In the 60s and 70s, Jay and I became friends with James Randi, aka the Amazing Randi. Jay and he shared the skeptics view of the paranormal, of magicians who claimed extraordinary powers. Randi was prominent on the entertainment circuit, and would expose them on the Johnny Carson show where he was a frequent guest. He’d show the audience the tricks they used to achieve a certain result. We hung out for a time and included was a young girl(I have forgotten her name) Randi was seeing. She was in love with him but that couldn’t go on because Randi was in the closest. I see he finally came out and married his companion in 2014.
Today I clicked on the New York Times obits, that I do from time to time, and learned that Randi died on October 20. He had been living in Plantation, Florida. I had, early in our time down here, gotten in touch, sent him some newspaper clippings he had loaned to Jay, hoped we could continue the friendship. But he wasn’t interested. He had “moved on”. He had always been extremely pleasant to me during the time we knew him. I was disappointed, but not devastated. I had one of those “oh, well, it was nice while it lasted” moments. Another reason to maintain the connection was that he had known Jay. Jay’s friends were dying. I wanted to stay in touch with anyone who had known him. It was not to be.
Anyway, here is part of his bio from Wikipedia.
James Randi (born Randall James Hamilton Zwinge; August 7, 1928 – October 20, 2020) was a Canadian-American stage magician and scientific skeptic who extensively challenged paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. He was the co-founder of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), and founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). Randi began his career as a magician under the stage name The Amazing Randi and later chose to devote most of his time to investigating paranormal, occult, and supernatural claims, which he collectively called "woo-woo". Randi retired from practicing magic at age 60, and from his foundation at 87.