Goodbye Manfred Bik

“We choose to go to the Moon in this decade

and do the other things,

not because they are easy"‚Äč

Our first conversation was a few years ago. It started with a business job. I needed a narrative for Salland Health Insurance and through Felix Tenniglo you came up. It didn't stay with this assignment because great conversations continued to follow us. We found out of all places we were both from Deventer and had even shared the same school; Alexander Hegius. That I was a champion truant. A roar of laughter filled the room. ‘World champion of truancy, that was me’ you called out in your distinctive baritone voice. That created a bond between us. In one of our conversations, I mentioned that because of my creative chaos, I had developed a great fondness for symmetry. To which you gave a description of your closet. How everything was in the right order. Laughing, I said I had just met my superior.

What so appealed to me beyond your creative talents was the look change when it came to your son. So loving and full of pride were your words when it came to him.

While your body protested, you were unyielding in your drive to provide the world with beautiful and wise stories. And you were very good at that. Then it was my turn, my body was also protesting because of serious health issues. What I appreciated incredibly was that during that period you repeatedly provided me with excellent advice. You not only told from your own experience but also conveyed your life skills to me. For example, I remember ééone of our conversations in which I shared my frustration with running, that it was no longer going well. Your simple words read; ‘then the body doesn't want it, go for a walk. Don't be so hard on yourself.’Then within minutes you sent me a video in which you showed a beautiful walk through your Rotterdam.

You were still busy writing your new book titled; After the Flood. Full of enthusiasm you told the direction the book would take. When I mentioned that because of my health reading was difficult and that the narrators of books on Storytell were so unbelievably sleep-inducing you immediately sprang into action. Within days you had narrated the entire first chapter for me. So at least that's not soporific you added. I thought that was so damn nice. Thank you Manfred.

Just the other day you appte ‘Soon we will speak’. And then you get the message that you are no longer there, all of a sudden. What a shitty message, it leaves me speechless. I toast you tonight with your famous Westmalle Tripple. We have lost a great copywriter and a beautiful person, glad you were there. I wish your loved ones all the strength and power in this difficult time.

Ruud Olijve

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