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December 21, 2016

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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

The Domain Industry Loses Another Pioneer and One of Its Most Colorful Characters - RIP Roy Flanders

I received some sad news tonight when I learned that domain industry pioneer Roy Flanders passed away after a long illness last night on Nantucket Island, Masschusetts where he has lived the past 35 years. 

Roy, who has been a successful domain investor ever since getting into the business some 20 years ago, was one of the most unique and colorful characters this industry has ever seen. He studied at Oxford as a Fulbright Scholar and  authored a now out-of-print 1986 novel - Nantucket Solitaire - that has become a collector's item (the two copies available on Amazon tonight were listed at $60 each). Given his way with words it's no wonder Roy immediately understood the inherent power of good domain names.

He was a man with a very generous heart. In 2012 he donated $250,000 to the Nantucket Cottage Hospital's Annual Fund. It was a

Roy Flanders

sign of his appreciation for the care he was receiving there and the critical role the hospital played in his tight knit community. 

The next year, though he was very weak from battling his illness, Roy ignored his doctor's orders not  to travel, got on a plane and flew to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to see his many friends at the October 2013 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference. It was the last time I saw Roy in person and like a lot of others who were so happy to see him when we knew he wasn't well, I wanted to get a new photo with him (I think I also hoped whatever it was that made him so special might rub off on me if I got close enough)!

Roy Flanders (right) with Ron Jackson at the 
2013 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Though not up to par physically Roy was clearly energized  to be back among so many friends and admirers. When our mutual friend, Rob Grant, relayed the news of Roy's passing to me tonight Rob said, "I think his friends were more important to him than the business - or any domains." No doubt, that was true.

Roy wasn't one to take anything too seriously and he openly joked about his illness and how it was slowing him down. Shortly after the photo above was taken at the opening night cocktail party, noted attorney Ari Goldberger asked me to take a photo of him and Roy together. As I did that, Ari and I were both shocked to see Roy suddenly fall straight backwards and hit the hard terrazzo floor with an audible thud. We were sure he would be seriously hurt. But when we bent down to help him up Roy just laughed about how "clumsy" he had become, got back to his feet and dusted himself off. His doctor would no doubt have had a heart attack himself if he had seen what happened, but Roy wasn't phased in the least, after all the night was still young! He then proceeded to join everyone for a late dinner at a restaurant down the street!

Roy Flanders and Ari Goldberger, just before Roy's pratfall.

Some of Roy's friends started leaving comments on his Facebook page tonight. A common sentiment was expressed by one of his friends in Nantucket, Briegel Silva, who wrote, "We all know that the only thing in life we can be sure of, is that we are going to die. We will never be prepared to lose anyone but we know it will happen. As much as it sucks and hurts there is nothing we can do to stop death. May you rest in peace my pal Roy Flanders and you will never be forgotten! Thank you for being you and for all you have done for me and my family. And I thank God today for me having a chance to tell you exactly what i just said while you were still with us!"

A lot of Roy's domain industry friends didn't get a chance to thank him in the way they would have liked while he was here, but I think Roy knew how much we thought of him and how much we enjoyed being in his company. Farewell for now old friend - we will catch up with you down the line. No surprise, as always, you're several steps ahead of us in everything you do!

(Posted December 21, 2016) 

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