Memorial for Carl Smith

**Carlton Daniel Smith (Carl)**

Carl Smith

**You are invited to join in a celebration of Carl’s life**

Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Universalist Unitarian Church
5500 Inglis Street, Halifax
7pm to 9pm

Anyone who knew Carl knows that he loved life. He loved laughter, music and the company of his friends and family. Please join us, not with sorrow, but with joy to celebrate a life like no other. If you have photos or stories you would like to share, please bring them.

Black only as a fashion statement. Bright colours and Hawaiian shirts strongly encouraged.

For more information, please email

38 Responses to “Memorial for Carl Smith”

  1. Nan Frayle Says:

    I am a total stranger but was very moved by the obituary in the paper today. Such is the way I would like to be remembered, not only with sadness but in a manner that reflects one’s life. I am sure Carl would approve. Please accept my condolences.

    Nan Frayle

  2. Patrick Says:

    Thanks Nan, the kindness of total strangers has been amazing through all this. I have sent a copy your message to Fiona, she will be very grateful for your kind thoughts.

  3. Betty Ann DeWitt Says:

    I also have never met Carl but on reading the obituary today I was moved to leave my condolences .No… not condolences! Congratulations.. on having a man such a Carl in your lives. It is obvious from the obituary that he was a man of great life and love. There needs to be many more Carls in the world. Please accept my deepest regrets on his passing and my deepest regards for his living. This is a message to all you out there. Find yourself a Carl and hang on while you can, life is short.

  4. Janet Says:

    I too never met Carl but was touched by his obituary.We should all live our lives as Carl has.May wonderful memories of him comfort you at this time.PS Carl and I shared the same birthday.

  5. Erin Says:

    Like the above well-wishers, I did not know Carl. His obit had me smiling and even laughing out loud where it mentioned his “student status” over and over. He sounds like a wonderful person. I’m sure you have countless happy memories to call upon during this hard time. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  6. troyandthegang Says:

    Although our friendship was much like Carl…short (insert laughter now), he will be missed by staff and customers alike. The guys from ELI made a great impression on us and the music scene here in the Valley.

    Gone, but not forgotten. Carl will remain “Live at The Spitfire Arms”.

    Troy Kirkby, Publican
    The Spitfire Arms Alehouse

  7. Selena Henderson Says:

    Like many of the others, I did not know Carl; but I was so moved by his obituary today in the paper. What a wonderful tribute to who I am sure was a wonderful person. He continues to inspire. Please accept my condolences.

  8. Tobey MacKenzie Says:

    Like almost everyone above, I too read today’s tribute to Carl. I alomost never read the Herald, let alone the obituaries, but for whatever reason today I did. I read and reread the loving message. I couldn’t cry only because it was so positive. I cut it out and relayed it to several friends adding that it was the sort of legacy that I would like to leave. I didn’t know Carl, but as strange as it may sound, I believe he’s changed my outlook on life. I’ll keep this obituary, like I do others who’ve “left the Building” and also had an impact on my life. He must have been a wonderful person and how great is it that even in death he is still inspiring so many people. His memory will most definitely live on. Thank you for sharing your loved one and my sincere condolences.


  9. Tracey Says:

    I did know Carl. Many years ago. Reading his life tribute is just one more reason to celebrate such a life.

  10. Rob Proctor Says:

    I first met Carl at the Saint Marys radio station,some time back in the eighties and later worked with him as a dj at the infamous lighthouse tavern.I will always remember his dry wit and great sense of humor.He lived his life by his convictions and enjoyed it.His family Fiona and Patrick were his first priorities.I’m gonna miss the “little bastard”.Right now he is probably pestering Jim Morrison for a jam.I will be attending tuesday and look forward to meeting some old friends.

  11. Sandi/Ashton/Evan Says:

    I knew and worked with Carl in his DJ faze. The obituary says it all. Quite the funny fella he was. Have a great time up there Carl. You’ve already touched people you never met. Keep up the good work.

  12. Francis Says:

    Like a number of other here, I didn’t know Carl, but like the others I guess the obit made me think that we would have liked to have come across him in this walk.

    Some lives are short; some lives are long. Certainly we cling to quantity when the true measure when it’s over is really quality. Carl seems to have made an impression on many and achieved his own kind of quality.

    My condolences to the family and friends, it’s still a loss, but I guess condolences to the rest of us who realize we may have missed out.

  13. Bob Sanderson Says:

    I have known Carl for many many years. I have just read his obiturary and I can say,,,, THAT is Carl. It made me smile and think back to many many enjoyable times with Carl and all our gang from Moncton High School. I remember his taste in music was very wide and varied.

