September 09, 2007 - 03:26 PM
Tom Bozell - RickyBrady@aol.com
I first met Dick in the early 60's. I was a high school student in Terre Haute who loved movies, muscials and show tunes. I didn't have a lot in common with most of my fellow Hoosiers. Dick had returned to Indiana State on a fellowship to get his masters degree. To suplement his fellowship income he became the choir director at Montrose Methodist Church where my parents and sister sang in the choir. They fell in love with him and the family sort of adopted him. Dick loved movies, musicals and show tunes---and we hit it off immediately. He was the first person I ever knew with whom I could talk about the things I loved in life.
I passed out during football practice one very hot afternoon, decided that perhaps football was not my forte and auditioned for a production of Li'l Abner at the local community theater. I got a chorus role and, lo and behold, our new family friend was also in the chorus. That's when we became close and Auntie Mame opened my eyes to worlds I never new existed.
Dick was a profound influence in my life. We had great and not so great times but never, for a moment, did I not value the times we had together. Contact between us waned after I moved to Chicago and subsequently New York. But when we did get together if was sort of like putting on a great, comfortable old coat and for a few hours you could go home again. As anyone reading this knows, Dick had a remarkable spirit and I hope that we are all lucky enough to have some semblance of that spirt live on in all of us.
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