Back in 2000, Melinda and I got the news that our eccentric pen-pal Professor V had passed away in a fire. We had never met V, never even knew his real name for sure. He had a lot of unusual beliefs. If anyone was going to fake his own death, or let you think he had died because he was offended or sick of talking to you, V might be the type to do something like that.

I've been searching the web on and off for years now looking for old obituaries or old news stories about a fire in Central Islip, NY. Finally after a fruitless search on the web tonight, I wondered if they would have some exclusive archives where I work (which happens to do database aggregating, or whatever you want to call it). Anyhow, I found two articles from Newsday dated June 28 and 29, 2000, about a fire on Wheeler Rd in Central Islip, listing one of the names that Professor V had used.

So five years later and I still feel like I've been punched in the gut. I was still a little in denial, holding out for the possibility that he could have been alive, even if that meant he had played a dirty trick on us or was angry with us.


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