    His column (I wont call it an obituary) was very much the way Carl was with his friends. How anyone can cram as much living in his abbreviated life, I dont know…

    He was my very good friend and we will miss him… I will look upwards and say hi to him many times.

    He has made many people smile in his time here… we are very thankful to have known him.

    Sleep well, good buddy. I’m sure you will be playing bass in heaven, there is always room for another one at the jam session.

    Bob Sanderson

  14. David Cox Says:

    I was engrossed in the creative and upbeat obituary of a fascinating person, and did not realize until I was most of the way through that I had known Carl, Fiona, and Peter. He really was a remarkable person and a great dad.

  15. Vicky Chapman (Yowie) Says:

    I didn’t know Carl either, but know Fi, his wife, through the cat groups on the internet.

    I’m sure there was great excitememnt at Rainbow Bridge recently as Carl passed through. With a life so filled with joy, music, laughter, love, and vitality, how could one not celebrate? Even in death, he has cheered up so many.

    Purrs to those who will miss him most.


  16. Doug Biggar Says:

    Carl,Carl what have you gone and done?
    You gone and left us…you son of a gun!

    Carl Smith sat in front of me in Mrs. Knapps’ music class at MHS in ‘76. On the first day of that class ( about 20 minutes in ) he promptly turned around to me, a total stranger, and exclaimed “ She walks like she has a saxophone shoved up her ass!”. He instantly became my friend from that point on. Carl stood out in high school, mainly because he was the only one who could grow a full beard in a week (except for Eric Sisk).
    Many good times were had with Carl along with many quotes such as “Run…run , run for your lives!!”(private joke), “Have a merry capitalistic Christmas!” and my favorite “…that’s pretty insightful coming from a chick with fake boobs”
    How many roadtrips with Pierre that we ended up at whatever learning institution that you were presently enrolled at in the middle of the night? Sleeping in the Camaro in the mall parking lot in Antigonish.
    Antagonizing arguments with Bridget over the virtues of having a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. How many jams at Steve McArdles cottage with Chris and the boys. Our permanent table at ‘Your Place’ in Riverview. Your mother calling you “CARLETON!”in that musical way whenever we called you on the phone. Our first band ‘Vanna White and the Lobsters from Hell’, remember that Cairns? Our last bands, You, me and Terry Steeves ‘Dream Sequence’ and ‘Penguin School’. The Windsor Street apartment with all of Hawkeyes lost ‘nudest volleyball’ magazines. The Norman acoustic (which I wanted by the way).

    I can’t make it down for the service Carl, so this blog will just have to suffice.
    At least you didn’t realize your worst fear….to ‘kick off’ sitting on the toilet like Elvis. (Bet you never thought I’d remembered that!)
    Save a spot for me in that ‘Jam in the Sky’, Bud

  17. Ross Edison Says:

    Hi everyone. This is going to be very hard for me. Carl is my cousin. Actually, my Mom’s cousin. He was my friend. I never thought of him as an old guy, or a distant guy, or as one of them. He was genuine. He was real. I hadn’t spoken to Carl in years. Not from spite, not from disagreement, but from neglect. I always assumed that someone so alive and vital would always be there for me. He never walked past, never ignored, never appeared too busy. Carl always said hello. Well, not in so subtle a manner. Carl was real. Carl existed. Carl did. That is what I’m going to miss. That is what I did miss. I’m going to miss you buddy. I really am. Goodbye Friend

  18. Kim Bedard Says:

    WAY COOL! That was the nicest obituary I have ever read (and I’ve read MANY and even written a few)! Like so many others who have written on here, I, a complete stranger to Carl, read and was SO totally moved by his obituary that I cut it out of the paper to read to my friends. Every time I read it, I laugh out loud and in sharing the joy that was Carl, realize what a wonderful sense of humour he must have had. It is clearly obvious how much this man touched the lives of those who knew him and is being celebrated with such a positive, upbeat and humourous message as a final tribute. I wish I had known him, and though I didn’t, even in death he touched my life. His obituary is nothing short of an inspiration, on many levels. I can only hope to someday be celebrated rather than mourned…..fondly remembered, rather than sadly missed. Having experienced myself two deaths in our immediate family this year, my thoughts are with you, Carl’s family and friends. I hope Carl has passed his metaphorical scissors on for someone else to run with……

  19. waddie long Says:

