Girolamo Antonio Clemente May 13, 1956 - August 30, 2022 - A Rite of Manly Passage
Saturday, September 03, 2022
My car mechanic friend posted this on August 29 at 8:45 PM
Talk about A lucky break
And malfunction in my pacemaker and I dropped like a pair
and died ! Yes I dead kind!!!
We were on our way to Chilliwack Hospital for an appointment
and arrived 10 minutes early cross the parking lot up onto this sidewalk and
A ladies song Karen crying and trying to revive me and
went running into the emergency ward and cold for help
From their luckily everything happened extremely quick
Karen was basically picked up and pulled away and they started to try CPR a
nurse who was the trainer for CPR push that girl aside and started to do CPR at
herself pushing so hard today 10 days later my chest still hurts￼
That didn’t work and they arrived with defibrillators and
zapped me back to breathing
I was in the right place at the right time to still be
here and lucky enough to have people who are trained on hand almost immediately
Nobody knows why it happened it just happened my heart
just stopped which I think is a similar thing that happened to mutual friend
One thing I can tell you is that there’s no white light
on the other side and the worst part just before I revived or became conscious
following day following day was a nightmare that I won’t tell you you couldn’t
So happy to be here but they did pull my license for six
months but I’m going to buy a lottery ticket I feel lucky in by myself cool car
Then there was this:
1956 - August 30, 2022
We are heartbroken to announce the passing of Girolamo,
after a long hard fight with heart disease on Tuesday August 30, 2022.
When I read this last night, 3 September 22, I felt
extremely depressed as all my friends around me are dying. My isolation keeps
growing. I knew I would have to write this.
After having a couple of boring (but most reliable VW
Beetles in Mexico when Rosemary, our two daughters and I moved to Vancouver) I
was going to change that by owning and exciting car. My two subsequent Fiat
X-19s were exciting but not reliable.
I had those two Fiats repaired by Girolamo Clemente on
Clemente European Motors on Kingsway. He was a charmer, but perhaps not as much
as his serious (outside) father who was often there.
|Gio & father|
Gio, as we all called him, said he was a forensic mechanic
who could figure out what was wrong by the noises a car made.
One day he phoned me and told me that he had an exciting
car for me at a good price. It was a 1982 Maserati Biturbo. When it ran is was
a thrill. But more often the German transmission clunked, the windows did not
go up or down and water went into the gasoline, oil into the water and other
fluids who knows where.
Henceforth, my Rosemary rightfully dictated we would have
reliable German cars. We had three Audis until she succumbed to my idea of a domestic Chevrolet Malibu and my present
most reliable Chevrolet Cruze.
But it was Gio who introduced me to what I would call a
rite of passage for a man who wants to have an exciting car that makes loud
exhaust noises and looks good. That rite of passage slipped into my realization
that slipping clutches were not my idea of exciting.
So Gio I offer my thanks for the trip with those Italian
cars and I hope you do well wherever you might be now.
Rosemary & Margaret
Friday, September 02, 2022
|Rosa 'Margaret Merril' 2 September 2022|
con Borges por un barrio de quintas, en Mar del Plata, y de pronto sentí un
olor que me conmovió. Borges me dijo que los recuerdos que más nos emocionan
son los de olores y gustos, porque suelen estar rodeados de abismos de olvido:
hay que oler el mismo olor para recordar un olor, hay que sentir el mismo gusto
para recordar un gusto (no ocurre así con imágenes y sonidos). ¡Con qué emoción
volvemos a oler el mismo olor que por última vez olimos en tiempos lejanos, en
lugares a los que nunca volveremos!”
We were walking with Borges in a
neighbourhood with country farms in Mar del Plata and suddenly I was felt a
smell that moved me. Borges told me that that the memories that we most felt are
the smells and tastes, as they usually surrounded by gulfs of forgetfulness:
you must smell the same smell to remember a smell, and one must feel the same
taste to remember a taste (that does not happen with images and sounds). With what emotion we return to smell the same
smell which we experienced for the last time in our past in places we will
Adolfo Bioy Casares recounting a walk with
Jorge Luís Borges.
I understand the above well as I remember the
last time that Rosemary sniffed our Rosa ‘Margaret Merril’ in our old garden.
It did not survive and I was not able to find one to buy until after Rosemary
had died on December 9 2020.
She would not have known and I do know,
thanks to Goggle as to who Margaret Merril was.
|Margaret Manton Merrill|
Margaret Manton Merrill (1859 – June
19/20, 1893) was a British-born American journalist, writer, translator, and
elocutionist. At the age of twenty, she became the founder, owner and editor of
the Colorado Temperance Gazette. She stayed in journalism for twelve years,
where her noted successes were in the line of stories for children, while she
likewise made translations from such diverse languages as Scandinavian and
Wikipedia And the rose:
Rosa 'Margaret Merril' (aka HARkuly) is a
white-blend Floribunda rose cultivar developed by Harkness Roses in 1972 and
introduced into Great Britain in 1978. It is the winner of multiple rose
awards, including the Geneva Gold Medal and Rome Gold Medal and the Hague and
Auckland Fragrance awards.
