A good friend died last night.
Our friend Steve Gold died last night.
He had complications following heart surgery, which he had needed for a long time due to his heart failing.
Steve and I were friends for about 25 years, almost half my life, and he was friends with my husband for even longer. In fact, he was how we met. I was working on PC Dealer magazine in 1991 when Steve, who was acting editor, brought aboard his friend ‘Rotsky’ to act as features editor.
Steve was always an ebullient man. Fundamentally a techhead, he had also worked as a psychiatric nurse or orderly – I forget which – and was one of the first to warn me that my then-boyfriend was a psycho (he was not at all wrong, as it later proved). He was a kind and generous co-worker and few of those who knew him will forget his ‘hacking’ of the fruit machines in various pubs to pay for rounds of drinks for the PC Dealer team.
When I met my now-husband of nearly 20 years, Steve was the one who lent us his flat so we could talk in peace and quiet. He was sympathetic partly because he had by then met the woman who would become his wife, Sylvia. On one occasion, Sylvia was visiting her family in Poland and Steve decided to send her some red roses. He spent about 20 dollars, not realising that this would buy all the roses in the district, and the flowers arrived at the family house by the cartload.
Although we spoke just about every week on the phone, I last saw Steve in 2011, when I visited London briefly. I was a bit shocked by his appearance. Even then, he was looking pale, though his personality was as ebullient as ever and he made light of any concerns. He gave me a cake for my birthday, and, as ever, he slipped me some tablets – on this occasion Imuran – understanding very well how poorly I was with my ulcerative colitis. We took different routes on that issue – he taking whatever the medical profession could offer him, myself opting for the natural and diet method. But it may be that the UC in the end was what killed him – he told me last year that it had weakened his heart and he would need major surgery.
He went in for this not long before Christmas, which we knew although he hadn’t announced it – worried, perhaps, as a freelance journalist, that people might not book him for work if they knew how ill he was? I don’t know, but although he seemed to be recovering well from surgery, yesterday he could not be woken, and he died in the night.
We’ll miss you, Glod. I don’t care how good a journalist you were, or how respected in your field. For us, you were just a good mate. Rest in peace.