Father’s Day 2016

June 19, 2016

Here we are Dad – Stephanie and myself living the good life in the foothills of the calm, peaceful, and (remember) beautiful Ozark Mountains. This area truly is God’s Country!

The Pastor of our church Jamie Bilyeu lives at the top of one of those mountains. And Dad, I can picture you with the Bilyeu trio singing, and playing your guitar. You would have loved it here.

Not only that, but there is a man going to this church by the name of, George, who reminds me a lot of you. George has, and while alive – you had a penchant for work and both had been blessed with the knowledge of how things work. George’s hands are strong, hard and calloused much as yours were.

Stephanie says, “George reminds me of grandpa too. His words, actions and movements, the way he pats you on the back, it’s just like grandpa. His height and the way he looks.”

George is ninety three. He drives a Chrysler minivan just like you did. No doubt the two of you would have become great friends…in between jobs.
You made many remarks through the years but two that proved to be prophetic were, “People retire, humph, what the hell do they do all day?” And, “I’ll work till the day I die.”

Number one – you never found out what people do all day because you never retired. And number two – you opened a restaurant at age eighty one. You had two very successful businesses earlier but both were in the construction field. The everyday drama of the restaurant did you in, I think. You did work up to ‘til your dying day.

I know you and Mom would’ve loved to see me happy just one more time and I tried pretending that I was, but you knew the truth. If you could have sung that laughing song just one more time you would have at least gotten a chuckle out of me. But I guess you had no more laughter inside of you and I understand.

Strange, but my best friend now also comes from a large family of eleven, though, not the size of your huge brood of fifteen kids. You always taught me to think ahead to the next step whatever the job may be and I thought of you when the maintenance guy showed up a day after I was expecting him. He began his many items to take care of right behind me in the kitchen…the narrow kitchen…..

Stephanie and I love the area, the schools, Riverdale Baptist Church and many, many things about the entire area. We’re happy and you be also. It’s impossible not to be happy in heaven. You are there with Mom (the angel)…I love you, Dad. Happy Father’s Day!


Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.

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