This tribute to Richard F was in my local paper yesterday, mixed in with the obituaries. The piece is in extremely bad taste, and I don't know who wrote it. I was once a friend of Richard F, also called Dick.
We met in sixth grade, then remained friends as adults until politics came between us. Dick was what we'd call today a Tea Partier, but in the 1970's. He was ahead of the curve on that. I was then, as I am now, an old-fashioned liberal Democrat. We got into too many arguments. Occasionally Dick and I ran into each other and exchanged pleasantries, but for all intents and purposes our friendship ended about 1975.
Dick made the obituary columns twice yesterday. Besides this "tribute" there was also a matter-of-fact short obit that said he died after an extended illness, where and when he was born, who survived him, and where he'd be buried. It also stated "married and divorced." Dick and Lynda were married very young; she was 15 and he was 17. Their son was born in 1965, about the time Dick turned 18. He had dropped out of high school, but he got his high school diploma at some later point.
Before Dick got a car and a girlfriend he was an honor roll student. I used to envy him for his good grades. Unfortunately, Dick got to thinking with his dick, and that's the downfall of many a young man.
He was still married to Lynda when I last saw him.
In the past six weeks I've seen death notices for some people I knew: one high school acquaintance, one for another good friend I knew in junior high school, one for a former coworker, and now Dick. Three of the four were the age I attained last month on my birthday.
"Don't laugh when the hearse goes by, for you may be the next to die."