R.I.P. steelclaw32

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R.I.P. steelclaw32

Postby Steely's Nephew » Sat Dec 27, 2008 11:22 am

First off, I'm not sure that this sort of thing is appropriate for this section, or even for this forum.

My uncle Simon, who you knew as steelclaw32, was found dead yesterday in his apartment.

The autopsy is underway, but he was in ill health following two strokes in recent years, so I suspect natural causes.

I knew his internet alias, and I've decided to go around the sites he regulared to let people know.

Thank you Michael Slade for writing the books he enjoyed so much: whenever he was over here he'd never shut up about them!

And thank you to those who provided him companionship on here.

He told me about this site on more than one occasion, and I know he really enjoyed his discussions with many of you.

R.I.P. Uncle Simon.
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Postby e_taylor » Sat Dec 27, 2008 3:04 pm

steelclaw32 was certainly a fixture in the Slade family here, and this is just a terrible loss.

My thoughts and condolences are with him, his family, and his friends, especially those on this board.

Rest In Peace indeed.
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Postby WaywardSoul » Sat Dec 27, 2008 4:04 pm

It's truly a sad day for our little community, as well as his family.

Rest easy Simon.
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Postby Hydebound » Sat Dec 27, 2008 4:56 pm

I have always looked forward to seeing what Steely had to say, and I was looking forward to meeting my friend in person one day. His nephew has done a very special thing by letting us know about this, and he deserves our thanks. I hope that any of you who had met Steely in person will share your memories so we can even now get to know him better and properly mourn his passing.

Rest in Peace, Brother.
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Postby Mbwun » Sat Dec 27, 2008 5:50 pm

For the moment, I'm unable to find the words to express what a profound state of grief I'm in at hearing this news.

Most of you probably realize that I shared an online relationship with Simon, independent of this board. Here is where we met, but we carried it over to personal e-mails, and online chats via MSN Messenger. It was, to say the least, a rather complex relationship. I loved him very much, and always wanted to meet with him face to face, even though I've known for a while that a romantic relationship with him would probably have never worked out.

I believe the true love of his life was his dear departed wife Helen, and my one solace is that he's with her now. I know in the past he's expressed a longing to go and be with her. He's with her now, and he no longer has to suffer from the physical pain he's been in almost constantly for the past few years.

I will miss him very, very, much.

To an Athlete Dying Young

The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.

Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields were glory does not stay
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.

Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears:

Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.

So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.

And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl's.

by A. E. Housman
How hard can it be? - Jeremy Clarkson
Make no mistake, this is a Supercar. Looks good .. goes fast .. nothing else matters. - Jeremy Clarkson

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Postby MarylandManson » Sat Dec 27, 2008 6:51 pm

Sad, sad news, indeed. Thank you, Steely's Nephew, for letting us know. All best energies and sympathy to you and your family, and to Simon's friends, at this sad time.
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Postby Slade » Sat Dec 27, 2008 7:16 pm

Thank you, Steely's Nephew, for bringing us this sad news. Of all the fans Slade has, Simon took the laurel for Most Enthusiastic. I met him three times. The first time - at a signing in Victoria - he gave me a green scarf. I wore it yesterday to take a walk in the snow.

It's hard to imagine the Board without him. He did 1,040 posts in this version alone. Next up is MM at 861, then PohlSE at 795. But it wasn't just the quantity, it was the quirky quality of what he had to say. Steely had a strong opinion on everything. Sometimes he stepped over the line in his political rants, but he quickly retreated. Those whose feathers he ruffled at the start, soon realized that was just him. And his posts took on a new appreciation when we found out that he struggled to compose them after two strokes.

The Fighting Irishman, the Fighting Englishman, the Fighting Ex-Pat, who knows what he was! I smiled at the "Blighty" slang he used with relish, as if defying us to grasp what he meant, and his unbridled use of those little characters, particularly the guy who takes the looooong step to the side. The Board wasn't the same when his computer went down, but there he was - again - before too long.

Now we must accept the empty fact that he won't be back again.

A.E. Housman has been my favorite poet since I first read him in school. We don't read much poetry these days, and that's a pity. Mbwun chose the perfect poem to see steelclaw off.

Here's mine:

With rue my heart is laden
For golden friends I had,
For many a rose-lipt maiden
And many a lightfoot lad.

By brooks too broad for leaping
The lightfoot boys are laid;
The rose-lipt girls are sleeping
In fields where roses fade.

A.E. Housman, 1896

Let's all hope the Lightfoot Lad is now with his Rose-lipt Maiden.

He deserves it.

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Postby dreab trawets » Sat Dec 27, 2008 7:31 pm

I so wanted to speak more with him. He had seen so much, done so much.
We only touched on it in a thread.

The loss is big, for our little group.

My condolences to his family, and friends, of which i would like to think i was one...

This quote springs to mind....

"I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter."

An honour Simon....
“After my head has been chopped off, will I still be able to hear, at least for a moment , the sound of my own blood gushing from my neck? That would be the best pleasure to end all pleasure. “
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Goodbye, My Friend . . .

Postby Judy » Sat Dec 27, 2008 9:43 pm

I had just sent him a private message a few nights ago . . . sooo sad to lose a friend . . . especially one so dear to us here . . . Thank You to Simon's nephew for letting us know of the news. RIP Simon . . . we are all the better for knowing you . . .
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Postby Slade » Sat Dec 27, 2008 10:15 pm

Steely's last message, yesterday. I was on my own this year and I was entertained by Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone. Quite day I had and comfy and warm.

