Friday, March 26, 2010

To my Dad. . . .

Dear Roy

Today I saw the first Robin of the year. I wish you could have been there. We always enjoyed talking about the excitement of spring and the wonderful feelings of the world coming to life again. The day after you died I saw the first geese coming back. It was so painful to see them return so shortly after you passed because you always got such a thrill seeing them return once again and looking forward to the wonderful season to come. Every year it was our communal right of passage to see and hear the geese echo in new year and we warmly talked about the future and the past; the fun times we had had and the enjoyable time we were looking forward to. I must admit that when I saw the first robin of the year today I could help but weep a little bit for the void you have left in our lives. But the weeping is always made a little more difficult in the realization that you would hate to see us feeling sad. You so often quoted to me the Christina Rossetti poem entitled 'Remember' the last two lines of which are 'Better by far you should forget and smile/ than that you should remember and be sad.' But is hard to live by this simple wisdom. I want to remember even if it means terrible sadness. You were so much my friend, my ally, my compatriot in art and philosophy. Already I miss our simple companionship so much. I want to remember, let the sadness fall where it will.

Over the next few weeks I will see a great many Robins as they begin to repopulate their summer grounds. And with each one I will smile and weep anew. I will see sunsets that you loved so well and I will smile and weep anew. I will hear your granddaughter laugh and I will smile and weep anew. I will feel the chilly spring breeze which will no more embrace your skin and I will smile and weep anew. I will see injustices against which you so passionately railed, and I will smile and weep anew. I will see an old picture show which you loved to enjoy and I will smile and weep anew.

I cannot forget, so I guess I will have to remember and be sad, at least for now.

I miss you Roy.


Anonymous said...

Today I stood in line for a coffee and a young disheveled man came in with a crumpled up 'free coffee' coupon. He had been asking for spare change when I entered the coffee place a few minutes before. Soon we stood shoulder to shoulder at the coffee counter - I had a $5 bill in my hand he had his crumpled up coupon. I looked over to him, slipped him the fiver that was in my hand and thought of Roy. Rest in peace Royston. C

Patti D. said...

Hi Kirby
I am attaching an Article that Verna Reid wrote for the ACAD Faculty Association Newsletter.
Patti Dawkins

Dr. Verna Reid
ACAD Lecturer Emeritus


As colleagues at ACAD during the 1980s, Royston Evans and I discovered we shared a common
interest; we both loved and collected illustrated
books, particularly children’s books. Of course, Royston himself was an experienced illustrator and
graphic artist and knew personally some of the contemporary British illustrators. I was a specialist
in literature and had taught Children’s Literature to Library Arts students before coming to ACAD. As a result, we agreed to develop a Liberal Arts course--
Children’s Literature and Illustration--that we came to team-teach to Visual Communication students for some years. It was a happy collaboration and as a result both the students and I developed,
under Royston’s tutelage, a deeper appreciation for the functions and styles of illustration, learning
how illustrations could inform and influence the interpretation of the text. It was a well-regarded
course and former students still mention it to me when we meet. Royston and I had the good fortune
to attend a Children’s Literature and Illustration conference in Edmonton in the mid 1980s when
Charles Keeping, a noted British Illustrator and old friend of Royston’s, was a keynote speaker. It was a highlight for both of us.
I found Royston to be a congenial and generous person and colleague and I valued his friendship. We retired about the same time, both
sharing the honour of being named Lecturer Emeritus. I was grieved to learn of his passing but it was heartwarming to read his son Kirby’s tribute on the Internet.
Kirby described the same Royston that I remember.