My Best Friend
(spoken 10/25/98 by Richard's friend,
Richard around 20 years ago, he was going to college
in Oneonta at the time. My brother happened to have
owned a bar in Oneonta, which happened to have been
Richard's second home.
going to school in Cortland and Richard was on the
Oneonta Tennis team, which came to Cortland one Friday
and I went back with the team to Oneonta for the
weekend and spend most subsequent weekends in Oneonta
wearing this Jerry Garcia tie today in honor of the 30
or so Grateful Dead shows Richard and I saw together
in the early '80s. I know Richard has already met
Jerry and has asked him why he had to play Black Peter
so many times at those shows.
Rich moved to Europe in the late '80's, whenever he
came to town I would go to dinner with he and his
parents. We would do nothing but laugh through the
entire dinner. Sometimes Rich would laugh so hard,
nothing would come out.
went to visit him in Geneva in the Fall of '92,
Richard was pregnant with Coco (?). Um, Coca was
pregnant with Talia. We went out to dinner one night
and after dinner, we laughed so hard, we were rolling
on top of cars in the street.
got sick in 1996, I was out visiting with David and
Kenny. We were outside having a conversation and Caryl
walked out and asked us if we needed anything. I
responded "No Mrs. Karpf, we're fine." Her response
was "Robbie, after all these years years, you can call
me Caryl!". The next day when I called to speak to
Richard, Caryl answered the call. I said to her "Hi
Caryl, may I speak to Richard?", to which she
responded "Who is this?".
winter, around Christmas, I went to visit Richard at
his parents house. The movie Arthur was on when I
arrived, and I proceeded to say each line in the movie
before the character actually did, since I knew the
movie so well. His parents looked me as if I was from
Mars, and Richard just sat there, laughing
hysterically because he knew my act so well.
last days, I would go and visit him and when he would
wake up I would try and tell him a quick story. This
happened the Saturday before he passed away. He was
not doing well, and afterwards my friend Jim told me
the story I had told him had made him laugh. My reply
was simple. "That's what our relationship was all
about - making each other laugh".
I would like to add that Jim has the biggest heart of
any human being being I had ever met.
has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to
do in my entire life. To say goodbye to my best friend
Richard. He was my best friend, I loved him and I will
miss him very much.