    Where to start. I knew carl way back when. Funny thing, I was just talking about him three weeks ago and trying to discribe him to the rest of the gang. Carl and his sister, Leta, lived in Port Hawkesbury way back in the early 1970’s. My sister actually has a picture of Carl with the rest of the band (his very first band I might add)when he was about 13 or 14 years old. I remember him well. I was saddened when I read his obit but I must say i was quickly cheered up as i continued to read and I can safely say he didn’t change. It was nice to see he kept up with the one true love of his life, music. I still have the original old ‘Garnett’ amp and 4 channel PA system we used for elementary school sock hops. We only knew three songs back then but we played them like pros. Carl and i got into the biz together. We booked dances for the school (everybody loved us for getting them the afternoon off!)we planned our lives and as Carl would always say back then, you gotta practice guys, that’s where it’s at!. I wish I would have found him earlier, who knows how many songs we would have learned? So long for now Carl, I can see you found a great group of friends to live your life with. Write up a song list for me and when I get there we’ll practice cause that’s where it’s at!
    For Leta, I don’t know if you remember me but my prayers are with you.
    Now where’s that Hawaiian drink Carl would want me to have!
    an old friend, waddie

  20. Christopher Martin Says:

    Carl Smith was as unique as his obituary. Quirky, offbeat, definitely not mainstream, but always a friend to those who met him. Whether you knew well or not, you could never forget a character like him. I met Carl through mutual friends while I was at Radio Saint Marys. Old radio 550. Between the station and working on the Journal, I always wondered how he got anything else done. From day one, it was clear, Carl had a voice, and he would be heard. Like a dog with a bone, once Carl had a thought, an opinion or a position he stuck to it, never one to waiver or conform. I always admired that about him. Always passionate about what he took an interest in, his music was always the driving force. Pickin’ unplugged in the Journal office, or putting together a band, it was always about the music.
    Carl Smith may have left the building, but he’ll always be right there in our hearts and minds. Unforgettable.
    Cheers man!

  21. Dan Belliveau Says:

    Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen Carl, but not long on the mind. We went to MHS together, and a bunch of us loved him as only friends can, along with many others with the same sentiments. I finally caught up with one of the gang during the summer, and we reminiced about old times, and as corny as it may sound, Carl kept coming up in the conversation, and even some of it was nice. We were going to try to get the “old” gang together next summer, and I know Carl will be the first one there, and the last to leave. Even though I couldn’t be there, I will be wearing the brightest and gaudiest shirt I have…that’s one for you Carl…I only have one…So, until we meet again, later Dude…

    Dan Belliveau aka Ratsh*t
    Hamilton, ON

  22. diggy Says:

    I also knew Carl from his days in port hawkesbury.He made instant friends with everyone he met.Although he hasn’t been here in over thirty years we still have fond memories of him.So long Carl you will be missed.

  23. Heather Martin Says:

    I met Carl about 20 years ago; a friend of a friend (Bill Swan)whom I met at Saint Mary’s. I saw a fair amount of Carl during those early years, and since then,only on odd occasions. Carl and odd occasions seemed to go together.

    Anytime I met up with Carl after a long period without seeing him, I was quickly reminded that in him I had met my match for dark humour. He was warm and generous and unpretentious. A breath of fresh air with a deep raspy voice.

    My husband and I met Fiona around the time she and Carl married and we mused how amazing it was that two people, each so unique, could somehow find each other. A perfect pairing, we thought.

    A few months ago I came across a proverb that made me smile and think of Carl.

    “A man’s wife is his home”. In Fiona, my husband and I instantly had recognized, Carl had found home and he would be well in this world.

    Good bye Carl

  24. Bill Swan Says:

    Unfortunately, my flight this afternoon was diverted back to Toronto due to weather in Halifax, so I missed Carl’s memorial. I truly wished I could have been their with everyone to share in memories about Carl personally.

    I have to say that I have been moved by the responses to the blog. While I missed out on the official memorial, I hope that I can help to keep this part of the memorial going.

    I first met Carl at the Saint Mary’s Journal (could have been the Gorsebrook – which would explain why I’m not so sure). Carl taught me that everyone had something to say in their own unique way. He was the one who forced me to try writing – ultimately expanding my horizon farther than I could have imagined.

    I hope to see many of you in the future. Keep the cards and letters (and photos) coming folks!

    Go Well Carl …

    Bill Swan

  25. Porcha Says:

    Well i did know Carl and worked with him as well.He was a great DJ always there to get us out of trouble or join us in the trouble we were going to make.I will always remeber his first birthday when a bunch of us took him to a bar called Bird Land.All the girls got together and danced for him.He was always so good to all of us, and he will never be forgot.I know he is looking down smiling with that smile he always had for everyone that he met.You always knew no matter what Carl would be there for you .I will never forget how much it meant to me when i had my little girl and he came in to see me,I was really down and when he came to see me he made me smile something he always knew how to do no matter what.I know your gone Carl but part of you will always live in all of us.You left a mark in everyone that you came across, and you will always be remembered as one of a kind take care up there love you Carl.

