Mail Call

I woke up early Saturday morning at the Cynical Compound to an email that started like this:

Hi there. Something made me do a search of my father’s name this morning and this link came up:

Uh oh. Being somewhat pessimistic, I usually assume the worst and in this scenario it would mean that I said something not very nice about somebody and now will be called out on it by a relative. Bloggers, especially when they first start blogging, can easily make the mistake of thinking that nobody besides a few friends are ever going to read whatever we write. But they don’t call it the World Wide Web for nothing and Google seems to have an excellent memory when it comes to finding posts you have long since forgotten. Luckily, my pessimism in this instance was unfounded.

It was from your site, April 7, 2004. Ted Richings was my Dad. And you were so right, he was a cool guy. I just wanted to tell you that I appreciate you taking the time to post his obit, to solve the cryptogram, and to comment on it. It¹s been almost three years and I still miss him, and his sense of humor, terribly. I am amazed at the places his obit ended up in the last three years. He¹d be embarassed to know how much attention it got, but would have gotten a kick out of it too. He was a gentle, humble man, but obviously had a great sense of humor as well.

Thanks for the posting. It made me smile.

Laurie (Laura) Richings

Laurie was referring to a post I did about her father’s obituary from 2004 in the Oregon Statesman Journal. It’s rare for an announcement about a person’s death to be so full of life and humor and I think that’s what makes this obituary so unique. I’ll repost it in full for those who didn’t see it the first time around. Thank you Laurie for your email.

Theodore Jay Richings

December 12, 1927 – March 25, 2004

SALEM – Ted Richings, 76, finally fulfilled his prophecy of having only three months to live. He died of hepatacellular carcinoma. He was born in Lebanon, Penn. He is survived by his wife, Nancy; daughters, Diane Dargitz of San Diego, Laura of Seattle, and Cynthia of Salem; son-in-law, Bill Dargitz and grandson, Carl Dargitz of San Diego; brothers, James of Central Point and John of Tucson, Ariz.; and sister, Jewel of Savona, N.Y.

His dying words were, “I wish I had spent more time at the office.” He asked everyone to ponder the words of that great philosopher, Woody Allen, who said, “Death is not the worst thing that can happen to you; anyone who has spent an evening with a life insurance salesman knows what I mean.”

He was an environmentalist. He loved fly-fishing and the wilderness. He also enjoyed puzzles and left the following cryptogram for your amusement.

ABCDEBAF GH JIFFGHE

KILGMN, KOGPHTF, KMNKGFBGHE;

I JMIRP – NPMMCQFACHP;

I UPEGHHGHE – IDEDFA, HGHPAPPH KCOAN ABOPP;

I FCHE – “GH LN MGKP”

I UGOT – ABP KGFBBIQV;

I JCPL – “ABC LGEOIAGCH” (I KMGEBA CK EPPFP).

LPH EC IHT RCLP UDA PIOAB IUGTPF. PRRMPFGIFAPF 1:4

At his request, there will be no services. Following cremation, his ashes will be returned to the place he loved.

Donations to the EarthJustice Legal Defense Fund, The Federation of Fly Fishers, or the Greater Yellowstone Coalition would be appropriate. His family will be able to provide the addresses of the organization. Arrangements are by Restlawn Funeral Home.