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In Loving Memory of Ron Carnell (Jan 24, 1950 – Aug 10, 2021)

Posted on August 10, 2021 by Kit

My Dear Poet Friends,

It is with a profoundly sad and heavy heart, that I share with you that we have lost our cherished friend, our fellow poet, and the founder of PipTalk, Ron Carnell.  Ron passed away this evening, Aug 10, 2021, after a brief battle with cancer.

I know how difficult his loss will be for so many of us who adored this warm and wonderful man. My heart goes out to Ron’s family and friends, to his extended poetic family here, and to the vast community who embraced Ron’s engaging sense of humor as he embarked on his magical career.

Ron’s quick wit, intelligence and delightful sense of humor are some of the first things that initially drew people to him, and it was often his sensitive, thoughtful and caring nature that continued to keep so many within his captivating orbit. Ron was a brilliant storyteller, and his passion for a good tale seemed to weave its way throughout the many facets of his life. He formed an inspirational poetic world that brought talented writers and readers together to share their stories and lives from across the globe. He created charming and interactive magic shows to delight audiences and fill rooms with laughter and awe. He penned intriguing short stories, wrote and produced a full Murder Mystery theatre show, and was even back to working on his own novel. Ron’s imagination and creativity truly knew no bounds.

Throughout all of this, not only did Ron’s passions and pursuits connect thousands of us “to him”, but he connected thousands of us “to each other” as well, forging deep friendships and long, lasting memories. I, like so many others, know that my world was enhanced immeasurably by being just a small part of Ron’s extraordinary life story.

In Ron’s own poetic words:

“A home without a wall,
Our haven without ends,
A circle we all call
Our Family of Friends!”
    -Ron Carnell

Thank you Ron, for being a part of our circle, a part of our family, and a part of our hearts forever and always.

May you rest in peace my dear, sweet friend knowing how deeply you were loved.

- Kit McCallum (Kit Detering)

Connections (for Ron Carnell)

I wrote the following poem of appreciation for Ron on July 7, 2021, about a month after he initially called to tell me of his illness. When I sent the text of this poem to him, I wanted to do something a little extra special, so I also sent him a sound file of me reciting it for him. I was delighted that in perfectly Ron fashion, he surprised me the very next day by choosing some of his favorite photos from a few of our adventures and created this finished slideshow for us. I thought it would be nice to share this collaboration with everyone here.

Over the next month, Ron kept a copy of this slideshow on his phone to share with his friends and family, his healthcare team and even his hospital pastor. He was particularly happy to tell me about a husband and wife who were watching it with him. He said when it came to the final stanza; the woman looked up at him, giggled and grabbed his shoulders. She said "You ARE blushing Ron, you ARE!" We had a good laugh together, and agreed that after a wonderful 22 year friendship, we both knew each other pretty well.

Connections (for Ron Carnell)

My dearest friend, you wondrous man,
I know in life, it’s hard to plan
However someone “greater” knew
That we should meet … I know that’s true.

I know because when I was lost
Our trails entwined and pathways crossed,
I searched for meaning day by day
And there you were … one click away.

I found your stories, words and rhymes
And read them all a thousand times;
I wondered who this man could be
Who shared his writer’s world with me?

You had a strong magnetic force
Connecting me toward your course
And there to my delight I found
Like-minded people all around.

Regardless of the art you chose,
From poems to magic, even prose,
You had a way to join us all,
No audience too big or small.

Your sense of humor drew us in,
Your wit, your smarts, your impish grin,
Then came the thoughtful side of you,
Perceptive, caring, warm and true.

You made us laugh, you made us smile,
You made us pause and think a while;
Through wonderment and stories tall,
Your narratives charmed one and all.

I watched this through a writer’s lens,
Saw strangers soon becoming friends;
Your spirit seemed to join us there
Amid the stories you would share.

It mattered not, which tale you wove,
You seemed to have a treasure trove
Connecting all of us to you
While hearts and minds and friendships grew.

I’m one of many lives you’ve changed
Through sleight of hand or rhymes arranged,
Sweet friend, I’m thankful for our time,
This legacy of love and rhyme.

You’re blushing now … I’ve gone too far,
But here I am, and there you are;
We know we’re just one click away,
And through our hearts, we’ll always stay.

© Kit McCallum (Kit Detering) July 7, 2021

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