I met Wes Funk slinging coffees at the Broadway Roastery around a decade ago. I was young, excited, travelling, and irresponsible all at the same time. I would stand at the coffee counter talking with customers and telling great tales of what I had done and the adventures I still planned to have.
That's when I locked eyes with Wes, a fellow adventurer. From the moment I met Wes I knew that he would teach me many lessons over the years: how to be a good person, how to be a good partner, opening my mind, reclaiming my imagination, and just general writing lessons.
I still have a signed copy of the first edition of Dead Rock Stars on my bookshelf. It was so special to be able to look into his stories and the characters he explored, something that resonated throughout his writing.
Wes was important to the literary community in Saskatchewan but he was also just important to me, on a human to human level.
When I had to put together my application to get into journalism school I called Wes and he didn't hesitate a moment before writing me a letter of recommendation. Yes, the letter was beautiful.
When I was down about many changes in my life, Wes and his partner got me dressed up and we spent an afternoon giggling and shooting photos around the city so I'd feel like the centre of the world when I really needed it.
When I was sick of steaming milk and smiling at randoms for the 40th hour of the week --- Wes didn't expect me to be good at customer service, because at that point we were much more, we were friends.
I hadn't had a good sit down with Wes in too long, I regret that. But I do know that when I miss him, I can open Dead Rock Stars, read his inscription, and be back with my old, dear friend.
The StarPhoenix: Local author Wes Funk dead at 46
Kelly Geraldine Malone is a freelance journalist, podcaster, and radio producer based out of Manitoba, Canada