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Friday, December 2, 2011

Sad times

Two days ago Paul Lewis, Jane's father, passed away after a year's struggle with pancreatic cancer. The last two months were a difficult decline for him, which made it a strange time for us, as it was in parallel with the excitement of the CD release and concerts.

One thing I will always remember about Paul was his unique medley of songs on the piano—God Save The Queen, Waltzing Matilda, Oh Canada, Old Man River, Oh Susannah, Camptown Races—all rolled into one meandering piece that hung together as if it had been originally written that way. And it was all tied together with great gospel-style walk-ups and roll-downs. 

His favourite traditional song of ours was "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," and I think it may be a while before we do that one again. About two weeks ago in hospice, Jane's mother Janet asked him if he wanted to hear some music, perhaps my CD, and he said, "No, not that!" Jane's mother was a bit puzzled and then he said, "Those songs, like 'Sinner's Child,' you can't get them out of your head!"I think that's a great compliment.

In honour of Mr. Recycling (crushed cans for Christmas tree ornaments) and the creator of the "Christmas Pig," (a story for another day) here is a great old photo.

This is the extended Lewis family, circa 1974. That's Paul upper left with the dark-rimmed glasses, Janet below him, Andrew Lewis on her lap and next to Andrew on the floor is a blonde, wavy-haired Jane. Keep smilin', Paul.

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