Over the last five years, Tony and I spoke many times about Halloween; three instances found their way into the blog. He once told me that Halloween was the perfect holiday for kids because “they aren’t forced to go to church for that one”.
Archive for October, 2011
Until Saturday, the TD Canada Trust branch (one block south of Howard Park Ave) is accepting donations. If we end up with more money than we require for the bench, the surplus will be used in a fashion acceptable to Tony’s family and to the volunteers involved in the ongoing commemorative effort. [Ed Lamb is in charge of donations; if you want his contact information, please email me at philipATsternthinking.com.
The photo above is from our posting of Aug 20, 2007.
Funeral Details: The reception will be held tomorrow at the Turner & Porter Funeral Home, 436 Roncesvalles Ave., Toronto (at Howard Park Ave.), from 6-9 p.m. on Tuesday, October 25. Funeral Mass will be held at St. Vincent de Paul Church, 263 Roncesvalles Ave. (at High Park Blvd), Toronto, on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 11am.
(The photo above is from our post of June 23, 2009.)
[If you can’t make it Monday evening but wish to contribute to the purchase anad install of a commemorative park bench: Today, Sunday October 23 between 2pm – 4pm , the inimitable and well-bearded Ed Lamb will be accepting donations at Alternative Grounds, 333 Roncesvalles Ave. (Sorry for the short notice.) There will be other options to donate if you can’t make it today or tomorrow — Ed is also making arrangements with the RBC to accept donations; I’ll post the details once they’re finalised.]
Here’s the poster for our celebration: Tony Poster – Oct 24 2011. Feel free to print it and post it around your neighbourhood. We’ll also be collecting donations for a permanent memorial: A park bench and commemorative plaque, to be installed near Tony’s regular spot.
See you there.
Wow. The billowing response to Tony’s death is quite beyond what he might have imagined or hoped. He would have been delighted.
Ten days ago, in anticipation of the fifth anniversary of HomelessManSpeaks (October 23rd), I asked Tony what big difference the blog had made for him. His answer: “I found out I could get to the kids and tell them … don’t do what I did … they’ve gotta stick it out in school and just stay away from drugs and alcohol and especially the hard stuff.” (A terrible fact: Tony was first coaxed into using opiates at the age of thirteen.)
As to memorial services and such, watch this space — people are working on it. Tentatively, we’re planning a reception at Alternative Grounds sometime this weekend.
See the many, many extraordinary comments to the previous post.
I have received several messages from readers and friends and two people have posted about this sad news, the but I haven’t confirmed it directly.
I subsequently received a call from Officer Therrien of the Toronto Police confirming Tony’s death. Please read the many comments below.
(Thanks to Stephen Evans for the photograph of a street shrine for Tony; come leave a message if you’re in the area.)
“You know who I saw yesterday? You won’t believe it. It was my daughter and my two grandkids with her. I didn’t even know it was them when they were standing there. Then there’s a boy, he comes up to me and hands me a $5 bill. So of course I say thank you and he says that I shouldn’t be thanking him, I should thank his Mom, you know, Tanya. So there’s Tanya standing there and we talked a bit. That was a treat.”
“Did you hear my good news?”
“Not that I remember.”
“Well I don’t have the cancer in the lung they thought might have it. I was just at St. Joe’s with my doctors and that’s what they told me.”
“What about the other lung?”
“They don’t know yet but it’s looking good if you ask me.”