Snell Publishers

Independent e-publishers of fantasy, self-help and travel poetry

Uncle Davey

Writing from St Ives...

Two days ago, I had the phone call. One of those phone calls where you want to say, I don’t want this phone call (or email). Could I resist it, could it possibly go away, could it not happen now, it’s not a happy call, I was doing good and I don’t want to hear this. One of the far away phone calls from another country that tell you that someone, someone you love has gone. Someone phones to say someone in your life has passed away. You want to say, No you can’t go, I’m not ready for you to go. I didn’t say my last things and I didn’t know what was going on. How am I supposed to go on, like nothing ever happened? It’s big, it’s sudden. No one in this country knows that someone far away that no one here has met or cares about has gone, suddenly and they were important, they were a piece of my life, that I liked where it was.

Uncle Davey is not my uncle but even Cathy his wife, called him Uncle Davey, I never asked her why. He just is. Well he is Uncle Davey to my children, but somehow he’s my Uncle Davey too. When I arrived in Hamilton, Ontario, fresh off the boat metaphorically speaking, (it was a plane in ’72), he was there with Cathy and I had never, in my wildest dreams known that anyone like Davey existed, not in real life, maybe in books. For him I was the Kid off the boat. He liked to tease me about the Queen, because he thought that was a huge joke, but if it had hurt me he would have stopped, but he thought that Brits were really into their queen and that was funny, hilarious even. He was from Pembroke, Ontario, next to Algonquin Park and hunting and fishing and bears were part of his parlance and so was hockey and team Canada. I remember watching the first Russia - Canada series in his apartment living room with cases of some Canadian beer and sensing the absolute holiness of this, and the reverence this was held in, this moment for Canada. Davey loved Country n Western and Tammy Wynette and others. It was strange music to my ears. But he was sincere in his beliefs about his way of life.

He loved to laugh, and opened his mouth to laugh a great big guffaw that went on and on and he didn’t care, he didn’t care a bit. That not caring a bit was shared by Des, my husband, his brother in law. They didn’t care a bit; about the mores, the values, the respectability all that. It was joke, it was fine ‘n life was fine and Algonquin Park was good.

He was a real Canadian. He was real and it didn’t matter that his ideas were dated or any of that. He was a rock of hospitality and goodness and laughing in times of silliness and just laughing at the ways of the world.

He was good hearted. He was Uncle Davey to my Kid off the boat. I didn’t become the same kind of Canadian as him, but I did know a real Canadian, and I’m proud of it. I am proud that I knew him and that he was my Uncle Davey!