Raoul's China Saloon (V4.0 Beta)

Da Woiks: Links, Library, News and Other Stuff More Useful Than You Are => The Memorial Garden => Topic started by: AMonk on January 13, 2013, 11:33:17 PM

Title: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: AMonk on January 13, 2013, 11:33:17 PM
(http://wonderingmind.com/raoul.jpg)

Yes, HE is gone.  He is now in Heaven.  El Jefe presides now in absentia.



EL Edit - Inserted Pic
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: mlaeux on January 13, 2013, 11:52:12 PM
Even though I only knew him superficially (as a member of this great forum) I have a sinking feeling in my heart. 



...It's sadness.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on January 14, 2013, 01:34:57 AM
No words now.  Will edit this and try to type something adequate to the occasion later.
 ananananan ananananan ananananan ananananan ananananan ananananan
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: dragonsaver on January 14, 2013, 03:44:53 AM
He will be missed.  I am so sad   alalalalal
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: fox on January 14, 2013, 04:41:34 AM
what happened?  Really sad news.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: gengrant on January 14, 2013, 05:13:36 AM
Many great memories and stories to be told about a great man who, underneath a rough exterior, really did care about others in a big way.  I am humbled and honored to have known you, Raoul.

RIP.

 agagagagag

GG
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Just Like Mr Benn on January 14, 2013, 05:29:59 AM
You ran this board with integrity. You enhanced the lives of a lot of people.

Thank you, Raoul.

Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: gonzo on January 14, 2013, 05:34:00 AM
Raoul Duke: There was madness in any direction, at any hour. You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning.

Mutual appreciation of Hunter S Thompson brought Phil and I together. He'd love this outpouring.

Raoul Duke: Look, there's two women fucking a polar bear!
Dr. Gonzo: Don't tell me these things. Not now man.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: The Local Dialect on January 14, 2013, 05:46:13 AM
I don't really know that I can be eloquent right now but Raoul was a cherished friend and he'll be sorely missed.

Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Ruth on January 14, 2013, 08:23:22 AM
Too soon for there to be another thread in the Memorial Garden.

Raoul, I can't believe you are gone, but I take comfort that you are in a better place. Thank you for being one of the founding members of the Saloon and for working so hard to make it such a great place. You have left a legacy that I hope continues for many more years.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: old34 on January 14, 2013, 08:42:15 AM
RIP
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: BrandeX on January 14, 2013, 12:19:49 PM
A very terrible thing to happen...
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Con ate dog on January 14, 2013, 01:47:59 PM
What EL said.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: zero on January 14, 2013, 04:18:04 PM
This is terrible! Everything about him exuded wisdom and kindness.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Granny Mae on January 14, 2013, 08:33:07 PM
Thank you Raoul for all that you gave to us. I too am lost for words. alalalalal
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Papillon on January 15, 2013, 12:29:59 AM

Such sad news. My thoughts are with his family.

I own him so much for the help & advice he gave me here. He really was a gentleman.

RIP
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: eggcluck on January 15, 2013, 08:01:18 AM
So long comrade, thanks for all the fish.

Wish I had of found this forum ealier, would have helped me avoid my current predicament. Though it has given me enough to know there is somethig better out there and I just need to hang on long enough to find an oppurtunity.

Thanks man.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: kitano on January 15, 2013, 12:35:00 PM
Still a bit in shock to be honest. Even though I didn't know the guy personally, it would feel strange to talk about teaching or traffic or something
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: teleplayer on January 16, 2013, 03:54:20 AM
http://chinateachers.proboards.com/index.cgi (http://chinateachers.proboards.com/index.cgi)
Where he first brought so many of us into the family that has now grown so large. The caption there kinda' says it all.
You'll be missed Laoban. 再见
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Kabbalistic on January 16, 2013, 04:20:03 AM
Shocking news! R.I.P, Duke!  ananananan
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Just Like Mr Benn on January 16, 2013, 05:12:45 AM
Totally agree with not building a personality cult. I think as the site continues without Raoul it will be a great testament to what he did.

