Thursday, 11 August 2016

Rest in Peace, Jack Yost: A Nonagenerian who understood Slow TV

Jack aged 30, in 1954
On July 29th, my father-in-law, Jack Yost, passed away. It had been something we had anticipated for the whole year so far. Much of the spare time of the year had been spent travelling to be with and support my in-laws.

At 92 years old he remained strong despite a series of major illnesses over the last few years. He kept his mental acuteness and perception up to only a week or two before his death.

Always one to ask lots of questions, seeking to understand things and increase his knowledge, Jack had gained a good understanding of Slow TV from his conversations with myself. It will be an enduring memory of watching the Reindeer Slow TV on BBC4 and Jack offering his independent critique of what he was watching.

I sat many times with Jack in his last few days, taking it in shifts to watch and keep him company during the day and the night. The small changes in a larger story you get in Slow TV were parallels I'm sure Jack would have understood as I observed the small changes in his story point to their inevitable conclusion.

The sense of peace following his passing was tangible, touchable. He gave an example of living life to the full - even if not able to get around much in his last few months.

I'll miss watching more Slow TV with Jack. He asked so much about it, watched my documentary I made about Slow TV, and he was very proud to see me interviewed on BBC Breakfast earlier in the year.

His story took 92 years and a couple months to tell. The tale of his will-to-hang-on-to-life started on New Year's Eve last year, and took seven months to have its moments of stasis and moments of drama, with times of subtle changes if you knew where to look along the way. We paid our final respects yesterday, on the 10th August.

Thanks Jack - it was good to have another person who could understand and discuss Slow TV in the family.

Rest in peace.

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