Remembering Randy Starkman
We are saddened by the sudden death of Toronto Star Sports Reporter Randy Starkman. Randy had a special interest in Canada's young athletes who sacrifice much in order to achieve success at the Olympics. Tributes from athletes and his fellow journalists testify to his devotion to his craft and his subjects.
Kennedy/Eglinton was pleased to host Randy in April 2010 courtesy of the Toronto Star Speakers Bureau. He arrived at the branch, backpack full of laptop, for our evening program after a full day of his own work.
Our audience was small that night, but Randy didn't mind. He spoke informally to a small group which included 5 teens and a young family. He talked about the places he'd been and the athletes he'd met. They enjoyed his stories and he answered a lot of their questions. It was really quite a nice conversation!
He launched the branch's "Keep Toronto Reading" April events, and made the first entry in that year's "travelling journal" He faithfully put it in his backpack and pledged to leave it on the TTC for others to pick up and share their favourite reads.
The best thing about the evening, however, was a connection Randy made with a precocious young lad who was eager to demonstrate his computer skills. He worked one on one with the child for quite a while, trusting him with the laptop, and was impressed with the boy's enthusiasm and talent. Randy was just so interested in what this child was showing him. And this was after his official program ended.
That, I think, is the treasure of Randy Starkman. He was interested in people, their lives and their journeys. And, I think, he had a real desire to see success in the people he met and the athletes whose lives he covered for the Star. One of those athletes, paddler Adam van Koeverden, this week shared his memories of Randy in the Star.
It is the mandate of a public library to welcome all within its walls. People meet, engage, and create within those walls.The young lad who so engaged Randy that night hasn't been back to the branch for a while. People come and people go, but they often leave a lasting impression on us. The young lad did so, and so did Randy Starkman. That's, to us at the branch, his legacy. He was a great guy who considered his work a vocation. We will think of him at Kennedy/Eglinton with affection and respect. Much respect.