On 16th September this year, I posted a blog headed:
PIT BULL DOG ATTACKS CALVIN WYNTER, THEATRE PRODUCER, IN NEW YORK CITY
That blog ended:
“I’m headed off right now,” Calvin told me, “to have my teeth cleaned and also they did a biopsy on my jawbone. They performed dental surgery, removed the lesion and put it in for biopsy research. They called me on Friday which means I think I may have cancer. I don’t know. So far, everything that’s thought to have been cancerous was not – like the polyps I got from my colonoscopy. I had three polyps. No cancer. So who knows? Maybe the third time isn’t so good but, y’know look – I’ve had a shaved head before. I can have a shaved head again. I’m still Episcopalian, which is like your Church of England, but my philosophy is Buddhist which is essentially: What do we seek? Happiness. What is pain and sorrow? The route to happiness.”
The following day, 17th September, I blogged:
Calvin has now to come back to say: “My jawbone lesion is benign… Yay!”
On 24th October, ten days ago, knowing I was going to be talking in London to US performer Penny Arcade, I asked Calvin if he could give me any background.
His replied included this:
Went under oral surgery to remove the lesion on my jaw and the bone graft from my thigh on Wednesday. I will be able to speak on Monday. Thank God I have experience at being silent. Thank you John for giving sometime to leave experience. Best wishes with your interview. – Cal
He also e-mailed me this selfie of himself headed: ‘Post Oral Surgery’
I replied: Holy shit! You look like a cartoon Godfather with one of those very high 1940s formal collars! Blog currently not happening because WordPress are fuck-ups…
His response was: Hahaha… Best wishes with your blog app.
I replied: If you want to tell me about your experience (preferably on Skype – but you might not want to actually talk too much!) just let me know when.
He told me: Thanks for the offer, but I can’t speak until Monday. Slow healing process.
I replied: Oh, yes, I meant after that. I doubt if I will have sorted the blog out until Tuesday.
His response was: Perfect timing.
That was the last I heard from him.
Tonight, I received an e-mail from a mutual friend in New York City. It read:
I’m sorry to have to tell you that Calvin died last Thursday night. I don’t know specifics,
I was hoping you could announce Calvin’s passing and the arrangements to the community over there via your blog.
The funeral will be 5.00 pm on Friday the 6th November at Cobbs Funeral Home in East Elmhurst (Queens), NY. Interment Saturday morning at 10 am. He is being interred with his parents at Flushing Cemetery.
So it goes.
The anniversary of his birth is in three weeks time.
Calvin Wynter (25 November 1959 – 30 October 2015)