Very emotional stories around miniature painting lately. A few days ago I told you about the engagement minis story, a beautiful one with a very happy ending. This story is also beautiful and very emotional, but with a very sad ending I'm afraid. :(
Yesterday, I ran into this post in Bell of Lost Souls. As you all know, this blog is one of the most important sites for wargaming news all around the world. They published an interview to Victor Hardy, a miniature painting legend. Old schoolers will remember him for sure. Newbies not so much, but if you log into CoolMiniOrNot, you will find that Victor is the painter of a very well known classic piece, Golgotha, the highest ranked miniature in the site of all time, which was witness to the story I want to tell you about.
This story was told by Victor in the interview in BoLS. Here is the extract from that interview, in the part where was talking about his comeback and about Golden Demon UK 2004 (a whole decade ago):
[...] This, however, is the best part of the story about the 2004 UK Golden Demon that was never told. The people I met were incredible, and among those it was meeting the French that made greatest impression on me. I had the pleasure of getting to spend the day with: Jeremy Bonamant (Bragon), Bruno Grelier, Allan C, Jacque Alexandre, and David Waeselynck. They had all piled in a van and drove form France—sleeping in the van the night before. These guys were crazy! They ranged from a teen ager to a man ns his late 40s—all crammed in the van. They were so enthusiastic and passionate about the hobby that they were on just another level. I spent the day talking to them about painting and looking at their work. It was awesome. I have so much respect for their work. Not since the Battle of Hastings did the French do so well on British soil. The French invasion swept the golden demons and Jacque Alexander took home the Slayer Sword.
Now here is the amazing part. Bruno Grelier had entered into the same category as Golgotha. When he saw that Golgotha had been disqualified, he gave me his trophy and asked me to take it. He insisted that I should have his trophy because he felt I deserved it. Now think about this. I had never met Bruno Grelier before in my life. We didn’t even speak a common language. He gave one of the most precious things a Golden competitor can have (i.e., his trophy) to a complete stranger. Only someone that is totally passionate and crazy about the hobby could do such a thing. I have always wanted to repay this random act of kindness. I have wanted to win a slayer sword and send it back to him. Unfortunately, I haven’t won any in a long while. I have never spoken to Bruno since that day. I hope to make a comeback and when I do I am going to find Bruno Grelier wherever he is in the world and pay him back with a sword! One day.
So it happened that while I was reading this story, a tear rolled down my cheek. The great Bruno Grelier passed away last year, and Victor, at the time of the interview, didn't know about this.
Victor, may you still find Bruno one day. Wherever he may be now.