The funeral was held on Tuesday, 7 October 2008 of John Summers at Swansea Crematorium.
It was a sad occasion, obviously, but also a real honour and pleasure to meet many of John’s friends and family, almost all of them for the first time. He was a very special man and will be much missed.
There was a reading from one of John’s novels, The Raging Summer, and - for those new to his work - this passage is probably as good a place to start as any. It contains so many of the elements that are found in his work: sensually descriptive writing that touches on nature, on his Welsh roots, on politics and on why anyone would want to be a writer:
‘To write books. Just words. So that afterwards the reader would feel, yes, that it had all happened to him and to her. Then each book would no longer belong to me but belong to them too and they would, with even more than my own small determination, fight for it and protect it because it was for ever theirs now.’
As one of those readers, I do indeed feel the need to fight for and protect John’s work. The Raging Summer is out of print at present (though copies can be found at abebooks.co.uk), but a couple of years back, when John was in hospital, I promised him that it would one day be republished.
I intend to honour that promise.