I received this remembrance of Jim Baen in an email from Bob (Robert Stacy), and he was kind enough to give me permission to post it.
The one and only time I met Jim Baen was in 1974, when I was travelling
cross-country with Robert Borski. Bob's agent, Kirby McCauley, set up a meeting
for us with Jim when we were on the east coast, shortly before Worldcon in DC.
We were a couple of hippie reprobates who'd attended Clarion the year before.
Bob had placed a couple of stories in F&SF and Analog.
Jim's "office" was in the back of a room lined with shelves, full of gawd
knows what. He was friendly, he was gracious. He didn't know us from nobody,
and he treated us like peers. The details of our conversation are lost to me
now, but the salient impression he left me with was how important it was to him
to not only hold a door open for new writers, but to make them feel welcome, to
feel special, for wanting to pursue such a lunatic goal as publishing their
dreams. His willingness to foster newcomers was an inspiration.