Fred Ketteman (Rhett Oracle) at a Slog Happy in May 2008.
  • Photo by Matt Hickey
  • Fred Ketteman (Rhett Oracle) at a Slog Happy in May 2008.

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Fred Ketteman, better known around here as Rhett Oracle, has been with Slog since the beginning. He commented—sometimes wryly, sometimes sunnily—from the early years until last year. He attended every Slog Happy I can recall. Fred was also a fixture in the city's gay community, including as a member of the Seattle Men's Chorus.

Fred died yesterday afternoon, and his Facebook page has become a cascade of devoted comments from people who love him and remember him being hilarious, social, worldly. "So many times your acerbic wit saved my sanity," said one friend.

Fred was shamelessly good to us writers, too. He'd send several of the staffers birthday cards (I suppose he found our birthdays listed on Facebook), and one year even sent framed picture with photos of us and celebrities born the same day. It was a funny and sweet act of premeditated kindness.

One friend posted that Fred was an "expert raconteur." Another chimed in: "I will never forget all of the stories you told me, especially since they were (unbelievably) all true."

We're gonna miss you, Fred.