It was obvious to all of us that steelclaw was a voracious reader. In his final moments, let's imagine him snuggled in close to his "skirting board," reading the classic novel that began it all:

http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/Book ... 88,00.html

"When you looked down into the stone, you looked into a yellow deep that drew your eyes into it so that they saw nothing else."

Hailed by T.S. Eliot as "the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels", The Moonstone is a marvellously taut and intricate tale of mystery, in which facts and memory can prove treacherous and not everyone is as they first appear.


One of the things that made The Moonstone such a success was its sensationalist depiction of opium addiction. Unbeknownst to his readership, Collins was writing from personal experience. In his later years, Collins grew severely addicted to laudanum and as a result suffered from paranoid delusions, the most notable being his conviction that he was constantly accompanied by a doppelganger he dubbed "Ghost Wilkie".

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Postby Mbwun » Sun Dec 28, 2008 4:22 pm

Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone was quite possibly Simon's favourite novel of all time. He recommended it to me, and anyone else he had the opportunity to recommend it to, at every chance he got.

I'm thinking of reading it again, in honour of him.

Not sure whether you'll see much of me here, at least for the time being. It's just too difficult to deal with the knowledge that I'll never see a new post from him again here. It's feels like the pilot light has been extinguished, and the fire has gone out right now.

How hard can it be? - Jeremy Clarkson
Make no mistake, this is a Supercar. Looks good .. goes fast .. nothing else matters. - Jeremy Clarkson

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Postby steely's brother » Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:06 pm

My son, Steely's nephew, said it all really, but Mbwun suggested I drop you a line. Well here goes!

He changed his original name by deed pole many years ago to Simon from the popular 'Saint' character Simon Templar by Leslie Charteris <http://www.saint.org/books.htm> . He was an unusual individual all of his life. He would have been 50 on his next birthday and I have known him for about 30 years of those. I believe he was born outside of the box and always had a different perspective than most of us. He had been writing a book for about twenty years on and off but never completed it. This helped him enormously after his second stroke but the writing is illegible. He used to store his book on his two Macs but these were destroyed in a fire when he fell asleep at his desk, an electrical fire caused it, it seems along with his extensive video collection of television programs such as 'Voyage to the bottom of the Sea', and 'Doctor Who', 'The Champions' Hammer House of Horror etc to name but a few. He had had more than 500 VHS tapes destroyed plus many of his precious to him, books.

One Christmas, when both our mother and father were in hospital for different reasons, he was riding his bicycle to work, and was run over at a set of lights. apparently the driver was going to leave the scene of the accident when another vehicle arrived. Simon was under the car and the driver had to reverse over him to get him out. It was soon after this that he had his strokes. Amazingly he recovered quite fast although he needed two sticks to get around initially he dispensed with them about five years ago and apart from his obvious limp managed to get by. But he retired from his job as he just couldn't do the paperwork and he just got tired too often.

More recently he had started to collect DVD's of his favourite shows as the BBC and other companies have begun to release many of their early shows on DVD which pleased him immensely.

He embraced technology early and had been on the net for some time before it was as popular as it is today. He used to frequent a computer coffee shop, where he was their first member and strangely they closed down not long after he moved to Canada. He used their address as his home page for a while until he could no longer log on. Perhaps it was his persona which drew people there? When I emmigrated to Canada, I had thought that all my old friends who knew each other pretty well would all keep in touch after I left, but when I returned after being away 10 years or so, discovered I had been the lynch pin which had held all those friendships together.

Thankyou for entertaining him as he did you for many years. As I mentioned to Mbwun this morning whenever he was at a party he knew all the buttons to press and he had the ability to suck the oxygen out of room, so everyone was left gasping half an our later as he left the room. I see that hasn't changed.

Thanks Colm
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Postby Slade » Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:02 pm


Thanks for taking the time in this sad interval to fill in the mental picture we have of Steelclaw, undoubtedly our most unique member. Life would be dull without "characters" - those who march to the beat of their own drums - and Simon was definitely that. As a fan of The Saint, both in print and on TV, in my younger days, the fact that he assumed the name Simon from that puts a smile on my face.

On behalf of all those on this Board, may I extend our sympathies to you, your son, and your family at this time. We'll be talking about Steely in this forum for years to come. He made such an indelible impression that the whole tone will change.

Knowing Steelclaw, he'd like that.

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Postby Hydebound » Sun Dec 28, 2008 11:11 pm

Thanks very much, Colm. I was hoping to learn more about my friend; a middle-aged comics fan like myself. I was anticipating many years of discussing the latest releases with Steely/Simon, and- with all due respect to Slade, Mbwun and other friends- much of the joy has gone out of this site for me. I will also be absent from these forums for awhile, as this loss has hit me harder than one might expect. Colm, I hope you and your family will take comfort in knowing that Simon was loved by people who never saw or spoke to him. His raucous personality and basic decency came through vividly in his posts, and I will miss him. God bless you.
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Postby steely's brother » Sun Dec 28, 2008 11:28 pm

Thanks Hydebound, I'm sure he knew that already. This was his most popular forum to hang out in.
Thanks again for your sympathy.
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