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David R. Roell died a year ago this month, and the loss to the astrological community was enormous.  For me, it was incalculable.

Dave ran the Astrology Center of America, an ambitiously-named online astrological bookstore, which operated at various periods from southern California and New York, then later in Maryland, where I met him.  Ambitious, certainly; but also accurate: if an astrological tome was in print anywhere, Dave knew about it and could get it for you; if it wasn’t in print, he might angle for the right to republish it.  He was like that: he believed that information should be readily available, and he did his damnedest to make that happen.  Most of my astro-library came from Dave’s store.

Dave was an astrologer’s astrologer, which is to say he knew his stuff AND that of almost everyone who’s ever written about it.  He was a lover of arcane astro-lore, and he had opinions on all of it—expressed weekly in the newsletter he began in 2007—crossing swords in words as witty as they were wise (and sometimes downright cranky).  The two slim volumes he produced, Skeet Shooting For Astrologers and Duels At Dawn were distillations of those columns, which ranged from the topical (he had it in for the Royals) to the philosophically speculative (the Star of Bethlehem, frinstance); and they are wonderful.  (Go look ‘em up, and read them, cover to cover. Or dip, as Dave did, into a bit of everything anywhere in the books.)

Dave died on July 29th, 2014, of a heart attack; and left the world at large—and me, personally—a lot poorer.  I miss being able to call him up to ask who was writing what, or where I could find more information on this or that—Dave always knew. 

So long, Dave.  RIP.