But, even though I, in any logical sense, didn't know the guy, I will certainly miss his influence and I'd like to chuck out a few of my favourite of his quotes.

"One trick you might try: Make some very proud statements that everyone will know is wrong, e.g. "Paper was invented in America, by a man named Jonathan Pape!". This might get some students arguing with you, and therefore speaking English despite themselves."

"This seems to be the Unwritten Rule of Moon Cakes: The less you like them, the more of them you are likely to receive."
I must admit. I found these looking for a quote that was realy helpful to me, in relation to Chinese students;

"No, trying to do things right here only pisses them off. They certainly can't make many moneys or get impressive-looking "degree" certificate if you go and do a fool thing like that. We're "teaching the pigs to sing"...it wastes our times and it annoys the pigs."
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: fullricebowl on January 16, 2013, 07:11:55 AM
Couldn't believe it when I saw his picture when I logged in.  Although I never knew him personally and only had a superficial understanding of things he was going through in the states, it was still a real shock to see that he'd passed. So much of the atmosphere and wit on the saloon came from him- I hope his influence will continue to live on with this website.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: carryann on January 16, 2013, 09:23:05 AM
This is very sad news; my condolences to his family, his children and his friends. I had the pleasure of knowing, working and drinking with Phil (and some others on this board), albeit briefly, a while back in Suzhou. My China days are long gone, and I haven’t posted on this board for several years but my unhealthy addiction to (lurking on) this board is due in no small part to the larger than life presence of Raoul.  He was lots of things but mostly I’ll remember him as a generous and gentle soul with a razor sharp wit and a brain the size of an aircraft hangar.  bjbjbjbjbj
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: George on January 16, 2013, 11:53:39 PM
At Suzhou Zoo with Hope.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v112/gingermeggs/008-3.jpg)
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: decurso on January 17, 2013, 07:07:05 AM
I've heard a lot of people say they "only" knew Raoul from the Saloon. If that's the only way you knew him, you knew the real man. Who he was here is who he was in real life. There was nothing fake about him, and he put every bit of himself into this place.

 He gave me (and countless others) quite a bit of help over the years. No question was too stupid and no problem was too small. I often referred to him as "the finest person I've never met".

 I DID finally meet Raoul over the 2008 Winter holiday. I made the trek from Beijing to Suzhou to see him and Con...and got caught in the worst blizzard the country had seen in over 40 years. It was a special experience. We spent a fine night at Casa Raoul helping Phil pick songs for his DJ gig at The Shamrock's Valentines Day party. As we sat there having a lot of laughs (and checking in on the catastrophic weather conditions  around southern China)I thought to myself, "It's so weird. I feel like I've known these guys for years". But it wasn't really weird at all. I HAD known them for years. It was just the first time we'd met in person.

 I saw Phil again at impromptu Saloon gathering in Dongguan later that year. Even then, he was showing visible signs of the health problems that mostly likely shortened his life, but he didn't let it dampen his spirits. Despite being on an errand with the wife (who did NOT want to make a detour) and nearly going into diabetic shock, he made the trip over from Guangzhou to see his friends. And despite the myriad of health and personal problems he was contending with, he seemed genuinely happy just to be spending some time in the company of friends.

 I'll miss you, big guy.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: becster79 on January 17, 2013, 10:51:44 PM
Decurso, that's exactly how I felt when I met the mob in Suzhou! I was nervous after only knowing everyone online but no reason to be  agagagagag
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: asobowale on January 18, 2013, 03:20:41 AM
RIP Raoul!
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: piglet on January 21, 2013, 02:21:16 PM
Thanks for that DeCurso I also felt sad not to have met him in person but as you say his online persona was so great,so much encouragement and help to newbies so you felt secure and could ask ANY stupid little question here without fear of ridicule.
That is what makes the Saloon so comfortable for all of us.
RIP Raoul
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: solongtinik on January 22, 2013, 01:50:38 PM
i still think of him...
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Day Dreamer on January 22, 2013, 03:21:58 PM
Wow, totally in shock.   aoaoaoaoao

I haven't been on board much lately, but that doesn't take away all that El Jaffe and the Saloon has done for me. I've been here almost 5 years and I owe a lot of my success to Raoul and many of the members here.   bjbjbjbjbj

One last pint raised   :alcoholic:
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: scotto858 on January 27, 2013, 07:35:10 PM
I feel like I missed out.