Not explained anywhere is why the rose's name has one less l in in Merril.
|Rosa 'St. Swithun' 2 September 2022|
I Smell Sweet Savours
Today 2 September 2022 I noticed a rose, Rosa ‘St.
Swithun’ that was in bloom but a bit past its prime. I stopped to smell it and
I was rewarded by one of the most complex and wonderful scents in botany (my
opinion). It is a scent that the English call myrhh.
Can a scent remind you of a person? With me, yes. I have
written many times before (link above) that I remember the smell of my father that combined
his Navy Cut Player cigarettes he smoked, the gin in his breath, lavender after
shave and all those scents converging on his Harris Tweed jackets.
But this morning when I took a whiff of St. Swithun I
immediately was reminded of my Rosemary.
I remember one afternoon when she came back from a VanDusen
Garden show and told me, “Alex, there is rose in the Phoenix Perennials booth
that has a smell that is heavenly. I am going back tomorrow as this display
rose has my name on it.” And so it was and Rosemary introduced me to the myrrh
scented English Roses.
Rosemary rarely wore perfume so it is the scent of St.
Swithun that to me is Rosemary.
Luckily my ability to smell is extremely good.
My Rosemary & Pristine Perfection
Thursday, September 01, 2022
|Rosa 'Darcey Bussell' 31 August 2022|
From Middle French
pristin, borrowed from Latin prīstinus.
1. Unspoiled; still
with its original purity; uncorrupted or unsullied.
pertaining to the earliest state of something.
I remember that first time I spotted my Rosemary in late 1967
from the back. She was walking away from a school in Mexico City where we both (so I
found out) taught English. I saw a woman with long and straight blond hair,
wearing a mini-skirt. Her legs were perfect.
Soon after, on February 8th, we were
I could write, and I am, that my initial memory of
Rosemary was and is a pristine one. But thanks to the roses of our garden I have
come to appreciate the stages in a person’s life, the stages in the life of my
|Rosemary & Alexandra 1969|
|In our Kits garden 2020|
I was interested, all these years, in the Rosemary before
I found her. Now in my Kits bedroom I have discovered some of her diaries written in
Mexico before she met me. There is a lovely book, México – Pintura de Hoy –
Fondo de Cultura Económica – 1964 with her beautiful printed name on it that
should have given me a hint on her interest in art. She paid 150 pesos for it.
As we both grew old together, I adored how she aged and the
fact that I was never interested in buying a red Miata sports car and looking
for a younger woman.
Now with her not around I am not in the least interested
in any women. In spite of my grief at my loss I find that as a relief.
The rose illustrating this blog was one of Rosemary's favourite red roses. It is a scan at an early stage of a rose's path to open perfection. At one time I would have felt in snipping it before it reached that perfection. It is lovely and can I write that it is pristine and perfect?
A Rendezvous on My Birthday
Wednesday, August 31, 2022
|3pm, 31 August 2022|
According to my Mappin & Webb birth spoon, given to me by
my Aunt Inez Barber, I was born ten to three in the morning of the 31st of
August of 1942.
My birth was recorded by a photographer with a magnesium
flash. I knew then and there that someday I would be a photographer.
My mother told me that my father forgot to register my birth
with the authorities. By the time he went it was April 18, 1943. That is the
date on all my documents including my birth certificate.
|With Auntie Inez in Buenos Aires - 1942|
I was born in the Sanatorio Anchorena which is now
housed in a modern building in downtown Buenos Aires.
Eighty years later to that 1942 date, I have followed a
personal custom of taking a self-portrait. This one is old-fashioned-elaborate
because I used a film camera, a Mamiya RB-67 Pro SD loaded with the now
discontinued Fuji Instant B&W film
FP 3000B. I fired the camera with a rubber bulb.
What you see here is not the print but the scanned negative
that I reversed in Photoshop.
Tonight I am having a birthday dinner, to not only celebrate
mine, but also my eldest daughter Alexandra’s who was 54 on the 27th. Present
will be my other daughter Hilary and her two daughters Lauren and Rebecca. We
will be enjoying a meal at the Italian restaurant in the Italian Cultural
I am a tad disappointed that I will not be able to bring
Niña and Niño to enjoy the repast.
The best birthday gift that I have received today was a rendezvous
lunch (that is the word he used) with Malcolm Parry at the Princeton Pub. He is
really the reason why it was that I had a magazine photographic career.
I am not as thin as he is but he was wearing shorts and will
be 86 in October. His memory is
remarkable so we had a lovely time.
There were a couple of men in a nearby table who informed
Mac that he was heading in the wrong direction as he was walking to the women’s
facilities. While he was gone, I asked the two gentlemen if by any chance they
were dock workers. They told me that they had been but were now retired. I then
asked them if they knew Randy Rampage. Both looked at me with delight and
answered in the affirmative.
All in all this birthday without my Rosemary promises to be
one that is not all that bad.
And as per usual when I am going somewhere where Hilary will be I always dress in my favourite T-shirt of her crying when she was a baby. That is the T in today's self-portrait.