A Recent Letter from a Fan
(April 2002) 

This letter was recently (April 2002) sent to the 'Friends of Clifford T Ward':
 
My dear friends,

I have just received my membership pack, for which I send my thanks. It seems ironic that after some 28 years of collecting CTW's work, and benefiting from some of the wisdom, joy, pathos, and humour he put out for all to share, I have waited until the time of his passing to finally join The Friends of Clifford T Ward. I thought that I might therefore share with you how this has come about.

I was first introduced to CTW's work when my brother presented me with the Home Thoughts from Abroad album. I'm still not sure why he got me this, and he cannot remember either, but Serendipity must surely have been involved because as soon as I first listened to the tracks on this superb album, I was hooked. I then looked out for his work, and eventually added Mantle Pieces, No More Rock and Roll, Escalator, Waves, Both of Us, and Sometime Next Year, all on vinyl. Then I realised that his work appeared to stop. This confounded me, and I should have done some checking to find out why, but life was providing it's own pressures, as it does, and for many years I simply enjoyed what I had of his work. Then about 2 years ago I found the CTW website run by Roy Smith. It was then that I learned of Clifford's battle with MS. I had started to believe that he had probably died some time ago because of the sudden stop in any musical output, so in a strange way the sadness of hearing of his illness was tinged with a lifting of my spirits because he was alive. I then added some of his CD's to my collection, Hidden Treasures, Julia and Other New Stories, and Bittersweet, and found a new dimension to his work. Throughout these years my wife, Elaine, and our two sons Craig and Robert, have come to regard Clifford as almost a part of our family. A man we have never met nor seen in life has affected our lives in a very positive way. Our sons, both in their 30's now, still find themselves humming along to one or other of Clifford's songs from time to time, without any reason. This is the spell his work casts upon people. The melodies and the words 'dig' small caves in our beings. They beguile our inner spirit and, like the flowers when the sun shines, burst to the forefront of our minds.

So now I was happy. CTW was alive, I had found new work of his, God was in his Heaven, and all was well with the world. And then he passed away. Like so many people I was very deeply saddened at his passing, and thought of his wife and family and the great loss this must be to them. In what way to help them? Was it possible to help them? I hope that through The Friends of Clifford T Ward I can in some small way assist in this, and also help carry the living flame of his work to others so that his words and music may kindle in them a small fire to warm their spirit. I have found since Clifford's death that I visit memory's gate frequently in times of quiet reflection, or when listening to some of his earlier work, and in my mind's eye see him in better days when the world was younger and in many ways better. As always happens when a precious gift is taken from the world, a seemingly unfillable void is created and the brightness dims. The only way to regain the brightness is to give thanks for such a gift to life as Clifford was, and to visit memory's gate whenever possible to share his music with him again. If there is anything you feel I may be able to do to help then please contact me. Keep up the good work.

Wishing you all, love, peace, and light.

Stuart M Jackson

 

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