  26. Danny Sutherland Says:

    I knew Carl for about 5 years and we became good friends in a very short period of time. For 3 months I gave him bass lessons right on the stage of Bearly’s since no one was there anyway on Mondays. We stopped having lessons when my job started at STFX. He became a good bass player. He was a very soft-hearted person and very fun to hang with. He always made me laugh when he came around even if I had a bad day.I will miss him with all my heart and his lessons on how to live life to the fullest. Take care you half a M. F.

  27. Jack Swan Says:

    The Measure of a Man

    Not, “How did he die?” but “How did he live?”
    Not, “What did he gain?” but “What did he give?”
    These are the units to measure the worth
    Of a man as a man, regardless of birth
    Not, “What was his station?” but “Had he a heart?”
    And “How did he play his God-given part?”
    Was he ever ready with a word of good cheer?
    To bring a smile, to banish a tear?
    Not, “What was his church?” nor “what was his creed?”
    But “Had he befriended those really in need?”
    Not, “What did the sketch in the newspaper say?”
    But “How many were sorry, when he passed away?”


  28. Kelly Marney Says:

    I do wish I had the chance to know him. We have crossed paths for many years but not taken the time to know. My wishes and blessings are with Fiona and Peter. I am here when you wish to go flea marketing again! May we all share the music and laughter when we too cross over.

    Kelly Marney

  29. Dan Says:

    I hesitate to write this.
    Where to begin….

    I’m not sure when or where I first incountered Carl.
    It was a time in my life when change was happening weather I liked it or not. Never the less, Carl Smith entered my life.

    Sometimes friendship is a time of building. At times it is no more than the meeting of two people. In our case I think that two people just meeting was Carl and me.

    I have two older brothers. Peter and Bill. (They felt the allure to Carl before I did.)
    When I first had the chance to see and meet Carl I was a kid just turning 12 or 13…. full of creativity and life, I was sure that music was my calling.
    I watched as Chris, Carl and Aldo ran through versions of “Working Man”, “Alright Now” and ….. 2 or 3 other sets

    As years went by so slowly, I found a connection with Carl (and Chris and Steve) that evolved into the best jam sessions of my life. The musical genius that was experienced by all, (and witnessed by few) was fleeting, never recorded, and burned into my mind for future consideration and examination.

    Never a jam went buy that Carl did not attend during those years.

    Never a day will pass that I will not recall those times or miss my friend that passed on to the big gig in the sky.

    How could I forget….. tuning the guitars at Musicland, discussing the difference between Fender and Gibson, Frank Zappa and The Tubes, why I shouldn’t play with Theresa or Monique, is 108 Db that painful?…..

    Ya all missed out on one of the best people.
    One of the informed political minds.
    A solid journalist.
    A person who NEVER quits.
    A Husband, a Father, A Jammer, A Friend.

    But for the sake of of the story, I digress.

    Missed but remembered often….. sorry we drifted apart. I understand why now.

    Dan Ross

  30. Kevin Cairns Says:

    I miss my friend, not for the things we did, not for the places we went, but because of the things we meant to each other. There were always things you could count on with Carl, he would be your best friend if you let him.
    Since 1979 Carl and I were friends, we had many beers, chased many woman ( you know who you are) and we played a lot of music.
    We shared friends and experiences and today my life is better for having known him.
    I remember going over to his place to watch movies with him and his dad, drinking beer smoking cigarettes and having a great time.
    Closing down the little rock tavern and staggering off.
    A lot of fond memories and good times that I will remember and pass on for the rest of my days.

  31. Terry Boudreau Says:

    Although running with metaphysical scissors in hand was something Carl did regularly, no doubt to challenge what others claimed he should or shouldn’t do, I remember something else as well. The use of his personal metaphysical bullshit scalpel, which he brandished with a surgeon’s skill. Slicing through the layers to help others become aware of what lay beneath things that some of us, with lesser insight than he had, sometimes accepted as truths.

    The last couple of times that we saw each other, he made it a point to thank me for introducing him to two bands he had not at the time heard of, Spirit and KISS. That introduction obviously came a long time ago, in dad’s basement in Moncton where he, my brother Chris, Aldo and the Ross brothers were hanging out and jamming. Those were good days, watching him pluck the strings on his bass, his passion and talent for playing obvious even to me, and I have about as much musical talent as a chocolate cake.

