Chapter 63

The greatest man I have ever known raised me to be a dreamer. He taught me to ask not what my country could do for me, but to strive to do good for all mankind, including questioning authority, indignity, and every day bullies. He showed me the power of my voice and the sanctity of silence. He instilled in me the toughness I would need for life’s many trials, and made certain I would be present and feel all the feels. He let me see him cry when tears were all he could muster. He dances when the music moves him, without a shred of thought to whether anyone is watching. He raised me to know my own strength and to nurture it, but to understand that love is a better weapon against any enemy. He taught me to sing when I’m scared, because the sharks can smell fear. I still whistle a happy tune so no one will suspect I’m afraid, and I still run to him. I’m lucky enough to have had my dad in my corner every step of the way. He is a champion of the underdog, a true humanitarian. He uses the force. He believes that good will always defeat evil, and I believe him. If that was the one gift he had given me, that would have been enough, but my life has been showered with his wisdoms and those of so many righteous wordsmiths before him. Today, I celebrate his birth with a magnitude of respect, gratitude, love and light. Shine on you crazy diamond, here’s to Chapter 63.

10 thoughts on “Chapter 63”

  1. A most eloquent, touching, and profound tribute to your dad. No one could express that any better! Waiting for your great American novel one day, you have the talent!
    Happy birthday Rich!!💝💗💐🎂

  2. Ellie, That dad of yours……..Just got to say i have witnessed some serious interstellar border patrolling in our time together. As long as I have know Ritchie he has, as you say, wished to do good for the inhabitants of this planet. The incident related below was a perfect example of your pop standing up to a bully.

    On one particular BP evening at some random street party, i think it was up in Ft. Lauderdale, we were walking along and both turned as we heard shouting from across the street, some drunk was cursing at a seemingly innocent black kid. As best as i can remember the crazy guy took his beer bottle and broke it on the curb and headed across the street to do who knows what. As this nut was waving his broken bottle cursing and going for this person your dad met him halfway stepping in between that nut job and in front of that black kid, simply talking in a really calm voice, telling him to chill and put the bottle down, meanwhile i was freeking, standing just off to the side of your dad waiting to get lacerated, encouraging him in no unnecessary terms that this guy was crazy and he really needed to get out of his way. Richie would have nothing to do with the ‘getting out of the way part’ and proceeded to try to calm the situation down, you could literally hear a mouse fart. Then the guy starts threatening Richie if he did not move, i remember your dad calmly stood firm without so much as a flicker of fear or backing down, just as the mouse fart was heard the surreal scene changed in, what seemed to me an eternity of that moment in time, a motorcycle cop came speeding around the corner laying down his bike sparks flying he drew his weapon simultaneously while stepping off his skidding MC and yelling drop the G**D*** bottle NOW!! The dude dropped the bottle as well as his jaw and in an instant the whole thing was over. I turned to your pop and I think I said something like, “holy crap that was crazy, your crazy” as the sparks from the cop motorcycle were coming to a halt having skidded at least 30 to 40 feet and before anyone could detect the end of the mouse fart the cop had the guy on the ground. I just kind of remember Richie still very relaxed with just a hint of a smile saying, Hey its all cool.

    Keep in mind that not all BP nights were ever that intense, mostly just having a great time and watching what goes on at the edge of cosmic humanity.

    Great times, yes indeed but these days this wanna be sidekick is Usually in house by 9pm. So not much chance of “interesting” adventures like in those days of immortality.

    Ellie, Its so nice that you write about your Dad in those very accurate and endearing terms. He is one of the best dreamers I ever had the pleasure of knowing and riding with. ……..
    Yet I digress, stories, you know, its what some of us age disadvantaged geezers tell when we cant go out and run around like a bunch of wild cowboys that our mothers should have raised to be doctors and lawyers and such. Yea, i know, out of the willie nelson tune ‘don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys’ just had to get that in………………

    Thanks for the reminder Ellie, and a good and healthy birth day to you Bronco Richie. You will always live and be apart of my best memories ever. With much love, take good care.

  3. Wow! I guess I should just say Aw shucks and scuff my foot.
    I have been blessed in this life with incredible family and friends and more love than one man could ever ask for.
    For this I am truly thankful!!

  4. I love this tribute to you Dad. It brought tears to my eyes. I feel very lucky to have met you and your family.

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