The hurdy gurdy man Wednesday February 22, 2006, 6 comments
This weekend, after a six month battle with kidney cancer, the oldest family member of my generation died.
Steve Starchev had been an adult all my life, not so distinguishable from my father or my uncles. Only seven years younger than my father, he had always managed to somehow blur the line between my that generation and my own, and was always able to shed light on something from both above and below.
I know he worked for the CBC at one time, I know he was a relatively well known radio personality on one of the smaller Toronto radio stations, and I know he had, like most members of my family, a passion for music that transcended mere interest.
My cousin, like many members of my family, played many instruments. Guitar, piano. The hurdy gurdy. Yes, the hurdy gurdy. An instrument so unusual I had to look it up to find out what it really looked and sounded like. Steve not only played the hurdy gurdy, but apparently performed in public. Rumor has it he was one of the best.
I am saddened. I am saddened that any parent should have to bury their child, as my aunt now has to. I am saddened at the loss of a jovial and integral part of my extended family – a personality that occupied space that will now forever be empty. I am saddened by the loss of his music.
Our deepest condolences to you and your family in this time of loss Adrian. You are in our thoughts and prayers my friend.
Take the time to get to know him even better, if you can. There’s a sadness in the death of a loved one; but-and this is unfortunate, but true-it’s at this moment, when you might more than at any other moment come to realize how much that person meant to you, that you can motivate yourself to learn things about him that you might not otherwise have been motivated to learn.
There is no replacement, there is no way to make things as good as they were; but there is a way to make things better than the worst, and that way is to find a deeper appreciation of your people.
Sorry to read about your loss. It seems like I’m catching up with friends during a time of loss.
Thank you for sharing your fond memories in such an eloquent fashion. I’m sure you often told him how much you cared for him, but it’s always after a passing that we sometimes pour our deepest passions out.
I guess I’ll go call my mom and dad now and let them know how much they mean to me. Thanks for the reminder to not let these moments pass by unspoken.
Thanks guys. Your support means a lot to me.
Hey kiddo. Such lovely things you said about Steve…my nephew…your cousin. He certainly travelled to the beat of a different drummer, didn’t he? And yes, the void he left in our family is huge. It is hard to imagine we will never see him again. A most devastating thing for parents to have to bury a child. The order is all wrong, that’s for sure.
Steve and I were only three years apart in age, so we were more like brother and sister…he certainly never called me auntie Palma…it would have sounded strange to my ears.
So, now, let’s hope for the healing to begin. It may take a while, but with many fond memories of Steve in our hearts, it will happen, eventually.
Talk to you later Adrian.
Love, Auntie Palma
Steve was one of my best buddies and my musical partner for the past 20-odd years. If you or you family want photos of him with our various bands or CD’s of his performances, get in touch.
He indeed was one of the best. Hell, he still is. Every time I play our tunes, his part is still there.
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