When Aimee first proposed this website, she wanted a place where people could have the kind of conversations and rants and excitement she found in her Facebook feed, but without the corporate ownership that Facebook exerts over all your interactions. “It doesn’t have to be a big thing,” she’d tell potential writers. “Just the sort of couple of paragraphs you’d tear off in a Facebook post.”
It’s easy to say that, but faced here with a blank page it’s so much harder to actually put thoughts together and put them out into the world in a way that’s intended to be seen. Which is why I am even more impressed by the writers and contributors who’ve stuck with us over the last eight months, and have created elegant pieces of actual, planned, thought-out text. I am happy to have the chance to read these thoughts. Even when I don’t agree with them.
But mostly I’m glad that Aimee is the sort of person who comes up with an idea, and instead of thinking “yeah, we should totally do that” and then letting it drift off into the ether as I would do, says “yeah, we should totally do that” and then gets people together and does it.
I’ve been involved in a lot of Aimee’s projects over the years. In fact I met Aimee by volunteering for GirlZone, way back in the day. I’ve been part of or party to her music ventures and zine projects and fundraisers and parties. And I can say this for certain: There is no one else quite like Aimee Rickman.
I mean that in all the ways. She is an amazing bridger of people; she knows everybody and introduces people over and over until they can’t help but overcome shyness and self-consciousness when they run into each other later. She is an amazing cook. She can play a mean guitar. She knows where to find a cool dive bar in a random neighborhood in a strange city. I wouldn’t be surprised if she knew how to deliver a calf.
And she can drive people up the wall, in both the figurative and Facebook meanings of the word, because if she disagrees with you she is not one to nod and murmur politely and walk away. She will stand up for her beliefs after everyone else has agreed to disagree. If she thinks you’re off-track she’ll tell you. She’s irritated me more than once by delivering a metaphorical smack upside the head, even while I absolutely counted on her to be the one to do it.
But nothing gold can stay, and Aimee is moving to sunny California next week.
Which is why I wanted to take the moment here, publicly, to say on behalf of us all: Thanks, Aimee. You will have excellent adventures and cheap produce and all the heat and sun you ever wanted. And I for one can’t wait to see what kind of things you totally decide to do next. (Unless it’s on Facebook. Obviously.)
But Urbana will be a less interesting place without you.