Doug Allen Ward
December 8, 1953 - February 7, 2014
Brother of the late Robert (Bob) Ward
This 'Eulogy' was spoken at the gathering of friends on August 29, 2014 at Pub Deux-Montagnes
Hi, for those of you who don’t know me, I’m Candy (Barrett)….Doug’s ex-wife and best friend to use his words. Although we split up many years ago, we never really left each other and always remained each other’s LA, our nickname for each other. It was short for Love. And it is our love for Doug that brings us together tonight.
I have to be honest and say that I struggled writing this, A Celebration of Doug’s life which has actually turned out to be A Celebration of My Life With Doug as there are many more stories, held by all of you. I kept spinning back to one thing, one common theme, Doug’s addictions. So many stories were linked to them. This really bothered me but then I realized who am I trying to kid. Doug was Doug, the hippie who wanted to live in the past forever and we all know that. Despite this, or because of this, you couldn’t help but love Doug and be drawn to his “joie de vivre”. His smile and laugh were infectious. He had a wicked sense of humour and oh that hair, that mass of curly hair. He was always determined to live life to the fullest. He always told me he did not plan on getting old. Well La, you got your wish.
I met Doug at Cowboys, a bar in TO when he was down on an apartment hunting trip having just accepted a job transfer with Royal Bank. I was the sober one playing the spoons. He zeroed in on that, the spoons that is and introduced me to kamikazes. And that was the start of a beautiful friendship and many other introductions.
He loved regaling me with stories from his past, many of which involved some of you! He introduced me to his old Triumph Bonneville (later replaced by a Springer Softtail, bought in memory of his mom), to Sweetheart his GT6 (he actually bought another that he had planned on restoring), to Lawrence of Hells Angels fame, Gord Cormack and Pete Waddilove, to shooting targets at Gary’s cabin in BC, to his many hitchhiking trips across Canada, to working in Pt. Alberni, to the many concerts he attended, to Montreal’s restaurants and bars, to Two Mountains and the Red River, to coke, to acid, to magic mushrooms. I was a straight Italian Toronto girl who smoked weed but that’s it….luckily I could ride the fence well and I remained the straight one! And to so many more introductions. To a point, Doug lived in the past, he loved the past, he missed the past and he sought it every day.
I was an AM girl. Too young for the 60’s although by 13 it was mandatory to know all the words to Stairway to Heaven! I was pretty music clueless and remember asking Doug on our way to a Simon & Garfunkel concert, what the hell do they sing anyways? He said, don’t worry La, you’ll know…and I did…but I did not know or know enough of the world he introduced me to: Strawberry Alarm Clock, Cream, The Doors, Vanilla Fudge, all the great guitarists…Doug so loved them…I could go on and on. With very rare exceptions, Springsteen for one, Dougie never deviated from listening to these “oldies”. Any musical knowledge I possess today, I have Doug to thank for that. (and Earl, you too ). As I listen now to Psychedelic Sundays on Q107, a smile always comes to my face as I remember Doug and his love of music.
He introduced me to beige suede boots which trust me gave Dougie a whole other persona, to computers (at which he excelled, Dougie was our go to pc guy, both for hardware and software), to our dog Topaz, to just chilling and living, to Robbie Burns “a man’s a man for all that and all that”, to ESADMF, to Quebec sa faire, to plaid shirts and Australian outback coats, to bugs in my teeth, to “I just gotta shit, shower, shoeshine, shave” before he went out and to Ray Bradbury and golden apple necklaces. All epitomized Doug and each had a story of their own. The necklace is Steph’s story. But Steph, I want you to know that until it was lost, he wore his necklace constantly. It just wasn’t Doug without it and had we successfully found an exact replica, he would have kept on wearing his golden apple.
Doug also introduced me to many amazing people. His friends were numerous. People were drawn to his magnetism and I believe many admired him for having the balls to do what they secretly wanted to do themselves……. like not growing up. Mike Carpini and Earl Arguin (Junk) have remained close friends of mine and Ronnie LeBlanc was an usher at our wedding. Others I have lost touch with or we have lost them: Joe Verdugo (Coco), Mike Avon (RIP), Steve Jenkins, Judy Kane, John Byrne (JohnBoy), Craig Littzen, Joanne Deseve, Ronnie O’Connor to name a few. And he is still introducing me to his old friends. Since his passing, I have new friends in Jim Currie, Stephanie Ward (nee Carpini), Patricia Cantin-Carpini, Judy, John and Dan McCarthy, Tom Slater and Ron Jennings. Whether we remained in touch or not, Dougie’s old friends made a lasting impression upon me. There were times when I remembered names he had forgotten. This told me that the glue that held us together, Dougie, was a pretty awesome person to have such amazing family of friends. For all of you, were, indeed his family.
I miss him dearly. I miss our constant talks about anything and everything. I will miss his calls on our wedding anniversary, Valentine’s Day, birthdays and so on. I miss hearing him call me his white witch or fondly calling me you bitch when I didn’t put up with his crap and even more I miss hearing him say La. He was my common sense…the street smart to my book smart. I really, really miss my LaLa.
I would like to close by quoting Dougie’s fave from William Butler Yeats: