Rich made many choices in changing his life and, as I said to MizA last night, his choices were not mine. But neither are my choices so stellar that I want to be criticizing the choices others make. They were his to make and he lived the life he made for himself, with its good and its bad. Regardless, I will not forget nor easily set aside the joys he brought to our occasions, or the times he made me welcome. That meant a lot to me, so herewith my favorite story of him.
The time is 1991 and I am very new to the area. tamidon is about the only person I know and I am hugely intimidated by the tales I hear of a large social group who all seem to know each other and have history I don't share. Still, I am convinced to call a movie foo - back when we did such things - with pre-movie pizza at the Alewife Bertucci's.
To my amazement, people came and I found myself at a table Bertucci's staff hastily pulled together with a dozen strangers. Across from me were two guys who seemed a bit more boisterous than the others. Their names were Rich and Craig, and they were clearly back-slapping buddies. They seemed to be having trouble figuring out what to get, until the waitress announced that among the specials was a garlic pizza. Rich immediately lit up.
"I'd like the garlic pizza," he told her, "with extra garlic."
"Extra garlic?" she seemed a little incredulous.
Rich nodded emphatically: "If I can't smell the garlic out here then there's not enough garlic on it."
Then he grinned across the table at me and said, "You can have a slice."
And I knew I'd found my people.