Letter from Lisa Fairbrother to the Segals

Chiba
February 18, 1999

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Segal, and Erica,

I have enclosed some photographs of Anton that I thought you might like. I'm not sure whether you received the E-mail that I sent to you a while ago so in case you didn't.

I can hardly express the shock and pain that I felt upon hearing of Anton's death. Reading the newspaper articles about the incident merely demonstrated the arbitrariness of the attack and the senselessness of his murder. I understand that this must be a very trying time for you and I give you my deepest sympathy.

It seems like only yesterday that Nicky and I were at your home in Texas. I have some wonderful memories of that trip, particularly the genuine kindness that you showed toward us. I have always intended to write, but I never expected it to take me so long or to be under such terrible circumstances.

Anton will always have a very special place in my heart as one of my dearest friends during my time on the JET programme in Wakayama. In fact almost all of my best memories of my time on the programme include Anton, usually involving some mischief or other. Although I hadn't been in direct contact with him for a couple of years (partly due to my own moving around Japan) I always got news about what he was doing via other JET friends and I assume that he did the same about me. I always expected that I would meet up with him someday, somewhere or another and I knew that we would be able to catch up as if we'd never been apart at all. It's this thought, always at the back of my mind that has made his death such a tragedy for me. I can only keep going over the "if only's".

As one of my closest friends it's hard for me to find a place to start to tell you how much he meant to me and what a loss his death was. In my mind I still have the image of him being goofy and trying to make everyone laugh. I think that was one of Anton's best character traits and the one that stays with me the most now. He had a funny story for every occasion, many of them too risque to repeat. He had a special skill of making even the mundane into something amusing and I think this helped to put a lot of people at ease. I have always thought of Anton as a "people" person and he had a great talent for being able to find good things in everyone that he met. When many other JETs would complain about life in Japan and Japanese people, he would always try to be neutral and see the best in everyone. He could talk and get along with almost everyone he met and I think that is one of the reasons why he was so loved by so many people. To my knowledge he never had any enemies and I suppose that really his warm-hearted nature prevented him from ever being capable of having any. His quick wit and intelligence meant that he could wiggle his way out of any situation. This is another point that has made his death so tragic. If only his attacker hadn't come from behind I am sure that he would have been able to get himself out of trouble. Just given a chance I bet he would have been able to talk his way out of the situation.

I heard that you want to hear stories about Anton, but I have so many that I wouldn't even know where to start. He was just a really fun guy and I always had lots of fun with him. He was always the joker, whether it be dressing up in women's clothes, stealing my camera to take "mooney" photographs, or doing impressions of the murderer in the "Silence of the Lambs". Some of my favourite memories of him probably would be of little interest to anyone else because they concern the "regular" stuff that we used to do together. This generally entailed our group (Nicky, Kelly, Robbie etc.) going out to our local bar until the early ours then crashing at Anton's place (not that anyone could really get any sleep because of his infamous snoring). Then Saturday mornings would be lazy, watching videos of Seinfeld, getting our weekly fix of McDonalds and maybe catching a movie in the afternoon. It's these memories rather than any specific events and funny stories that I have that mean the most to me and which will be with me forever.

Again I would like to offer you my deepest sympathy and hope that you will enjoy looking at the photographs as much as I have.

Yours,

Lisa Fairbrother

404 Kurosuna Mansion,
2-5-37 Kurosuna,
Inage-ku, Chiba-shi,
JAPAN
tel: 263-0042