I hope the long term members of this forum keep the spirit going.


To Raoul and the forum   agagagagag
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Paul on January 31, 2013, 02:10:11 PM

Mutual appreciation of Hunter S Thompson brought Phil and I together. He'd love this outpouring.

He's probably have corrected your grammar though (-:


I don't post much - but I read here often.
I doubt it will continue to be the same.  The moderators are not Raoul.  They are good, but their personalities and beliefs are different.

So, goodbye to you, Raoul, and goodbye to all!
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Ruth on February 02, 2013, 04:37:15 AM

He's probably have corrected your grammar
He'd

By "good bye" do you mean you won't be dropping in here? Others have said it and I agree, the best way to remember Phil is to work hard to keep this place going.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: gonzo on February 02, 2013, 06:28:58 AM

Mutual appreciation of Hunter S Thompson brought Phil and I together. He'd love this outpouring.

He's probably have corrected your grammar though (-:

Possibly. He'd certainly have corrected yours!
Cheers Ruth.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Larry Paradine on February 07, 2013, 06:12:01 AM
This is a beautiful morning, or it was:  sunshine pouring through my window, a feeling that at last the darkest days of winter have passed;  even my Internet provider seems to have got its act together after depriving me of access to the web for a week.  What better way to celebrate renewed admission to the cyber world than to log in to the China saloon, which I haven't visited recently?  Now I feel plunged back into solsticial gloom.

I never met Raoul personally and can't even claim to have known him "virtually" in the sense of frequent exchanges through the medium of the forum, so I shan't try to add another tribute to the many that have already been paid, but I'd just like to express my appreciation of what he did.  His photo shows him to have been a big man (unlike the Doonesbury cartoon character in his profile) and that accords with the feeling I had of him being a larger than life character.  His posts and replies to the posts of others were sometimes ascerbic but always balanced and objective, as well as being entertaining.  If I have a personal reason to be grateful to him, it's because he was generous enough to bestow the honourable title of barfly on a mere gadfly like myself, and broadminded enough not to deprive me of that distinction when I failed to live up to expectations by not buzzing around the bar very often.  RIP Raoul Duke! (And good luck to those who have the heavy burden of running the China Saloon without you)!
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on February 09, 2013, 03:44:10 PM
I just logged on for the first time in a while and I certainly wasn't expecting this upsetting news  ananananan

RIP Raoul. I'll always remember you for the help you gave me when I first joined. You are a legend and your legacy will always live on to help those who live in the Big Silly.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Paul on February 14, 2013, 12:05:26 PM

Mutual appreciation of Hunter S Thompson brought Phil and I together. He'd love this outpouring.

He's probably have corrected your grammar though (-:

Possibly. He'd certainly have corrected yours!
Cheers Ruth.







Don't let humour and irany get fergotten in times of sadness.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: George on February 14, 2013, 06:07:41 PM
Quote
and irany get fergotten
Speaking of irony....... ahahahahah ahahahahah
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Slim Pickens on February 18, 2013, 02:34:52 PM
Very upsetting news.  I always regretted never making the bus ride to Suzhou ten years ago to a bar that felt like the centre of the sinoverse.  I will never have the chance now to buy him a beer and say, 'Thank you.'

As 'My Turn Now' he was funny and stood out at that other website, as 'Raoul' he created his own website that, for me, made life in China that little bit more bearable and understandable.   

