SEQUIM — Twenty-six times over, it’s safe to say “Ready Player One” was Robby Streett’s favorite book.
The nostalgic science fiction romp by Ernest Cline was recently adapted for film by director Steven Spielberg and Robby’s mom, Josslyn Streett, and younger brother, Sawyer Streett, were there on opening day March 30 to celebrate. Josslyn believes Robby was too.
“He read the book 26 times,” she said. “He read it out loud to us last year. Then he read it two more times.”
Robby, then 16, and his father Robert, 52, died July 20 last year during a road trip on U.S. Highway 160 in Colorado. Josslyn and her youngest son, Sawyer, then 14, survived the wreck sustaining serious injuries.
The healing continues eight months after the wreck, but last Friday was a time for the Streetts to celebrate Robby.
Josslyn said her son was ready to be there for opening day of “Ready Player One” the movie and she believes he was there in spirit. She distinctly recalls what she believes might have been the best day of his life.
While in middle school, Josslyn said Robby’s literature teacher encouraged him to write his favorite author. About a year later, Cline wrote back and sent him some signed books including “Ready Player One.”
“He was just elated. He was so excited,” she said. “It might have been the best day of his life.”
About 50 of Robby’s family, friends, teachers and classmates helped fill Deer Park Cinema in Port Angeles last Friday to watch “Ready Player One” in his honor.
Before and after the showing, Sequim High School senior class president Annabelle Armstrong and sophomore Lesae Pfeffer handed out fliers with the headline “Turning good from bad: Robby’s Legacy” and sought donations for a new project, the “Robby Streett Legacy Fund.”
Robby’s graduating class of 2019 is seeking donations year-round to help the Sequim High Library purchase new furniture and help students indulge in one of Robby’s favorite activities: reading.
Josslyn said her son’s vision was for family and friends to watch the film which embodied his love for both science and literature.
Partnering the film with the fundraiser seemed like a good fit, she said.
“I thought it was really amazing, these girls were thinking of their classmates first,” Josslyn said. “It helps turn something not good into something healing.”
Fundraisers going into what would be Robby’s senior year next school year will go toward the fund. Josslyn said the junior class felt the library was a place at the school they could help. They might consider an area devoted to “Ready Player One” in Robby’s name, Josslyn said.
There is an account open at First Federal Bank in Sequim under “Robby Streett Legacy Fund” where the donations will go. Josslyn said the movie event raised more than $200 toward the fund.
Text to screen
Josslyn was joined in the theater with Robby’s girlfriend Hannah Gloor. After the movie, family and friends said the movie did not exactly follow the book.
“[Robby] probably would have liked it as a movie, but he probably would have wanted it closer to the book,” Josslyn said.
However, Hannah said she thinks Robby would have been angry and still preferred the book.
“He loved the book so much and he knew it so well, he probably would have been picking it apart,” Josslyn said.
While the movie took some privileges, Josslyn said she is going to see the movie again in 3D with Sawyer and his best friend for entertainment and to keep celebrating.
‘Friends’ lend a hand
Community members continue to check in and support Josslyn and Sawyer through the Facebook group “Friends of the Streetts.” Through it, they’ve promoted a gofundme account, which has raised more than $42,000 for grief counseling, caregivers and other immediate needs, and it helped coordinate meals and provide a central spot for sending support.
As stated, the Streetts are avid readers, and both Robby and Robert were volunteers for the Sequim Library which led Robert to join several other Sequim groups too. Robert’s business, Clear Water Bidet, continues to operate as well.
This year, Robby was set to begin Running Start classes at Peninsula College as a junior at Sequim High School.
Sawyer continues to go to school in Sequim while Josslyn seeks to continue as a Reiki Master/Teacher/Reader for her Rain Shadow Reiki business.
Erin Hawkins and Matthew Nash are reporters with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach her at [email protected]. Reach him at [email protected].