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Obit: Art Drysdale - Dec. 17, 2013

meself 18 Dec 13 - 09:12 PM
meself 19 Dec 13 - 08:42 PM
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Subject: Obit: Art Drysdale - Dec. 17, 2013
From: meself
Date: 18 Dec 13 - 09:12 PM

Sad news from Nova Scotia - Art Drysdale died last night, apparently of a heart attack. This will be quite a shock to his legions of friends and acquaintances. Art was a pub singer/entertainer; a big, gregarious personality; well-known and well-liked.

I believe he was born in 1956. He lived in Dartmouth, NS, but kept close touch with his home village of Wallace. He would put on a two-three day musical gathering at his land there at the end of every summer.

There does not seem to be an official obituary up yet, but here's a tribute:

Art Drysdale 'could work the room like nobody'
December 18, 2013 - 7:50pm BEVERLEY WARE SOUTH SHORE BUREAU

Friends recall N.S. representative who loved music, conversation
Art Drysdale and his guitar would have been the focal point in the kitchen at Bill Short's annual social Saturday night in Dartmouth.

Like so many who knew him, Short isn't quite sure how he'll get along now Drysdale is gone. But he believes his friend would have wanted the fun to go on because that's how he lived his life — with gusto.

Drysdale, the unofficial mayor of the north shore community of Wallace, a welcome sight at the microphone at Stayner's Wharf Pub and Grill in Halifax, senior international business officer for the province and perhaps Nova Scotia's greatest ambassador, died suddenly Tuesday evening.

"No matter where he travelled, he always touched people," Short said.

"Art's biggest skill was that he touched so many different people in life, from swimming to the provincial government to university, and he always kept in touch with his friends. He would have made a great politician because he could work the room like nobody."

Todd Abbass owns Stayner's. He said while he knows a lot of people, Drysdale was one of his few genuine friends.

"Art had patience for people. He really cared about people. He was a great talker, but a very, very good listener," Abbass said.

"I hope he can rest in peace knowing there was nothing else he could have done to ingrain himself into our hearts."

Drysdale's group, the Artful Knaves, sometimes played at the pub. More than 30 co-workers dropped by Stayner's on Wednesday to pay tribute to their dear friend, who enjoyed a tipple himself.

In fact, Drysdale invented Uncle Ron's Night. Every year, friends would bring a bottle of rum they had bought anywhere in the world. Drysdale would put them in numbered paper bags, line them up on counters and guests would tip back an ounce and rate them on score cards.

Out of the Sip 'n' Shuck seafood and wine tasting event Drysdale organized for the province at Delta Halifax each year, he created the Oyster Cloister. Much like Uncle Ron's Night, he would set out oysters provided by various suppliers, along with hot sauces, horseradish, lemons and some Nova Scotia wines, and have his friends conduct a taste test.

Abbass said it wasn't unusual for Drysdale to have up to 100 people crammed into his small Dartmouth home. Just a couple of weeks ago, Drysdale talked excitedly about his new stainless steel fridge and the progress of his kitchen renovations as he looked forward to hosting more get-togethers.

"He was someone you would talk with, joke with, laugh with, sing with, argue with, talk about life with and talk about love with," Abbass said.

"He was generous to a fault, honest to a fault, forgiving to a fault" and worked tirelessly for government.

Short said whether Drysdale was in Beijing, Brussels or Calgary, he loved to tell people about his province. Short said his friend embodied the Nova Scotia spirit.

In recent years, he had overcome bouts with colon and liver cancer.

Short met Drysdale when they were students at Mount Allison University. Just last month, Drysdale donned his school jacket to cheer on his team at the Uteck Bowl in Sackville, N.B.

He coached competitive swimming programs, from Port Alberni, B.C., and Vancouver to Moncton and Truro, for 13 years.

Short said Drysdale championed his hometown of Wallace, organizing summer musical get-togethers that morphed into huge social gatherings. It featured the Barra MacNeils last year and Valdy the year before.

While Drysdale played the guitar, "I really believe he played entertainment," Short said, because he thrived on making people laugh.

When he travelled, which was often, he took two pieces of checked luggage. One was always his guitar.

Short said Drysdale did such a good job promoting Nova Scotia products and the province that delegates at a show in Shanghai this year went to the Nova Scotia booth wanting to know where Drysdale was.

"He was just a proud Nova Scotian and a good person," Short said.

Funeral arrangements are expected to be announced Friday.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Art Drysdale - Dec. 17, 2013
From: meself
Date: 19 Dec 13 - 08:42 PM


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