JM McClure

 

While most fandom fans knew her as JM McClure, I knew her simply as Jeannie. When I first discovered KF:TLC, the fandom had already been established, and the series had ended its run years ago. It wasn't until Kung Fu: The Legend Continues was being shown in reruns on TNT, did the series catch my attention. I quickly got into the fandom, found the now disbanded V-Tech list, anxious to discover what I had been missing.

As the months passed, I found the courage to post my first story, and was surprised when I received an email from Jeannie that night. Though I distinctly remember Wendy's treasured email of encouragement, it was Jeannie's email that completely startled me.

I had no idea she was on the list, but I certainly knew Jeannie's name and reputation within the KFTLC fandom. Not only had she written some of the most amazing KFTLC stories, but she was a very talented artist. Her drawings graced the covers of many Kung Fu: The Legend Continues zines.

Her talent caught the attention of other fandoms, such as Lancer, Stargate, and the Equalizer. 

Through this little email, I gained a wonderful friend and a mentor. Jeannie was always willing to offer advice, give encouragement, and lift your spirits, but when it came to her own talents, Jeannie was extremely humble.

When she considered you a friend, Jeannie never forgot you. It may take awhile before she would communicate but you were never forgotten. Jeannie always remembered the last conversation you shared with her, no matter how long ago it had happened.

She always valued your opinion, no matter the circumstances. Once Jeannie IMed me, excited over a new story she and another author were co-writing in another fandom. Though I didn't know the fandom, she sent me the first few chapters, wanting my opinion on where the story might develop. Between emailing me pictures and bios of the characters, Jeannie gave me a halfway idea of what I was reading. I knew the Stargate fans would not be disappointed.

While I playfully begged her to return to Fu land, she would jokingly reply, 'Stop being greedy.' Little did I know that she had sent me a sneak peak of a new KFTLC crossover she was working on in an email the next morning. 

As the years passed, and I drifted into other fandoms, Jeannie would occasionally email me with little remarks of 'When are you coming home, traitor' or 'I gave you a story, return the favor', while all along she had encouraged me to 'stretch my imagination' beyond Fu.

I remember the day, I decided to create my own website and Jeannie was one of the first writers I emailed, asking to archive her stories.  She was flattered, and honestly taken aback by the request.  Though Jeannie was a remarkable writer, she never actually believed her stories were popular until people started emailing her stating the opposite.

When the website outgrew Geocities to become Fan Fandom Writers, Jeannie proclaimed that we had reached the 'Big Time'.  She asked how much space the new site had and when I told her, she bashfully requested if I could archive her drawings as well.  She didn't have to ask twice. 

Sadly, in 2004, Jeannie would suffer another medical setback, but it didn't damper her spirits.  She was moving to Indiana to be close to her family, and though I teased her about her no longer being considered a true Southerner, Jeannie was excited about the new move.  Especially given the fact that she would now get to see her grandchild whenever she wanted.

Jeannie would suffer many more heartaches, but none affected her more than losing her beloved cat, Lewie, to a tragic fire.  Later, she would  emailed me of a debilitating medical setback that would have discouraged even the most bravest of souls, but not Jeannie.  She saw it as an opportunity to do something else.

Jeannie was a rare person who never saw the negative in anything or anyone. She always had a kind word about everyone. Never in the years that we corresponded did she have a negative word for anyone. Jeannie would always lighten your mood whenever she IMed or emailed you.

She took pleasure in entertaining others through her many fandom stories and drawings, and when they graced the covers of a zine, she would only say....'yes, I drew that, but I believe it could have been better'. I would simply reply, "No Jeannie, it's perfect."

Sadly, in February 2005, Jeannie would email me for the last time. Her apartment had caught fire, her laptop had been destroyed and she had no idea when she might get back online again. 

In May 2006, I learned of Jeannie's untimely death. I knew her health had deteriorated, but the news still left me numbed. While I had lost a very dear friend, the fandom had lost much more. KFTLC would never be the same again, it has lost its heart with Jeannie's passing.

As a tribute to her memory, her KFTLC stories and artwork will remain on this website.  It's only a small accolade, but somehow I see Jeannie looking down and shaking her head at the 'fuss' we're making over her.

Rest in peace, my friend.

Cindy