potentially unfortunate as a career implication.

Andrew Koenig and I chatted for ten or fifteen minutes. He was working on a sketch comedy web series called WARPED, occasionally collaborating with his father. He showed me a couple. You have to remember, this is *waaaaaay* before YouTube, and long before video standardization, and in a day of much slower networks and computers. You downloaded Galaxy Online's videos in freakin' Windows ASF format. Most folks didn't have home broadband back then, and it took forever. I know, because when I got home from L.A., I tried. It was a noble effort, but the at that time the technology simply wasn't there. Honesty requires that I report the videos weren't very funny, either. But Koenig was a really nice fellow, and seemed like the kind of guy it would be fun to chat with over a beer. Anyway, Gerrold finished up his business, and Koenig and I shook hands, and that was it.

And a decade or so passed, and I heard he was missing, and then that he was dead. He'd been fighting depression, and had been deeply despondent recently, and had given stuff away and sent out some alarming email; then he killed himself in Stanley Park, Vancouver, a place he loved and felt at home. His father and ten of his friends, who formed a search party to help out the police, found his body. I've seen brief footage of his parents speaking about him, before they knew of his death; his mother didn't speak, and his father, who did, was clearly shattered.

I don't know what I expected to say when I started this. I didn't know the guy at all; I met him for ten minutes ten years ago, but I remember the occasion and I remember liking him. He seemed like a really decent guy, and I'm sorry for his pain, and for his friends' and family's loss.
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