Letter from Imbi Neeme to the Segals

Friday, December 11, 1998

Dear Mr and Mrs Segal,

Let me start by saying I was so terribly sorry to hear about Anton. He meant a lot to me. I've been carrying him around in my head and my heart as one of my favourite people since I first met him in Japan in July 1992.

Darren Nicholas told me that you would like to hear stories about Anton.

I find it very difficult to tell stories about someone who had such a very special gift for telling them. I know that Anton would tell it much better. I used to always goad him when we were with other people to tell certain stories of his that always made me laugh. He would hate that because he claimed I just set him up for a fall. I'd say 'Tell the such-and-such story because it's so funny. Hey, everyone listen to this, it's really really funny' and then everyone would look at him with such expectation that he had no chance of succeeding. After a while, he put his foot down and said that he wasn't my little clown boy who performed at will. After that, I called him 'mon petit clune' and he called me 'La maitresse de clunes' and those names stuck.

Anton with Imbi He always managed to make me laugh, even when I was at my most cross with him and even when I was at my most scared. I sat next to him on an Air India flight to Bangkok in 1994. I hate flying at the best of times and there was something about the way that the whole interior of plane was shaking during take-off that made me totally panic. Anton saw what state I was in and sang me some terribly silly song for the duration to distract me. I had to laugh because I couldn't for the life of me work out why on earth anyone would choose to sing such a song at such a time. Unfortunately, although I've tried and I've tried, I can't think of what that song was now. I wish I could because I'm sure that wherever he is, Anton would like me to sing it to myself now.

I loved your son and I want to extend my very best wishes to you and the rest of your family at this time and always.

Yours truly,