Raoul once wrote, 'One of the hardest and saddest things about being a long-term expat in China is that it's such a transient existence. Key businesses shut down or turn to shit. Good folks pack up their tent and go back to Old Country. There's always new stuff coming down the pipe, of course, but it's hard to avoid missing the old people and places.'

I cannot help thinking that this is well and truly the end of an era.  Raoul's website was an umbilical cord to my China past. It really is a transient existence, but when I remember China, I also remember Raoul, and as long as I am able to do that, Raoul F. Duke lives.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: MK on February 19, 2013, 01:50:27 AM
Wow, verity, that should be another quote for the hall of fame.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Noel on February 21, 2013, 03:49:26 AM
Gān bēi Raoul! Big heart for a big man. Rest easy and thanks for all the support.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Tai_Li on February 21, 2013, 03:51:07 AM
Wow, just got the email this morning and I'm still a little shocked. I only knew Raoul from the forums, but what he created here was something that I (and a lot of other expats) could never repay him for. His humor, his kindness, and his desire to help others will be sorely missed.

This message board is a testament to that, and I get the feeling it won't be going anywhere for a long time.

RIP Raoul
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: mkate on February 21, 2013, 05:36:20 AM
Despite only 'knowing' Raoul via "Raoul's China Saloon" I feel this loss quite distinctly in a small part of me, but more broadly as a larger part of the world. Without him, this saloon, and the others (Granny Mae mostly) my first 6 months of China would have left me desperate, jaded and beaten. It was this place, and all you guys on it, that helped me move from struggling to flourishing and leave China a better stronger person.

Raoul, and the rest - thank you. What a wickedly brilliant legacy to leave behind. Not many can say they have helped (in various often humorously wicked ways) thousands of people, but Raoul can.

Rest in peace homie.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Tuco on February 21, 2013, 12:22:30 PM
Dear Bro

go in peace man. Thanks for all you did for us laowais here and elsewhere.

your insights and advice you gave to me was so very helpful when I had no clue what was happening.

this website will go on and will ring with your presence forever.

you will be missed

he ping
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Wags on February 21, 2013, 02:03:11 PM
I've been absent from the forum in quite a while but my absence pales in significance to that of the big man.  ananananan

In the short while I knew the big guy he demonstrated a compassion and dedication to those whom he considered to be extended, extended family rarely seen in these times. To read this very sad news today really has thrown me off kilter. My thoughts are with your family and loved ones mate, it's been a rough ride for them. Tonight I raised my glass to fond memories of visits to Suzhou, even fond memories of being somewhat stuck there without a return train or passport during spring festival. At that time I was worried about how I'd get home but it did afford me a longer time to spend with the fine man.  agagagagag

To Con, Nolefan and the rest of the Mod crew: A tip of my hat and heartiest regards. An irreplaceable part has gone. It's up to you to see this place right and I worry little. Condolences to you all, his legacy is in good hands. A sad day indeed.   
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Mr Nobody on February 21, 2013, 05:36:19 PM
From a generated Swine:

Too many people are gnawing on doorknobs. Probably because the light bulbs are too low in wattage.

(Hunter S Thompson reference)

Raoul, we argued and we disagreed, but in all I always respected you, especially your writing. And I think we had fun together. At least, I did.

Farewell, my friend.

The world is emptier for your passing, and has been improved by your passing through it.

More than this cannot be said of any man.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on February 21, 2013, 11:53:03 PM
Back in 2010, Raoul felt that his health was slipping.  I decided he could use a little Lunatic motivation to keep on keeping on, so sent him this:

Subject: A very special Top 10 List
Sent to: Raoul on December 17, 2010

Just in case you happen to find yourself in need of a reason to keep breathing, I've got 10 good ones for you! agagagagag


10. Nole's China Saloon just doesn't quite have the same ring to it. kkkkkkkkkk

9. You'll be memorialized at the Saloon with a monthly Yodeling night.  aaaaaaaaaa

8. Dave's ESL Cafe would take advantage of the situation by adding beer to their menu. asasasasas

7. Your passing would be one less person keeping the Kanuckistanis in check. bababababa bmbmbmbmbm

6. You'll miss either seeing the world end in 2012 ababababab or getting to laugh at all the people who are expecting it to end. pppppppppp

