Thursday, August 04, 2016

Remembering Mr. Richard

by Claire Rhode

I will be eternally grateful for the time I have spent with artists. From an early age, I was my dad's frequent companion to everything from art museums to comic conventions. I met a lot of artists, but none of those I met were ever quite like Mr. Richard Thompson.

Mr. Richard was one of the artists who seemed to be around all of the time, with my knowledge of him coming from being my dad's shadow and not from any prior experience with his work (although I soon learned). Because of that, I have no memory of actually meeting him. In my (admittedly flawed) memory, he has just always been a part of my life. I remember play dates with Charlotte mostly arranged so our dads could hang out; picking up Mr. Richard for conventions; and frequent mentions of my dad "going over to Richard's for an hour" (or two or three). It seems to me that I don't have a past without Mr. Richard in it, at least tangentially, and I cannot imagine a future where he is not present at all.

It isn't just his presence in my life that has made him special to me. A lot of people have talked about his sly wit (which, quite frankly, flew over my head until recently) and his art far more eloquently than I could ever hope to, so instead I want to talk about his kindness. Mr. Richard had a knack for making everyone in the room feel seen and a part of things, even the ten-year-old in the corner reading. He would smile or crack a quick joke and no matter who he was talking to, he would make them feel included, just as if they were old friends joking around. A talent like that is a wonderful thing to have. I wish that Mr. Richard had gotten more time, for art, for his jokes, for his kindness, and, most importantly, for his family and friends, but I also know that he lived his life in a way that made a lot of people smile, and that is a wonderful gift to have given to the world.

Mr. Richard, rest in peace.

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