1. Rich went by his middle name, Gabriel, until he started high school. He decided to change it after experiencing the horrors of middle school name-calling. All the other guys delighted in calling him “Gabrielle” and even a particular teacher couldn’t seem to pronounce it right. The final straw was his name being misspelled on the 8th grade graduation cake. He took advantage of the transition in life and friends as he went off to high school and resolved to be called Richard from then on.
2. There seems to be a common theme in Rich’s life—head mishaps. Starting from when he was just a wee lad on a snow-covered hill near his home where a fast-moving sledder propelled him 20ft. down the hill landing him on the street directly on his head, to basketball and football accidents in high school, to a very large TV falling on his head in college. Hmmmm, that does explain a lot….
3. Rich is the middle child out of 5 siblings and also happens to be the only boy. You’d think he would be an expert on women, but somehow that knowledge eluded him.
4. I believe Rich has a real artistic talent. When he was in high school, he painted a basketball game scene that was pretty good, and he often sketches things that are surprisingly good. I’ve tried to convince him to pick it up again and practice so that he could paint something to hang in our house, but he insists he isn’t that good and just doesn’t have the time to get better.
5. One of the things I’ve come to realize since Rich and I have been married is that he has the worst memory of anyone I know. It truly seems as though information goes in one ear and out the other. He will freely admit this fact, though we often have small arguments about things people might have said or done, and he is dead set on his account and promises me that I’m wrong. I do the same, and then the argument is over. Within a day or two, he suddenly remembers something and concedes that I was right all along. It’s perplexing to me how he can remember all the math formulas and rules for structural engineering, but not what time dinner will be served.
6. Rich attended The Citadel (The Military College of South Carolina) for undergrad and Virginia Tech for grad school. His father and grandfather also attended VT.
7. Rich has a love for poetry. Every so often, something will remind him of a poem or author, and he will go to the back room and bring out an old English Literature textbook from college and begin reading to me. At this point, I usually protest and tell him to read to himself. But he insists that poetry must be read aloud and that I will learn to love it, too if only I would listen and try to understand it.
8. Rich has been on TV once. (Since a TV was once on him, it’s only appropriate, right?) He was competing in the Penn Relays, and the media was focusing on Alan Webb (currently the top miler in the U.S.) who had just finished his race, while Rich was about to begin his.