A friend remembered: Why I still miss Slacko.
At the end of last year, a few old James Ruse friends gathered at the home of Mr and Mrs Grahame and Rena McIntosh to remember the passing of their son Andrew (‘Slacko’) McIntosh, himself an ex-Ruse student (1990), who died in November 1994.
At the time of his death, Andrew was perhaps my closest friend; that is to say, I spent more time with him than with any other. Unlike others of our group, we were both enrolled in fairly ‘casual’ degrees and we made great use of all the free time to develop our snooker skills at the RSL. Usually Slacko would give me a sound thrashing but I did win one or two (by sheer luck no doubt). Free snooker, cheap beer … ah yes, those were great days indeed.
Slacko was not the type to talk much. Many of our games were spent in relative silence with only the occasional flatulence of other (much older) RSL patrons to disturb the quiet. Such silence was never uncomfortable though: just two friends quietly enjoying each other’s company. For every terrible shot from me, Slacko always had a smile and I in turn managed (for the most part) to avoid frowning as he sank ball after ball after ball …
I think it would be very difficult (probably impossible) to find anyone who didn’t like Slacko. He was one of those rare souls who seem to be able to get on well with everyone. With a smile and a laugh he would happily get involved in whatever was going at the time.
In the years since his death, my parents have often commented on the fact that they can still remember so vividly the way Slacko would walk up the hallway and say, “G’day Mr Unwin, G’day Mrs Unwin”. I too can still hear him. I can still see him jumping out of his car ready for the action of the day.
When Slacko died it was like the light went out of life. It simply did not make sense. Looking back, the years afterwards seem like so much dark blur. Thankfully for me, I now have a very patient, very loving, very wonderful wife who has helped me to feel truly good about life again. Even so, the impact of Slacko’s death on my life (as on that of so many others) was and is one which will never be forgotten. A character so warm should never have been taken so early.
At the closing of the eulogy at Slacko’s funeral, Andrew Leigh said “We’ll miss you Slacko”. Ten years on, that is still very true.
Trevor Unwin (1990)