Some people, even if you only see them once or twice a year, always bring a smile to your face, even when you just think of them.
Seth Magosky was one of those people, and he passed away on Saturday at the age of 39.
In the macho world of Civil War reenactors, Seth was gloriously over the top. When I close my eyes I can see him in motion. He's wearing his ever-present crooked grin and a flamboyant dressing gown, parading about to show it off.
I loved to watch his hands as he spoke, for they seemed to be having their own conversation as well. His long thin fingers would spread or twist or point to emphasize or undercut. I never knew how many pinkie rings I might see, but they were always unique, just like Seth.
Seth gave one of the best lectures I've ever been to (and I've been to literally hundreds), by closely examining a deed for a home in Joliet to find out what details it revealed about life in the nineteenth century. That he could take such dry material and lead his audience through it, especially in the sleepy time right after lunch, is a testament to his research and speaking skills. More so, it's a testament to his passion for history. A lesser person could not have carried it off.
Seth was also a dance caller, and while they can be a competitive, territorial bunch, I never knew him to be anything but gracious. He was quite a tall man, but on the dance floor was always graceful. He danced as well with the teen in the badly re-worked prom gown as he did with the regal woman in silk and vintage lace.
At the moment, I weep when I think of Seth and the loss of him, but in my mind's eye, Seth is still smiling that goofy grin and always unique inside and out. We are so much the less for his loss.