    One of the things we did have in common was a commitment to our view of politics, what kind of society we can and should be living in. It’s not something that we really talked about, we hardly saw each other after he moved to Halifax, but he and I made contributions in the same political direction. For that I say a belated thanks, Carl, from that perspective we truly are kindred spirits.

    Carl may have left the building, but his bass, his laughter and his footfalls will echo between these walls forever.

    Terry Boudreau

  32. Mike Noddin Says:

    Bostford street,where I first met you long ago,still has the house we use to jam at.Every time I drive by it I think about the old band,playing at the Warehouse Pub, and tossing a few back with Don the bartender.Even then,when I was a stupid kid,you cut through the crap and pushed what was really important.Family,friends,fun and the funk.Gotta say thanks for showing me a side to music that has become my personal passion .I know we’ll have a Botsford Street Blues Band reunion.I think Chris B. hit the nail on the head by saying your spirit lives in the music and it’s really cool to think that you’ll be with me every time I play the blues because of what you taught me about it.Thanks brother.I owe ya!

  33. Nan Frayle Says:

    Well, here it is over 2 months and for some reason I am still thinking of Carl (a stranger to me). Incredible how one small article in a newspaper can make a person “come alive” even in death. I hope the family is doing well. Carl certainly touched many lives…if not in his life, then in his “leaving the building”.
    Take care.

    Nan Frayle

  34. Eric Treworgy Says:

    I’m an acquaintance of Fi’s from another website, and came by to visit. The best tribute to a life is that it was well-lived. I’m glad to see that Carl lived by that axiom!

    Blessings and peace,


  35. Dominic Cardy Says:

    Goddamn it!

    Carl was a great guy, and someone I’ll always think of as being about twenty years old – even though I think he was a decade or more past that age when I first met him through NDP friends around the time of the 97 election.

    A good man, good fun, and although I hadn’t seen him for nearly ten years someone who made my time in Halifax that much better. The obituary says it all.

    Take care Fiona, and Peter, and you too Carl. Remember to get God on PAC.

  36. Leta Goldwynn and Margaret Smith Says:

    My mother and I cannot express, enough, our gratitude and love to those friends and family that came along with us on this journey of Carlton Daniel Smith. As you all know, Carl was a unique and quirky guy who was always around when needed. Even while we lived so far apart, people were always giving me and our mom updates on where they happened to see him, usually very amusing stories.

    We would like especially to thank some of you who extended your love and caring to us the weeks leading up to and after Carl left his body. Pierre, Patrick, Al and Bill thank you for your kindness, ferrying us around, paying our bills and cheering us up when we knew that your hearts were breaking too. For mom and I we met many of you for the first time, finally putting faces to names that we heard in stories given to us over cups of tea in mom’s kitchen in Moncton.

    We know that Carl will always be with us especially when we are laughing, singing, drinking, carousing, loving or springing some fantastic bullshit on some unwitting soul, so let’s all remember to keep our spirits high so that we can mingle with him from time to time.

    “Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I, and you are you.
    Whatever we were to each other, that we still are. Call me by my old familiar name.
    Speak to me in the easy way which you always used.
    Put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
    Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.

    Pray, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was,
    let it be spoken without effect without the trace of a shadow on it.
    Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is unbroken continuity.
    Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
    I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner.

    All is well.”

    Henry Scott Holland
    Canon of St. Paul’s Cathedral

  37. Bill Swan Says:

    My wife Paula and I introduced my 7 year old son Cameron to the movie Princess Bride last week. We all enjoyed it immensely, nice to see my son’s sense of humour taking a nice twist. But, oddly, I was left melancholy by it as well …

    Last night I finally realized why. Miracle Max’s line “Have fun storming the castle,” was one of Carl’s favourites.

    Now the movie has just that much more relevance for me …


  38. Terry Steeves Says:

    I guess I really only knew Carl, whom I met thru Doug B & Kevin C, for a short time (pun intended) back in the mid-80’s. Doug & I were busy getting words & music out of our brains and into song form. I immediately became aware of his intelligence, his craft with words, and that wit…those ‘metaphorical scissors’, if aimed at you, could cut so cleanly you wouldn’t know you’re bleeding. But no harm done…Carl was a gentle man, after all.

    The pictures I had of Carl were all in my head until now. Funny..I remember him as a much taller man, but seeing him in the early 80’s reminded me that he really was that short. I guess what I was remembering was his spirit, which was easily 10 feet tall.

    Bye, Carl. And thanks.


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