I rarely post three times a week but this post is worth it.
Last week I wrote about my friend Rich, the Genius on Campus. Kat and Rene expressed interest on Rich’s life after college. Curious myself I took timeout on Sunday, found my old college yearbook and did some investigating.
I immediately found our dorm with me and my fellow residents standing out front. Not surprisingly Rich was not with us. As mentioned in the post he was always away working on his studies.
Thankfully the page included a list of names. I knew his first name but could not remember his last.
Doing some investigating it didn’t take long to find Rich. Unfortunately the news was not what I had expected.
Rich died of cancer in October of 2014.
Life is interesting, isn’t it? Here is guy up until last month I had not thought of for a long time. Had it not been for a chance meeting with him and his English assignment he would have blended in with all the other faces.
The last time I saw Rich was in 1991. Probably graduation day. But the sadness I felt learning of his passing struck me as though I had lost a good friend.
Memories have that effect, don’t they.
The post I wrote had a lot to do with me and how smart I felt helping the genius on campus. But I have a feeling Rich would have done just fine without me. Had I not come across him that day I’m positive he would have collected himself, picked up the pieces and created the type of work the teacher wanted.
For my part all I did was speed up the process. On the plus side the experience allowed me to get to know this quiet genius for a little while.
If I were to have had the chance to have spoken to Rich in his final months I have a feeling he would have had little to no regrets in his professional life.
He had a passion and a dream and he succeeded in making them a reality. That is something we all strive for.
I’ve included the link to his obituary at the bottom of the page. If I messed up and it doesn’t work do a Google search – Richard Bley Ashland, Oregon. If that doesn’t work e-mail me and I’ll send you the link:
I was never the type of student he was but I hope my craziness gave him an occasional smile. I do know this: I now know what it’s like to be dedicated to a craft and fulling a dream.