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Author Topic: Raoul F. Duke  (Read 29671 times)

The Local Dialect

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Re: Raoul F. Duke
« Reply #60 on: January 14, 2014, 05:40:38 AM »
One year on and we still miss you RD.

gonzo

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Re: Raoul F. Duke
« Reply #61 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.
RIP Phil Stephens.
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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: Raoul F. Duke
« Reply #62 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
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dragonsaver

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Re: Raoul F. Duke
« Reply #63 on: January 14, 2014, 01:43:12 PM »
Miss you   akakakakak
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Tree

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Re: Raoul F. Duke
« Reply #64 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.
The greatest and most important problems of life are all in a certain sense insoluble. They can never be solved, but only outgrown.
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piglet

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Re: Raoul F. Duke
« Reply #65 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
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Granny Mae

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Re: Raoul F. Duke
« Reply #66 on: May 24, 2014, 10:58:55 PM »
Happy 57th Birthday Raoul!  agagagagag agagagagag

Sir Fudge Loving

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Re: Raoul F. Duke
« Reply #67 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.

Are you packin'?

Granny Mae

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Re: Raoul F. Duke
« Reply #68 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

eggcluck

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Re: Raoul F. Duke
« Reply #69 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.
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El Macho

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Re: Raoul F. Duke
« Reply #70 on: September 15, 2014, 01:06:11 AM »
Nice story!  bfbfbfbfbf Always great to hear that a teacher has made a difference.

Con ate dog

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Re: Raoul F. Duke
« Reply #71 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.
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Granny Mae

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Re: Raoul F. Duke
« Reply #72 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?

AMonk

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Re: Raoul F. Duke
« Reply #73 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."
Moderation....in most things...

Granny Mae

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Re: Raoul F. Duke
« Reply #74 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