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- By Sandy Neilly
- Writing an editorial for the summer issue of the Wayback
Times should be a simple and enjoyable task. Business in the
antiques community has grown vibrant once again reflecting the
growth we see in all the things around us.
- The days are long and warm and most of us have some special
plans to look forward to - time spent outdoors with family and
friends, sharing thoughts and laughter.
- That's why it doesn't seem right that any of us should be
dealing with loss at this time of the year. Loss is never easy,
but when we're watching things come to life all around us it
just seems altogether wrong that some of the people we love aren't
here to share and enjoy it with us.
- Jay Telfer, the founder of this paper, is one of those
cherished friends lost recently. The news came as a terrible
shock when we were advised of his passing in late May. Just two
days before his death we had been speaking on the phone and sending
email to each other. I believe now that Jay was probably quite
aware of how serious things were, but didn't care to burden anyone
with that knowledge. He was that kind of person.
- A number of years ago, Jay lost his father and his editorial
was, of course, about that loss and how difficult it was for
Jay at the time. I remember him describing his dad as a man who
lived by the philosophy of "never complain, never explain.
- That simple concept stuck with me, it was so profound in
- When I purchased the Wayback Times from him over three years
ago, I got to know Jay much better and it dawned on me that he
was perhaps quite like his father in many ways. He always had
something nice to say about people, always gave them the benefit
of the doubt and a complaint was a rare thing to hear from him.
- Jay genuinely enjoyed people which is one of the reasons
that he was so successful with this publication. He was charming
and easy to talk to without a pretentious bone in his body. If
his selling skills were lacking just a little, his "people"
skills would win you over instead. The truth of the matter was
that Jay was always more interested in people for their friendship
than for their business.
- Friendship meant the world to him and the only thing that
was more important to him than that was his family.
- It took us a while to get to know Jay over the years. Often,
at antique shows we would see him hauling around bundles of papers
and after distributing them he would do the rounds visiting the
vendors and taking photos. When he learned that I was an avid
eBay seller (way back in the 90s) who knew how to use a
digital camera and send photos via computer, I was asked to take
pictures at the many shows Peter and I participated in back in
- Gradually. we began to unravel all of the interesting bits
and pieces of his life and discovered that he was one incredibly
talented gentleman ... a singer/songwriter, a screenwriter, a
gifted musician and a one time a band member with A Passing Fancy,
a rock band in the sixties.
- (In fact, you've probably heard a few of Jay's pieces of
music recently if you listen to the radio at all - "Ten
Pound Note" was played on a local FM station earlier today
... Jay wrote that.)
- Jay did all the things most of us dreamed of doing when we
were young - and succeeded at each and every one.
- Peter and I never really knew that younger Jay, but the man
we did know was courageous and never without humour and kindness.
His health problems had chased him around almost all of his life
and yet, as his sister Margaret said at his memorial service,
Jay had no interest in his illnesses. He never indulged in sharing
his health issues in great detail as many of us are inclined
- Jay did have great expectations that the medical people would
be able to fix him up and get him back on his feet, as they had
time and again, so he could resume golfing, take photos and visit
friends and family. His health was merely an inconvenience and
no matter how bad it was, Jay was still forging on with new plans
for "when I'm out of here.
- Jay will always be remembered by us. If it weren't for him,
there would be no Wayback Times. He and I spent some very long
hours in this office when the business was transferred over in
the spring of 2006. I must admit Jay had some very unique ways
of doing things which I fondly refer to as "Jayisms,
routines he had created that worked beautifully for him, but
often left me very puzzled. I recall many instances of him laughing
at my confusion and telling me how easy everything was, that
I would catch on eventually.
- We'll all miss that uneven gait and the big smile that came
with his warm "Hullo there! and the excited reports
about his family and friends, especially the kids (he loved little
kids) and all the plans he was making for the future.
- All we can say is "Jay, it was great to know you...we're
going to miss you terribly. Thanks for everything.
- It has been a very tough year so far with the many losses
suffered and we offer our heartfelt sympathy to everyone who
has had to deal with grief and loss. Our wish for you is that
the sunshine of the summer days, the magic of starry nights,
the beauty of the abundant flowers, the fragrance of fresh cut
grass, the songs of the birds and all those other God-given gifts,
will help you heal minute-by-minute and day-by-day, leaving you
with peace and wonderful memories.
- I've found that people in the antiques business form a very
close-knit community that is quite unique - born of our common
interest in things of the past and the large amount of time we
often have to spend together at shows and auctions.
- In light of this, let's all remember to offer a hand, or
a shoulder, to those who are a part of this big family and need