Six months ago Randy Starkman came up to Algonquin Park for an interview with me at my little cabin. We finished up with the questions early so I invited him to stay for a little while. We sat on my little crooked dock, drank a coffee and had a bowl of the previous night's beef stew that I warmed up for us over the fire. We had a great time together, just chatting and shootin' the breeze about anything and nothing for a few hours in Ontario's most famous provincial park. Randy didn't just write about amateur sport, he truly loved it. He was a steadfast devotee. He loved us, and we loved him right back. Randy went out for a paddle with his camera afterwards. I wish I took him up on the invitation to paddle around with him. I had some painting to do, so I passed. I regret that now, the painting could have waited.
He encouraged me to write more when I told him I really enjoyed tapping away on the keyboard. He read our little athlete blogs religiously, and we, the athlete community, never missed one of his articles. I'll often pick up the Star just to flip to the middle of the sports section to see what he was on about. He was our fan, our colleague and our friend. My hands are shaking and there are tears streaming down my face, but I feel like the best and only way for me to say "Thank You Randy", for your over 25 year commitment to us, is to write about it.
We've lost a dear friend, Randy was truly like family to so many of us. My thoughts and condolences are with the Starkman family, his wife Mary and daughter Ella.
Thank You Randy. You will be so dearly missed by everyone.