Silence on the airwaves.

Thursday, March 20th, 2003

Today was a strange and sad, yet somehow ultimately life-affirming day: today was the funeral for Jeremy’s grand-uncle Alan Keith, the DJ who presented Your Hundred Best Tunes on BBC Radio 2 for 44 years - only retiring a few weeks ago at the age of 94.

I feel very lucky to have known “Uncle Alan”, if only for a short time. Jeremy spoke of him fondly for years before I finally got the opportunity to meet him - and when I did meet him, he was every bit as kind and genteel as I had imagined.

I’m happy that I, like Jeremy, now have my own fond memories of Uncle Alan. What kept coming back to me today was the memory of the day I first met him. Jeremy and I hadn’t been married long, and I was a bit nervous about meeting “the family”, wanting to make a good impression and all that. But all nervousness disappeared with the warmth of Alan’s welcome and his obvious joy at having us there. Today I kept thinking of the radiance of his smile on that day as he leaned toward me and, in his deep, rich, wonderful BBC voice, said, “You’re lovely, my dear!” It makes me smile just to think of it.

He was a lovely man who had a long, good life. He’ll certainly be missed.


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