Saturday, November 16, 2013

RIP Rick

It seems like I've been a little quiet this week, it's because I've been a little blue. 

No I take that back– I've been very sad. I lost a good friend this week – Rick was a fellow woodworker, a confidant, and just an all-around nice guy. He died way too young, and sometimes when people are gone – the details of their lives get forgotten. I don't want Rick's life to be forgotten.

Rick was my go-to guy when I needed help with projects around the shop. He was always there when I needed help sanding, and I'll always look at my ash dining room table and think of him. He sanded that top far better, and with way more patience than I could've ever done. I can still picture him, Festool sander in hand, getting into the sanding, while listening to music. That was Rick– he just put his head down, and kept going.

Until he couldn't.

Like all of us, Rick experienced some hard times in his life. Who doesn't? But it's how we handle them - how we work through them - that illustrates our character. Rick handled everything with humility, grace, and humor.  Much humor.

I was feeling blue yesterday, and I just didn't feel like going to the shop. Days off are rare for me, but I decided to go to the movies. I got there a little early, and had a few minutes to kill, so I walked around the casino and spotted this the slot machine. 

It was Rick talking to me. 

He was so proud to be Native American, a proud member of the Turtle Mountain Band Of Chippewa Indians. I didn't even know there were slot machines that had a native American theme to them, but when I saw this machine - I had to put $20 in it.

The irony wasn't lost on me when –on my third or fourth play –I hit a jackpot.  

I kind of felt that way about meeting Rick. 

Rick was a flute maker; a good one, too. 

 One day, he wandered in my shop with a handful of flutes, and asked my opinion - which was my favorite.

 I chose this aromatic cedar one,

which he promptly gave to me, in thanks for helping him out a few times. It's a really special piece of mine.

I'll miss his goofiness, his endless stories, his self-depricating humor, and our endless discussions about the best ahi poke in town, which packages of ramen were the tastiest, and of course - when our next trip to the ocean was going to be. I hope he's enjoying his next adventure. 

RIP, buddy. 

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