Monday, September 19, 2011


My four brothers and myself in, I think, 1962.

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Chuck, the second from the right, died of brain cancer at the age of 24 in 1982. Now Rick, the second from the left, is also dead a week short of his 58th birthday. He was found dead in his apartment where he lived for over 30 years, since moving in as a student at Kent State U. in 1978. Cause of death is still pending; my guess is carbon monoxide poisoning from charcoal grilling inside the house.

Rick was different. He had cut himself off from his family. He hadn't had a telephone for years. I went to visit him a few years ago and he was cordial but wouldn't let me in. He didn't empty his mailbox for weeks at a time, so mail to him--from our mother, for example--was returned to the sender. He disconnected the electricity from his apartment and took out the meter. He had a job and was never late with the rent. His old beater of a car was registered and insured. His living room looked like this.

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Yes, that is a shopping cart overflowing with books. Not scavenged books. Very carefully chosen books of philosophy and literature and Celtic mythology.

He loved the out of doors.

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Now his remains are buried here in a beautiful nature preserve cemetary destined to become a hardwood forest.

Rick s Grave 1

To let the light in I guess you have to let some of the darkness out.

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