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Coronavirus Victims: Hawaiian Artist Bobby Pin

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The coronavirus pandemic has touched even those who seemed larger than life.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Bobby Pin was the 10th coronavirus death in Hawaii. He was born in Cambodia but grew up in the U.S. after his family fled the Pol Pot regime.

KELLY: His partner Dan Greening says that with a sleeve of tattoos and a shock of blue hair, Bobby was hard to miss.

DAN GREENING: The minute you see him, you'll realize you've never seen anyone like him before.

CHANG: Dan and Bobby met at a house party 20 years ago.

GREENING: So I went into the kitchen, and there was Bobby Pin. He was cracking jokes, and people were responding. And he was a very warm person, and I just remember - I want that person to be my friend.

KELLY: Bobby was an artist who loved adventure. He did photography for Burning Man and worked on several award-winning short films in Nepal and India.

CHANG: And his sense of humor drove a lot of his projects, like setting up a photography studio at a convention for people who dress up as animals, known as furries.

GREENING: If you look hard enough, you can find a photograph of Bobby standing next to this wolf who's looking down at him.

KELLY: Bobby's adventurousness is one of the things Dan says he will miss the most.

GREENING: I certainly have a more optimistic view of the world, and I'm less afraid to try new things all because Bobby was in my life.

CHANG: Bobby Pin died on April 18. He was 50 years old.

(SOUNDBITE OF CLOGS' "COLONY THEME") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.