Friday, June 25, 2010

Memories Of Adrienne

I can vividly recall the first conversation I ever had with Gene Colan – after all how does one forget a conversation with a legend? I’ll answer that for you, you don’t forget, you remember. Gene was gracious and answered all of my gushing questions and offered up a lot more besides. He sounded then, as he still does, warm and friendly and he seemed to be tickled pink that someone on the other side of the planet was interested in him and his work.

Towards the end of the conversation Gene asked if I was married. At the time I wasn’t, indeed I had just finally separated from a relationship and was fairly down in the dumps, and, for reasons I still don’t understand, I found myself telling him this. He listened, quietly, and then told me about how depressed he was when he and his wife had split and how he felt that he’d never find love again. He told me how the days became a lot darker and he’d resigned himself to a life on his own, the classic situation that a lot of us have gone through. Then he told me how he’d met his current wife, Adrienne, and how she’d brought light and love to his life and how surprised he was, and how lucky he was, not only to find love twice, but to find such a lasting, deep love that he’d managed to get. He told me that if I was patient, this would happen to me, because, if it happened to him, then it would happen to everyone.

I could hear the joy in his voice as he spoke about Adrienne. Theirs was an old fashioned, classic love story, one for the ages. She never doubted his talent, even when he did, and she always promoted him to the forefront, where he belonged. She fought hard and long for him, through sickness and in health and you only have to look at photos of the pair to see how devoted they were. No matter what problems they might, or might not, have had, they cared for each other very deeply.

I then encountered Adrienne on the Gene Colan list. My first encounter with the list wasn’t a pleasant one as I found myself on the end of a fairly vicious attack from one list member which saw me voluntarily leave the list. A few friends, Michael Baulderstone, Steve Cohen and Phil Latter amongst them, implored me to return, and once I did the offending list member left on his own violation, mainly because he’d upset Adrienne. That was all that was needed for the list to see what was what.

Over the years Adrienne became almost like a surrogate mother to the people on the list. People would ask her for advice and encouragement, all of which she’d offer, willingly and without hesitation. If someone asked Gene a question then she’d pass it on and supply the answer. I suspect that Gene wasn’t as technically minded as Adrienne, so she took it upon herself to make sure Gene’s name was at the forefront of the internet. At her best Adrienne was a delight, witty and quick with a quip. At her worst she could be cutting and vicious, but we rarely saw her worst. She was always encouraging people to do the best they could and would always make sure that if assistance or a quote was needed, then one was supplied. To be honest she had her faults – but then who amongst us hasn’t – but they were rarely on display as well.

Adrienne was a warm, caring person. When Dave Simons fell ill and Bob Shaw and I decided to do his appeal, the Colans were amongst the first people we contacted. Adrienne and Gene called Dave to cheer him up, and it had the desired effect. Adrienne then implored me to keep them in the loop as to Dave's situation and condition, something I did on a regular basis. It was Adrienne who placed the details of the appeal onto the list and urged everyone to dig deep, but she did more than that. She donated a considerable sum to Dave, which helped him, as did everything that we raised for him. She also made sure that others were aware of the situation and urged us to use Gene’s name to open doors, and it did. We managed to get Clifford Meth involved via an endorsement from Gene. Frank Brunner, who had never met Dave Simons before, approached Dave at a convention and proceeded to hand over his art for Dave to auction to raise funds. Dave asked where Frank had heard about his plight and was told, simply, from Adrienne and Gene. Others did the same and people from Gene’s list contributed, spread the word, helped and generally did more than those with web-sites that have large audiences who did nothing but report that Dave had passed away. Still, that’s how I remember Adrienne, as a person with a lot of love and a massive heart.

After recent events Gene and his family sought the assistance of Clifford Meth, and that assistance was given freely. Very few people know the toll that these past few months have taken on Cliff, and throughout it all he’s been a steady presence and has done his best for Gene and Adrienne. Sadly Adrienne was resistant to assistance, but Cliff persisted none the less and is still there, helping Gene and his family through these darkest of times.

We may never know what demons were chasing Adrienne in recent times, and it’s really not for anyone to speculate. Sadly, as with the passing of anyone before their time in such circumstances, people vent their anger as they look towards others to blame in an attempt to come to terms with the loss. Others also look for people to lean upon and share stories. Some of this blame is misdirected, and helpful hands and attentive ears are there for there for those who want them, want to lean and cry. You only but have to ask. Having said that the owner of a well known ‘news’ site who posted intimate court details and documents should be hanging his head in shame – certainly he’s dropped right off my radar of decent people. I personally believe that if anyone wants someone to direct anger and blame towards for recent tragic events then they should look no further than that attention seeking, egomaniacal moron.

I shall miss Adrienne Colan, and I know I’m not alone in this. Adrienne has left us well before her time and that is a tragedy. She leaves behind children who are mourning the loss of their mother, and an elderly man who has now seen the end of a classic love story, an ending that wasn’t meant to be.

1 comment:

cease ill said...

That's really good! Very insightful, meaningful. Poetic, in places!