This community is dedicated to the memory of Jonathan Paul Albers, a longstanding member of the furry community, known to most as "PandaGuy". He passed away suddenly on September 30, 2012, due to congestive heart and lung failure.
I remember him saying that when he did pass on, he'd be able to count the number of people who noticed on one hand. I decided to set up this community to prove him wrong. I'm certain there are plenty of us who remember him and have fond memories and stories to tell. This will be a place where we can share those memories, as well as leave final thoughts and wishes.
The community is moderated, but there's only one rule - PLEASE BE RESPECTFUL, both to Jon and to each other.
The floor is open. And thank you.
I wanted to share something that I'd thought I'd shared before, but I actually see that I haven't.
Please enjoy this wonderful YouTube by TaviMunk lovingly drawing PandaGuy's fursona in memoriam.
I'm unsure I can be sure when I first met Pandaguy. He was one of those fursuiters who was "always there" at Anthrocon, Ocean City DooDah parade, the Glen Echo Park "Panda Guy picnics" and other events that advocated creative fursuiting and teddy bear/plush sharing (the "good bears of the world").
He had the funniest stories of my first time fursuiting at a parade: the Ocean City DooDah parade with Rapid T Rabbit & friends in my brand new Fuzzle Ferret fursuit. I didn't quite understand the limited vision of the head, so I didn't just walk into the boat stopped in front of me, I *BONKED* straight into it! Right on cue for "pop goes the weasel" which I was humming on the kazoo and dancing way too enthusiastically! *HE* saw the stars and little birdies flying over my head and swears I was really wobbly for the rest of the parade, so he was never quite sure if I was hurt or not!
I admired his focus on plush advocacy and fursuiting. His legacy shall endure in his good works and performances as Bamboozle and his other characters.
I am at a loss of words right now. I owe a lot to PG. To make a long story short, I was 1st introduced to PG at the Tribute to Teddy's Teddy bear show in Toledo Ohio by the chairperson of GBW Terry Stong. back in the mid 90's. PG told me of the fandom, told me about the fursuit mail list, yes it was that long ago, introduced me to Rapid T Rabbit and his cable tv show, SK-1, Protious and his classic old films, as well as Herbie Hamell, plus a lot of other furs that are to numerous to list by just being around him. I know I should say something profound here, sigh but I am not good at that :( I don't know I am not as close of a friend as many others are, yet his passing has hit me really hard. There hasn't been a day yet where something, weather it be a memory from long ago, a photo, or a video, or a comment left in a journal, where I haven't teared up and or started to cry SIGH
When I joined the fandom some 10 years ago, I sought out other fursuiters since that's where my love truly resided. I friended PG because he was not only a suiter but a fursuit maker. It was nice to have him as an Internet furry friend because we were also close in age. It was even more interesting that we both worked for the federal government. We followed each other on LJ for many years. At one con he posted that he was having a bad time and hoped that things would get better. Since it has always been a thing of mine that no furry should feel unloved or alone, I went to his room in my polar bear suit to cheer him up. He welcomed me into his room with open paws. We spent a nice time snuggling. I started to really feel like I was a giant plushie. It made him so happy to be hugged and embraced by a big floofy polar bear. His happiness was just so contagious. I also met up with him at FC this year. It was so nice to just talk with him about the fandom and how we all are a part of it. I always thought that there would be another con where we would meet to talk about what it means to be a greymuzzle in the fandom. I'll miss you. You were such a good soul. The fandom needed more like you. You represented what it truly meant to be furry. *big bear hugs*
I first met Pandaguy in 1998, in Akron Ohio, when he came there to attend Boo At The Zoo at the Akron Zoo. I still recall seeing him and SK-1 surrounded by kids giving out hugs and pictures. I knew at that moment I wanted to be a part of that, and set about creating Stargazer.
A couple of years later, at the Doo Dah Parade in Ocean City New Jersey. It was a dull, drizzly day. The parade had gone ahead, and the group I was with was lagging behind, mostly to hand out hugs and high fives. I wanted to make sure that they knew where to go since the rest of the parade was now out out sight, so I went further ahead. Quite a ways further ahead, as the group lagged quite a bit. Apparently they also realized how much they were lagging, and wondering where they were supposed to go. Pandaguy saw me way up ahead, in my Stargazer fursuit, and said, "Follow the blue glow!" It's one of the nicknames that suck with me--The Blue Glow.
Jon, you made more friends than you know. You will not be forgotten.
Yes SK< I heard him talk about that a lot....he always felt so alone, always strived to get the love and attention he missed as a child, always a kid at heart.
Jon enriched everyone's life he touched, and while sometimes his methods were frustrating...in the end he made you a btter person.
I still, deny that he is gone....I do hope pthere is an afterlife, because if I never get to see him again, I will forever, be at a loss.