5. I would be the only one left to carry the banner for World Standard English (TM, Pat. Pending). yyyyyyyyyy blblblblbl

4. All the new massage girls in SZ would miss out on getting a chance to give a happy ending to the legendary Raoul. afafafafaf

3. I would be one step closer to seizing power. hhhhhhhhhh

2. Your eternal vigilance is all that stands between us and an unstoppable army of Lotus Eater sock puppets. aoaoaoaoao

1. Yoko Ono has already agreed to sing at your funeral.

 aaaaaaaaaa aoaoaoaoao aaaaaaaaaa aoaoaoaoao aaaaaaaaaa aoaoaoaoao


Sadly, the worst has happened.  Everyone, please grab a set of noise cancelling headphones out of that box and get them turned on.  Yoko has arrived and will be starting to sing any minute now.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: roadwalker on February 22, 2013, 03:04:36 PM
Just got back from a not-that-special holiday and decided to check in.   kkkkkkkkkk  Life kinda sucks sometimes. But we will only remain as the affect we have on others during our lives.  Raoul didn't save my life or anything, but I enjoyed his writing and advice.  Others were closer to the man/virtual man and I offer my condolences.  We could all aspire to have a similar impact on our friends and families.  RIP
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Cassnadra on March 03, 2013, 08:51:17 AM
I haven't checked in here for ages and just read the sad news.  Rest in peace Raoul!  agagagagag
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: china-matt on March 05, 2013, 05:31:40 AM
I've been absent from the site for far too long. I saw this announcement on facebook a while ago. Sad news. I'm disappointed I never got to meet him. He was very supportive of the China expat community and everyone here.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: enjoi on May 11, 2013, 12:35:15 PM
Anyone know if he posted on the Rogan board at all? I was skimming through the China thread and saw a post by a dude named 'Raoul's drink'. Here's the thread: http://forums.joerogan.net/showthread.php?t=112527&page=8
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Granny Mae on May 24, 2013, 09:51:17 PM
It's Saturday 25th May here in Australia and I will think of Raoul today whilst I'm at "the den". I'll raise a glass and say "here's to you Raoul on your 56th Birthday"! agagagagag
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on May 25, 2013, 02:21:42 AM
Happy B-Day Raoul!  Have a cold one, on George's tab of course. agagagagag

We all miss you.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Guangzhou Writer on May 25, 2013, 03:06:45 AM
Anyone know if he posted on the Rogan board at all? I was skimming through the China thread and saw a post by a dude named 'Raoul's drink'. Here's the thread: http://forums.joerogan.net/showthread.php?t=112527&page=8
Seems to need membership to access. Maybe you can post some part of it here?
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: AMonk on May 25, 2013, 07:38:18 PM
Missing your wit and wisdom, Jefe kkkkkkkkkk
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Granny Mae on May 25, 2013, 10:39:47 PM
Went upstairs for lunch at the "Den" (Casino) and raised a glass to the Boss. agagagagag Had about 10 mins to put in my name for the draw, so got up to do that before the mob got in. Guess whose name was called out of the whole Casino of patrons.... :candyraver: :dancemj:  I like to think that the Boss had a hand in Granny being given A$2000. bfbfbfbfbf
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: dragonsaver on May 26, 2013, 01:17:09 AM
Yes I think he is watching over us to make sure we behave.   bjbjbjbjbj

     
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: BamBam on May 29, 2013, 06:12:45 AM
I miss him! Phil (Raoul) touched so many lives.  He was so generous, unselfish, and kind.  He was always available when needed.  His and the Saloon's help when I was making my move to China was invaluable.  Then he and the other Suzhou Saloonies laid out the welcome mat when I arrived.  While I lived in Suzhou, we became close, shared many good times, and I would like to think that we were very good friends. Last year was the last time I spoke with him.  I was home in Texas and he was in Oklahoma.  We planned a fishing trip that never materialized.  Oh how I regret not making the time to go up and meet him.  What I would give to see him one more time and let him know what he meant to me and the hundreds of others in and out of the Saloon. Rest in Peace and we will see you again.

