Friday, June 20, 2008

Share your memories of Rich.

Poignant memories of Rich Somerville have popped up across the Internet in recent days, but there hasn't been one central location for shared stories.

If you have an anecdote or lasting memory about Rich, please post it in the comment section of this entry. In addition, if you have photos of Rich, please e-mail them here.

1 comment:

Katy Horning said...

I first met Rich in the early 1970s when I worked as a copy girl at the Des Moines Register. He was always very nice to the copy kids, and talked to us like we were intelligent beings. He was a great favorite in the newsroom. He used to like to yell "Copy! Copy!" and told us, with that wry little smile he had, that was the way it was done at the New York Times.

A few years later, he married my older sister, and became one of my relatives. One of my favorite memories of Rich was a time when he generously volunteered to drive me from Des Moines to Madison, Wisconsin, where I was a junior at UW. That saved me from a deadly 10-hour Greyhound ride. (Rich had recently taken a cross-country trip on Greyhound as background research for a feature article he wrote on the subject, so this may have been the inspiration for his kind offer.)

This was right at the beginning of the CB radio craze, and Rich was one of the first people I knew who had a CB. He even had his own handle, but, sadly, I've forgotten what it was. The whole way to Madison, he chatted with truckers, frequently offering suggestions of good restaurants they were close to. It amazed me how many restaurants he knew just off the highway.

When we got to Madison, a six-hour drive from Des Moines, I expected Rich to come in for a break, but instead, he was ready to just turn back around and head back to Des Moines. He had his CB radio buzzing, and a nice stack of fine cigars to look forward to on the trip back.