Still water runs deep. I’ve known Rick for decades now, at first socially then on various financial committees at our church. The thing that I remember about those early times was that Rick was always the guy that said very little but when he spoke everyone listened. He has the sort of natural gravitas that generates enormous respect from people. ALS has taken those few words from Rick, but it cannot take his gravitas. What he does he does for a reason and when he commits to something he does his absolute best to make it work and work well.
This morning we woke at the Congdon shelter with some wonderful young thru hikers who had started months ago from Georgia, Virginia and the Delaware Gap and had walked to VT. They were full of fun and energy and kindness for Rick. They had arrived early in the afternoon and having heard about Rick from their friends had saved a spot in the small shelter just so that Rick could have a comfortable spot to rest.
One of the traditions of thru hikers is to give each other”Trail Names” they reported that they were in order of appearance in the photo below: Superman, Splash, Five Dollar and Butterfoot all with stories to go with. They then asked us what our trail names were I told them that my names was “Wombat” standing for Whiny Old Man Bitching About the Trail. They then asked for Rick’s name. I told them that we hadn’t decided yet and Superman just said “Steady” and everyone there said that’s it! These kids had just met Rick last night and I think they nailed it.