Hello to all.  I haven't been on the Saloon for a couple of years.  This is his legacy, and I am happy to see that it is still going strong.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: gonzo on October 27, 2013, 05:19:32 AM
I had a look at Phil's postings on The Photo thread: shots he took around Suzhou that he loved so much. He found happiness there-I remember it well in 2002-then lost it again. I remember that as well, Shanghai.
Thinking of you on the 10th anniversary of The Saloon coming up, old mate.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Granny Mae on January 13, 2014, 10:46:34 PM
It is 14th January here in Oz and I'm off to "the den". I'll think about Raoul today and will raise my glass to a man I never got to meet in person, but a man who had a strange impact on my life. agagagagag I reckon if he was able to be with me at "the den", he would smile and say something like "Granny Mae, If we didn't go outside, I would think that we were in China". ahahahahah
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: The Local Dialect on January 14, 2014, 05:40:38 AM
One year on and we still miss you RD.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: gonzo on January 14, 2014, 05:56:07 AM
One year on and we still miss you RD.
I check here daily and still still see my old mate Phil. Larger than life, great man and character.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on January 14, 2014, 06:53:31 AM
Words cannot begin to express the impact this place has had on my life.  Without it, I'd have either been eaten by a skilled recruiter (unlike the unskilled recruiter wanna-be I got) or wouldn't even have ended up in China at all. aqaqaqaqaq

Thanks to Raoul, I have lovely angels as friends.  I married one of them ajajajajaj and a got a beautiful daughter ajajajajaj ajajajajaj as a bonus.  I live in a great village on the edge of a what for China is a medium city (freaking HUGE by Usanian standards).

El Hefe, your seat at the bar is always kept warm and your glass is always kept full. agagagagag



P.S.  Please let us know when you get around to reincarnating.  We need your help collecting George's bar tab. ahahahahah
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: dragonsaver on January 14, 2014, 01:43:12 PM
Miss you   akakakakak
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Tree on February 12, 2014, 03:10:01 PM
Raoul, my wife and I just had some fun looking through all the pictures you posted upstairs - we would have had some epic times together brother!

Thank you for the site and community.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: piglet on February 12, 2014, 06:35:59 PM
Never met you Phil but this place is home for so many of us.Without the Saloon we would never have made it.  bjbjbjbjbj
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Granny Mae on May 24, 2014, 10:58:55 PM
Happy 57th Birthday Raoul!  agagagagag agagagagag
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Sir Fudge Loving on May 25, 2014, 10:45:23 PM
I remember when I find out my friend had died, but not much else that I could articulate. It took a while. I wanted what I had to say to make sense, to make sense to me, to you, to him, and to all who have struggled in China trying to make sense of life and themselves. It is my hope that this is it.

I met Phil  through my angst driven—funny  at times (I think)—blog of “The Laowai Monologues.”  He was always supportive of even my worst times, and yes, they were embarrassing as raw and as visceral as they could be, postings.
 
Such allegiance, support, and loyalty from someone I had never ever met meant volumes to me, an American trying to make sense of Chinese culture in a remote city. He was someone who not only made supportive comments, but kept in close touch with emails.  For you see, where I was in China, wasn’t particularly attractive to most foreign teachers. However, Phil stood by me through thick and thin. I’ve never had such a relationship with someone like that before. It meant a lot during the daily barrage of “Hellos” and stares, and other things that can exceed understanding in a western mindset. I had faults, I made screw ups, I had regrets, but Phil, no matter, what stood by  me.

I’m not going into any of the specifics that happened during my trials, tribulations, and joys of teaching where I was in China.  You can read that in the school’s review.

