I learned the news about Rich's death only today. I'm deeply shocked
and saddened. Does anyone know what happened?
The last time I saw him was in Manhattan about five years ago. He was
with a gorgeous woman named Kira, every delightful bit his match, and
I was with a friend, an editor for a science magazine. We ate noodles
at Republic on Union Square. I vividly remember the scalding agony of
our final meeting, as my sinus cavity flooded with hot chicken broth,
snorted in a moment of surprised hilarity. "I write, too," Rich said
to my friend, proudly, earnestly. "And I know science. How about I
do an article for you?"
My nose leaked soup for days. Always could make me laugh. I haven't
forgotten that, and won't.
I've been gone for about as long as saltgirl.
Just stopped by today on a whim.
Had no idea about Richh.
Richh made me laugh like nobody else ever has. Once I told him that
I was reading about the yogi tradition of removing ones intestines
(carefully) from ones anus and washing them gently in salt water
to cleanse them from impurities and then (equally carefully) putting
them back (also via the anus.) I told him I thought I might like to
give it a try. He thought about it for a minute and then he said
"OK. I'll hold your hair."
Ghod, I loved that man.
there are no words
> Jeez, Rich, I slink away from Usenet for TEN MEASLY YEARS and THIS
> happens. Do I have to keep an eye on you EVERY MINUTE OF THE DAY?
> Can't I turn my back on you for ONE GODDAMN DECADE without you getting
> into something?
> I learned the news about Rich's death only today. I'm deeply shocked
> and saddened. Does anyone know what happened?
This was the original announcement, from his brother:
Nobody paid any attention to that but me, but when I mentioned it
again a bit later, a riot ensued:
Here is a note saying someone ought to find you and let you know,
being a Person of Importance to RICHH and vice versa:
Markian did the honors for those of us too far away:
Essentially, RICHH was crippled (paralyzed on one side, best I can
tell) by a trampoline accident, and in response despite that he
shouldn't have been able to accomplish it, hanged himself rather than
continue to live disabled. I got that out of a second communication
from his brother.
Sorry for such an ugly and bare telling; somewhere inaccessible to my
search guesses right now is a better version posted by me.
xanthian, only the good die young; I'm in no danger at all.
> Essentially, RICHH was crippled (paralyzed on one side, best I can
> tell) by a trampoline accident, and in response despite that he
> shouldn't have been able to accomplish it, hanged himself rather than
> continue to live disabled. I got that out of a second communication
> from his brother.
Trampoline accident. Uh-huh. That's the third variation I've heard,
the first two from Rich himself, years ago. He seemed equally eager
for me to believe both stories, but a trampoline never figured.
He was paralyzed on his left side. He could walk with the aid of
braces and a cane, but usually used a wheelchair, at least when I knew
him. Or sort of knew him. It's a weird measure of...well,
something...that in the year and change that we were sweethearts,
online and off-, he didn't ever clear that up.
Though I only asked the once. It really didn't matter. The first I
ever knew of his disability was when I met him in Philly for the first
time, after a long train ride and months of buildup. (The pictures
I'd been sent were of Howard, and a fine figure of a man he seemed.)
I was shocked to see him standing unsteadily on the curb, braced and
caned, but then he began to declaim a salutatory poem, written by him
Welcome to Philly. Prepare to receive!
Legs akimbo! Hormone, my sleeve!
And it really didn't matter at all.
Every time I hear a shirt hit the floor, I remember him insisting that
"shirt" was an onomatopoetic word, stuttering the final "T" sound to
mimic the buttons clacking against the wood. (His stubborn assertion
that "pants" also qualified held significantly less water, in my view.
When he tried to make "pants" onomatopoetic, he sounded like Cookie
Monster on crank.)
Or the time he fended off the fumbling advances of a would-be director
who wanted to cast him as the Elephant Man by brandishing his cane,
swashbuckler style, and yodeling, "What's the play? Do I get to carry
a sword? I SHALL BE D'ARTAGNAN!"
Or the time he earnestly told my mother he was working on a novel.
Mom was impressed, and made polite noises. "Oh, yeah," Rich said
proudly. "Thing is, see, it's taking me a while." *pause* "Those
things take FOREVER to read."
Ladies and gentlemen, I got a million of 'em. Enjoy the buffet. I
think about him more often than you'd expect. I'm shocked it took me
so long to find out. I seem to be incapable of shutting up about it
long after you've all digested it.
> Sorry for such an ugly and bare telling; somewhere inaccessible to my
> search guesses right now is a better version posted by me.
Thank you for the telling. It's ugly and bare at the core.
legs akimbo inDEED
> Thank you for the telling. It's ugly and bare at the core.
