Holes: Elvis has left the building.

Ive just read Somebody elses blog about holes. Her holes were not the same as my holes, and in fact I suspect………no, I know, her holes are worse as for the perople concerned it might be viewed as a living death. But for me its just death.

Charlie was my best man. He looked like Elvis when he was young (which means he also looked like the Statue of Liberty) and he moved like him when he danced. He drank heavily. He worked hard when he worked for the coalboard, regularly doing 12 hour shifts, but he never seemed to have any money. When he became invalided and pensioned off he still managed to drink a lot and live a lot and continued to never have enough money. But one thing you could never accuse him of was being idle. He did his mums shopping, his aunts shopping, he cooked meals for them both as well as at home. He did a paper round aged 59. He couldnt sleep. He served in a shop just to keep busy and stopped it being burgled at least twice. He called the bingo in the club. He was once the entertainments secretary in the same club, and a really good one too. He had his faults. Dont we all. People called him for his faults but none of them ever turned him down when he offered to help them. He will leave one of those holes behind. He already has, as he would phone my wife every day, and now as the time comes when he would have phoned it remains quiet and she cant bear it. Today his son arrived from Australia where he now lives with his wife, and he phoned Agnes on his dads mobile. This caused Charlies picture to appear on my wifes phone and the hole got scary and bigger. And then you start to regret the things you didnt do but meant to do. I was going to give him a painting for Christmas.

CHARLIE AND THE CELTSThis is it and its called “Charlie and the Celts”. It features Charlie in his kilt, in full formal dress in fact, and with his sister, my wife , on his left shoulder and me by his right foot. He would have loved it. But I never got to give it him and Ive only had it since 2007 gathering dust in my studio. Regrets.

Like the regret that I never took my grandad for a pint, that I never got around to taking my father in law (who looked remarkably like Charlie Drake and whose favourite saying was, “if at first you dont succeed, give up” ) horse racing. Both of them would have loved that. But we always think we have time. We rarely do. We just end up with regrets and holes where they used to be.

Charlies funeral is on the 18th of September and Im expecting, hoping, that there will be as many people there as there were for his fathers funeral, where they were standing outside as the church was full. So many people were affected by the passing of Malcolm (Pop)and I expect the passing of Charlie to have affected an equal amount of people. I shall be disappointed if this doesnt happen. But whatever happens, there will be a massive hole left in this family.

Elvis has left the building.

Love all, hurt none and walk in soft shoes

Isi Tart


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