I can tell you this man had a heart and certainly was articulate enough to endear him to many of us working in China.
Phil had his faults; hell, that goes with the program of teaching in China I think. If you’re teaching in China, it can be a struggle and on the worst China days, your shortcomings and faults can seep out.  It happens, so please save the holier than thou we are global representative’s schlock.

Phil stepped up to the plate and went to bat for me in more than one time of particularly stupidly dangerous episodes I found myself in.
Regardless, I loved him, I love him now, and will love him forever.

I didn’t actually meet Phil until during a Spring Festival holiday when he allowed me to stay in his apartment, and I met some of you at that time there.  I had a blast.

He was big, big hearted as hell, and a lot of fun just to bullshit with. My last six months I spent in Suzhou, and I saw Phil occasionally. We shared our books, we discussed literature, music, and just life in China.  We met in restaurants, and drank.

One time we were drinking some Chinese brandy, and we looking out the window of his bedroom overlooking the street. It was dusk. It was the last time I saw him. I can remember the conversation was about the difference between westerners and Chinese, and what was good and bad about it. 

When he returned to the states I still kept it touch with him through emails. I know he wasn’t in the best health, but damn, he was a good guy with faults like all of us; the difference I think is that it was his heart that was exceedingly blessed and sanctified….like sacred relics.

If the afterlife is defined by people who help those in the worst circumstances, I feel, I sense, and I know that Phil Stephens is living large in paradise, and prayers are hitting God like Psalms that would make David look like a rank amateur hack writer.

I miss him so much.

Thanks for reading this.

Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Granny Mae on May 26, 2014, 11:36:54 PM
Thanks for sharing Sir Fudge Loving! It helps build a picture of the man that most of us never got to meet.  agagagagag
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: eggcluck on September 07, 2014, 01:42:45 PM
This seems a fitting place to post this. While during a summer job I was talking to a co-worker. Turns out Raoul was his teacher at university and seems to have left a lasting impression on the guy, needless to say he was unaware of Raoul's passing.

But it does go to show even in a place with standards as questionable as China you can still leave a mark somewhere.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: El Macho on September 15, 2014, 01:06:11 AM
Nice story!  bfbfbfbfbf Always great to hear that a teacher has made a difference.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Con ate dog on October 28, 2014, 06:53:51 AM
Glad to read your post, Eggcluck. FB's friend suggestions occasionally offer up the Raoul Duke page (I had my FB account wiped a year ago, and of course Phil isn't around to friend me). It happened the other day; I felt a punch in the stomach of course, then had a fond flood of memories all week.

I miss him. I always will.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Granny Mae on January 13, 2015, 10:32:13 PM
It is 14th January in Oz and I think about Raoul. I know that this will probably sound strange, but did Raoul actually pass away in the morning of 14th, or did he pass away in the evening of 13th?
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: AMonk on January 14, 2015, 10:49:41 AM
Grannie, this was posted on Raoul's FaceBook account on 13 January, 2013.  So, he actually died on the evening of 12th January in USA.  That "translates" to early-morning of 13th for PRC and Australia.

"I am a niece of Phil and I regret to inform you that Phil Stephens passed away last nite. Rest in peace my dear uncle."
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Granny Mae on January 14, 2015, 11:18:39 PM
Thanks AMonk, I thought that I may have been a day out. I guess many of us think about Raoul. It is hard to believe that two years have passed since we lost him. ananananan
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Nolefan on January 15, 2015, 10:12:59 AM
we will never lose him fully.. his spirit carries on.
I wish i could know how is baby was faring.... but have absolutely no contact with her or her mom.  ananananan ananananan
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: gonzo on January 16, 2015, 01:51:37 AM
Ironic, or coincidental. Raoul and I were good friends in Shanghai.....my birthday was his last day.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on January 16, 2015, 08:48:34 AM
we will never lose him fully.. his spirit carries on.

