RARA-AVIS: Re: Kerry

From: Kevin Burton Smith (kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 23 Sep 2010

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    Karin wrote:

    > I found this page that mentions some of Kerry's other interests, and
    > gives a link to him performing Joe Hill: <*http://tinyurl.com/28ox5cb*>.

    Thanks, Karin. Now I can go to work with tears in my eyes and a renewed determination not to take any shit from anyone.

    And for that I guess I can thank Kerry.

    He was a big man, but not so much larger than life as OF life, if you get what I mean.

    From the video, it's obvious he'd lost a lot of weight in the last few years. According to his daughter, Mara, Kerry had a heart attack last Thursday morning, and passed away Tuesday afternoon, without gaining conciousness. They're planning a get together hopefully for the weekend of October 2nd, and there's a tribute night in the works for a later date, presumably in Hamilton, the hard-scrabble blue collar steel town just outside of Toronto that Kerry loved so much, and in which he lived most of his life with his wife Margie and three daughters. And where he set most of his John Swan stories.

    Kerry was a big man in Hamilton -- he organized readings, signings, festivals, poetry readings, writing groups and more. He loved reading and writing and intelligent discussion, but there was little pretension in the man. He was what he was. He enjoyed life, and he particularly enjoyed crime fiction and poetry, music and his family, and of course good food and good drink and the company of friends. It was typical of the man, for example, that the book launch of ICED, the first of three Canadian noir collections he and Peter Sellers did, was in a bar in Hamilton.

    Not some white wine literary salon or a phony baloney swanky appletini fern joint, but a working man's bar with, as I recall, badly photocopied menus, wobbly chairs, an uneven wooden floor, thick glass steins and more than its fair share of plaid and down vests worn by its patrons. Not a bucket of blood, but the sort of place where you'd go with friends, after work, or to catch the hockey game or to quietly nurse a few pints.

    Everyone in the place seemed to know and like Kerry. Which, I guess, isn't surprising. For those of you who were lucky enough to meet him, you know how easy it was to like the big lug.

    Hmmm... I guess he was a big man to me too.

    Kevin Burton Smith Editor/Founder The Thrilling Detective Web Site
    "Wasting your time on the web since 1998."

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