This is for a man, who started a boy. A young, wirey, whip of a lad born in England. I can see the picture now. He was 2… I think? My mum is almost 1 or maybe a newborn. Her mum was smiling happily and her her dad was so handsome. That was the beginning of the Clarke family.
He might’ve been small, but he took on anyone and anything. I couldn’t believe it when I discovered we were even taught by the same music teacher in England, mr.page, who was notoriously a twat who abused his students on a regular basis, but that didn’t stop my uncle’s ingenious insults back at the creep. The look on the mans face to know he was teaching “Steven Clarke’s niece” was too precious.
Not only was he quick to wit, but he was a great spirit. When he emigrated to Canada from England he affiliated himself with the African/Detroit influence found throughout Ontario, ad not only adapted their style but some insane dance moves.
Before step up, before bring it on, there was disco, and people, my uncle and my mum were disco kings and queens 🙂 but all compliments to my mum aside, I’ve never seen someone tear up a dance floor like uncle Steve could, for hours on end.
Did I mention he and my mum took the tractor to the bar to dance? 🙂
Further into life my mum met a rocker and made her family, and my uncle met a little bit of country and made his. In fact, he was the best man at my parents wedding.
It had been some time since I’d seen his big, poufy hair and moustache, so when I came back from England in 1994 for a holiday I thought he might’ve changed. Nope. Just more tanned. And new jokes 🙂
We were watching the amaranth parade, and i remember him asking me if I had a boyfriend, I was only 9. I said “no uncle Steven, boyfriends are stupid” (how wise and naive all at the same time!)
and he said
“good, that’s a clever girl, (then gesturing to his lady) god in’t she like ‘er dad? Are you gonna be a model carolynne?”
And I remember that’s when I first thought of being a model, and it was because you believed in me. I want the world to know, that it was my uncle Steve who first told “skinny minney” to go model
And in the future, before I realized my potential, (I still haven’t, I’m working on it) I could always count on you to roll like a stone with us, you were forever 21, never a day older in your mind, the only place it showed was in the smile lines on his face and they grey fade on his fro turning it from bouncy to more Brillo like 🙂 but he rocked it, and he was a handsome ol silver fox 🙂 he made plenty of ladies blush 🙂 that damn Clarke’s Hollywood smile and sparkley eyes.
I love you uncle Steve, you were such a talented, handsome, hard working man, who devoted his life to his family, most importantly his children. He will always be remembered in the hearts and eyes of all our family, everyone is dealing with it in their own way, and this is mine, he always believed in me, and I will never forget him. Now we have to carry on what he taught us to everyone else. Believe in yourself no matter what, work hard, and if anyone gives you shit give them 5x as much back, with a cheeky smile 🙂 RIP Steve, I don’t want to remember today, only every other day of the 28yrs I got to share with you. You leave behind a legacy, your own two beautiful girls and a boy, and another who you took in without batting an eye. We’ll never forget you.
Love your niece