His spirit, and the spirits behind the bar.  Here's one for you Raoul! agagagagag
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Tree on January 17, 2015, 10:46:20 AM
Thanks again, Raoul.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on May 25, 2015, 07:35:51 AM
Happy B-Day, El Hefe. agagagagag
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Granny Mae on May 25, 2015, 11:10:05 PM
Happy Birthday for yesterday Raoul! I did remember yesterday, but I had a pain in the a**e to deal with. I even wondered if I'd be catching up with you at your Birthday party. agagagagag
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on November 13, 2015, 12:07:05 PM
Pretty sure Phil would have known all about Motown, and probably Northern Soul. Listening around to it as I am right now, I'm reminded from time to time of the man.  agagagagag
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Nolefan on November 16, 2015, 03:00:33 PM
Pretty sure Phil would have known all about Motown, and probably Northern Soul. Listening around to it as I am right now, I'm reminded from time to time of the man.  agagagagag

he was a closet motown fan... but his heart was all bollywood.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: babala on December 25, 2015, 04:44:06 AM
Christmas always makes me think of Phil. He loved this time of year. He was always organizing a big dinner (and used to get pissed at me because I hate big dinners and would opt for Japanese). We would have a huge party at the Shamrock and Phil will DJ.

Merry Christmas Phil agagagagag
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Granny Mae on January 13, 2016, 10:57:44 PM
January 13th has passed; I keep thinking that Raoul passed away on 14th by Aussie time.  Three years have passed so quickly. Here's to you Raoul! agagagagag
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Nolefan on January 14, 2016, 03:39:13 PM
he's still missed.... the big guy is probably throwing one hell of a Bollywood party up in the skies.
Miss ya brother!
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Granny Mae on May 24, 2016, 09:32:47 PM
Happy Birthday Raoul! cecececece  agagagagag We miss you.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on May 24, 2016, 11:23:23 PM
Here's a round of the special baijiu for you. jjjjjjjjjj

I hope they've got good hangover cures in the afterlife. ahahahahah
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: AMonk on May 25, 2016, 09:10:17 AM
God bless, El Jefe agagagagag Happy Birthday cecececece
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Nolefan on May 25, 2016, 06:39:22 PM
just opened up a bottle of Tequila in his honor/memory...

miss ya brother!
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Granny Mae on January 12, 2017, 10:35:48 PM
Believe it or not, but it is "black Friday" January 13th here in Oz.  Four years have also passed since we lost you Raoul. alalalalal
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Granny Mae on May 24, 2017, 11:10:32 PM
Happy Birthday Raoul! agagagagag You can invite Roger to your party tonight. cecececece
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on May 25, 2017, 07:56:33 AM
Happy 60th!

I found a 60 year old bottle of something in the shed out back.  Might be baijiu, might be something else.  Either way, Ganbei! agagagagag
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Granny Mae on January 13, 2018, 10:07:58 PM
  I'm a day late,but It was five years yesterday since we lost Raoul! ananananan
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Granny Mae on May 24, 2018, 09:35:49 PM
Happy Birthday Raoul! agagagagag cecececece
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on May 25, 2018, 06:30:39 AM
Happy B-Day El Hefe! agagagagag agagagagag agagagagag
 cecececece
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on July 02, 2018, 08:07:05 AM
For years, I've been stalking the next person above me in the post totals.  One by one, the most active member post totals fell before my onslaught of silliness.  Each time, it was something of a personal victory.

A few years ago, there was only one person left to pass, our glorious leader Raoul.  This post will push my total post count above his.

If only El Hefe were still with us.  Then he'd have still been posting, I'd have had more to reply to, and we might have even passed 10k or 11k posts together before I finally secured my spot as the #1 poster at the Saloon.

I have my victory, but under the circumstances it comes with a big large side-dish of sadness. ananananan

Raoul, I miss you.
Title: Re: Raoul F. Duke
Post by: Granny Mae on July 02, 2018, 10:02:53 PM
Congratulations on that milestone EL! agagagagag It certainly comes with a side dish of sadness. Raoul would be happy that you play a very large part in keeping the Saloon going. bjbjbjbjbj