Ricky, my precious nephew

Shared by Coleen Smith on October 11, 2020
My name is Coleen & I had the privilege of being Ricky's (as we called him) aunt.  First I would like to thank Tim, Megan & Colin for creating this amazing memorial website to honor Ricky.  It has been so heartwarming for our family to see all the photo's & hear stories of Ricky with his friends, co-workers, classmates & bandmates.

Ricky was the 1st grandchild on our side of the family, so that made him extra special!  He dubbed us with our nicknames, which we all continue to go by...mine is Coco.  I was a teenager when he was born, so I was a designated babysitter, which I loved!  We would make capes out of material so he could be Superman or Spiderman, he loved to be read to & he loved horseplay or as he called it "to westle".  As he got a little older he had me watch all the Star Wars movies with him, which he loved & never grew out of!  Every time I watch one I will think of him.  I was always so proud to be his aunt.  He was exceptionally smart, talented, artistic, athletic & had a genuinely sweet spirit.  When I had my daughter, who called him Rick-Rick & absolutely adored him, I so hoped she would have those same traits. 
The last time I saw Ricky was last Thanksgiving & we had an awesome visit talking about his first love which was music, movies & our favorite SNL skits.  We had a lot of laughs..he was so quick witted!  I gave him a huge bear hug, told him how much I loved him & planted big kisses all over his handsome face (which I'm sure he cringed through!), but I'm so glad I did that every time I saw him!  I believe with all my heart & soul I will see my precious nephew again, but until then he will live in my heart & I will forever hear that sweet toddler voice saying... 
"wet's westle Coco!".

Rick's grey sweatshirt

Shared by Monica Leigh on October 11, 2020
So many great memories of Rick, particularly from the Hopkins/Tube days, but one of my first memories of Rick was noticing that we each owned the same sweatshirt. It was a textured, grey sweatshirt from the Gap. I bought mine freshman year at the Inner Harbor. Rick was a year behind me in school, so when I saw him wearing it one day on campus, I was like, "Hey, same sweatshirt!" "Cool!" I think he said, nodding in approval and smiling. I loved that sweatshirt and wore it all the time. Apparently, Rick liked it too. And so did Colin. For some reason, they shared the sweatshirt. I don't know how they worked out whose turn it was to wear it or why they shared it--maybe they bought it together--but they would interchangeably be seen wearing it for much of our college years. I actually still had mine until about a year ago. It had become so threadbare, with the sleeves slowly deteriorating, that I finally let it go. I kinda wish I had kept it now, at least what was left of it.

Rick, best wedding guest, best friend of pregnant ladies.

Shared by Helen Ding on October 11, 2020
David and I had our wedding at the American Visionary Art Museum, the reception was held at an empty part of the museum called the 'barn'. It held no art work except for Fifi, a very large pink poodle kinetic sculpture, and Fifi was 'safely' chained to a cement block on the floor hidden in a corner. You know it was only a matter of time before Rick and John somehow freed Fifi and took her for a joy ride. David and I went back to the barn for our first anniversary and noticed that Fifi is now high up in the ceiling beams, away from enterprising wedding guests.

After the wedding comes babies, so I am duly pregnant with my first child and attend a holiday party with all my cool single friends. Rick must have noticed my self consciousness and told me I looked like "the kind of women that men would kill other men and drag back to their cave", basically threatening to kill the father of my unborn child and kidnap me. I felt beautiful the rest of that night. Thank you, sweet heart.

Rick at Kent School

Shared by Madoka Matsushita on October 10, 2020
Rick was super smart and athletic, he was in all the advance classes, same time, a tri-varsity athlete, and was captain of varsity baseball senior year. What also stood out was how he befriended everybody, from the jocks, studious ones, laid back people, musicians, artists, etc, when at time teenagers are somewhat insecure, and away from home. This was Dan's observation a few weeks ago to which I 100% agree. Rick was chosen student council, which is a class vote, and evidence of his popularity.
Rick was smart but he never really studied, I think Dan would agree that when we were roommates senior year, we never saw him studying, and he'd be the first one to sleep, sometimes with the lights on. Most nights we'd put on the Enigma CD to fall asleep. The picture with Rick studying, was taken to send to Rick's parents (sorry it took 25 years), but seconds later, he was laughing with pens and pencils in his nose and ears.
Many memories, baseball, spring training in St. Petersburg Florida was a blast, during the season, Rick was a great pitcher, threw very hard. I hated how he'd throw very hard during warm up, and my hand would hurt. He was very competitive. He taught me how to throw a good change up, which consisted of a loud grunt while releasing the ball so the batter thinks a hard pitch is coming.
Jokes and pranks were part of our lives then, he'd put a small piece of napkin on his face in the dining hall during a meal, people would point out, and he'd act like he can't find it and act upset. I will leave the library prank for someone else with better writing skills, but my part was the look out where a faculty entered the building at 3am in the morning. Sorry coach, but my favorite was when Rick posted a fake list for varsity baseball tryout, and we watched people's reaction. And I heard recently, he was launching water balloons at the crew team in the river.
More memories will come back, and hope to put up more in time, I think preparing for the graduation party at the barn in Nick Bauta's house was fun. While Nick ran for errands, Rick, Dan and I thought we'd write all over the white wall, to find Nick upset (and arguably he had every reason), and we spent the whole day repainting the walls. Some of the pictures are from that day.
I'm not sure sure how to end this story, but I will leave it here in hopes that other Kent classmates will add on, as we all have different memories of times with Rick, and I too want to hear more.

Rick and Sparky the boxer

Shared by Megan Jarzyna on September 29, 2020
Rick's parents shared the story of Sparky, Rick's dog, with me.

When Rick was 7 or 8, they were living in Oklahoma City and Rick asked his folks for a dog, as many young boys do.  Rick and his father drove out to Tulsa, over 2 hours away, to pick out a boxer puppy.  When they finally arrived, Rick took one look at the litter of puppies and said "I don't want any of them". 

His dad took him aside to talk to him, and one puppy followed them.  He said "Ricky, we're here because you asked for a dog, son. Just pick one."  So he turned around and pointed to the one that followed them and said "that one".  They took the pup home and Rick decided on the name Sparky.  He was his faithful companion for 8 years.

Rick the Genius

Shared by Tim St Pierre on September 28, 2020
Our family set out on an ambitious quest to see all of the baseball parks, and in the second year we hit Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox.  We made the trip with my dad, and Rick joined us.  We met for dinner beforehand at the Cask and Flagon.  It was the first time Rick and my two young sons met.  They were so excited to meet a real scientist, and proceeded to start asking questions to see how smart he was.  I assured them that Rick was very smart, but still, they persisted.  They asked him some real tough ones, like who was the first president.  Rick was up to the task and handled their rapid fire quizzing with ease and panache.  So they brought out the big guns, and my younger son asked him "What's 100+100?", thinking surely they had him out-witted now.  Without missing a beat and with his trademarked grin, Rick replied "200".  My sons were in awe, and promptly dubbed him "Rick the Genius!"... a nickname that stuck ever since.  We had a great time that night, celebrating friends, family, summer and a Red Sox win, and I always appreciated Rick humoring the boys and being so great with them.  Here's a video of us singing Sweet Caroline during the 7th inning stretch... good times never seemed so good.

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