I am surprised at how sad I feel over the passing of Frank Dostal. As of yet I have no details – just a cold factual email that reached me at my breakfast table. After the typical feelings of “Wow! We only spoke last week” I found myself thinking about that meeting.
It was at the station in Hamburg and I was returning from Berlin. As usual, there was not just a quick hello, but an energetic 30 minute lopsided conversation which was closer to a monologue. His wife came after having collected a friend from England. Frank abruptly ended the “conversation” with a happy “Tschüssikowski!” Then he was gone.
But I enjoyed these talks – or shall we call them “listens”? It is saddening to think that this was our last talk – ever!
I wouldn’t refer to Frank as a close friend, although I both liked and respected him. We had travelled abroad together on business many times and had enjoyed concerts in Brussels and theatre in London. Our talks were generally mono-thematic: Gema. Here he was untiring, passionate, and – as always – incredibly articulate. We were often not on the same side but he was never bitter or holding a grudge. In fact, he had the enviable talent to switch off – or more like “switch over” to another channel, where he could be friendly, jovial and downright funny. I will miss Frank – I think we will all miss him in one way or another.
My thoughts are with his family.