And thank your for yours in return. I'd been left with the
misimpression that the paralysis, from whatever cause, and
the suicide were proximate in time. Instead, this was a thing
he'd lived with for years. That changes my lack of understanding
in ways hard to describe, and my understanding, as a multiple
"suicidal gesture" emitter myself, in other ways equally
> legs akimbo inDEED
The horndog hormones that simple phrase sends coursing through
the blood of a male reader, in both quantity and promptness of
their journey's commencement, are tributes to the man's genius,
and to the high (and low) regard in which he must have held you.
Here's hoping others have found you equally saline since.
"Along the quay at Petershead,
The lasses stand around,
With their shawls about their heads,
Salt tears running down.
"I'll never weep, my bonny boy,
Though I'm left behind,
For there's not a Rose in Greenland's ice,
To make you change your mind."
"The Diamond", from the singing of Judy Collins.
> Or the time he fended off the fumbling advances of a would-be director
> who wanted to cast him as the Elephant Man by brandishing his cane,
> swashbuckler style, and yodeling, "What's the play? Do I get to carry
> a sword? I SHALL BE D'ARTAGNAN!"
My first t.b post in three, four years, and it's a repost...
From: richh (ri...@netcom.com)
Subject: RICHH: NOT A SINGLE ONE
This is the only article in this thread
View: Original Format
Newsgroups: talk.bizarre, alt.prose, alt.butt.harp, alt.sex.bondage
Date: 1992-08-23 05:59:00 PST
Warning--the following contains little, if any, asb-specific content.
Why is it here, then? Why indeed.
This isn't so much a full-blown trip report as a specific
Was in Cleveland visiting that one saltgirl loredich creature.
We were slated to meet some other netters one night at this
coffeeshop, called Arabica. We showed up a little early, having
just come from a Rocky-Bullwinkle festival at a local theater,
sitting in front of these people who were just liking it way too
We sat at a table in the corner, passing a vanilla shake back
and forth. We didn't know what these people we were meting looked
like, but when this one pudgy, pony-tailed, pasty-looking guy came
in and started looking around, we were certain he was one of them.
Julie and I looked at each other and she got up and walked over to
him and held out her hand.
"Oh no. I'm sorry. It just looked like you were looking for
someone,. and we--"
"I am, there he is now..." Mark walked over and sat next to
this clean-looking, sunglasses-wearing, artsy type.
Julie returned and said, "Was that a huge social faux pas?"
"No. Only if you'd wiped your forearm across your forehead
and said "WHEW!..."
So, our friends arrived and it turned out we liked them quite
a lot and had a pleasant, chatty evening.
A few days later we were on Coventry street(noted for its many
quirky shops and parking meters) when we passed another Arabica.
A man rose from a table outside and walked over to us. He took off
his sunglasses and said, "Hi. I saw you two the other night at
Arabica. I was meeting my costume designer..."
"Mark," I said.
"Yes. Mark. My name's Miles--" I swore he said 'Davis' but
Julie says no way.
"I'm casting a play. Tonight is the second night of
auditions. I was wondering," he said to me, "have you ever done
any acting before?"
"Well, on this word my eyes lit up and I said, "Acting? I
*love* to act. I acted in college. you want me in your play.
Cool. Do I* get to play the dashing romantic lead? Will I save
the beautiful damsel?" I picked up a cane and pointed it like a
rapier. "Will I be D'artAGNan?!" I thrusted and parried a bit.
"Ooh, a play. Is it a play I've heard of?"
He said, "I hope I'm not overstepping my bounds here, but it's
The Elephant Man."
I kid you not. Well, Julie nearly doubled over and started
laughing, because she knew what was coming next. She couldn't look
at the guy.
I said, "The Elephant Man, eh? Well, you know, we had a bad
experience with that play. Remember when Bowie was playing it on
"Well, I got a hold of these tickets and we went and saw it
and it was *such* a ripoff. Total ripjob--" Julie dug her nails
into the back of my thigh.
"Yeah," I said. "That whole play, he didn't eat a single
peanut. Total rip--"
So Miles laughed and I said, "Actually, I couldn't do it. I
live in Pennsylvania...I'm just visiting."
"Pennsylvania," said Miles. "You a Quaker?"
"No, but I like their oats. Actually, even if I were in
Cleveland, I find it demeaning to take on any role which requires
me to wear a snout..."
Julie whispered something about the 'Cyrano fiasco' and Miles
realized that we were fucking with him at that point and he left.
So did we.
"Overstep *this*, Miles."
--true story, I swear it