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Richard Keller (K5WA)
March 16, 1997
Good Bye Rich...
Letter to Richard Keller, K5WA after his passing on March 16, 1997. Richard died peacefully in his sleep. Rich will be missed by his contester friends all over the world. The Texas DX Society will particularly feel the lose of one of their most active and supportive members for many many years.
Ah, Rich, I have been so torn up since I heard you left, Man. I have tried to drop you a note like the other guys but I just haven t been able to do it, Buddy. I can t see my keyboard now as I cry but I need to say a final good bye so I will try. I hurt so bad inside, Rich. It feels awful like when Dave, N5JJ, left. Actually, its worse because we didn t know you were leaving.
I guess this is good doing this because my sobs are so big and hard now that I started this...finally they came! Maybe the pain will come up now and I can find some peace with the fact that I can t pick up the phone and call ya anymore. When I finally had to get into AA years ago because of too much contesting and not enough mature life, they told me that part of the reason I was just another sorry drunk was because I couldn t cry. Well, I wish they could see me now. They also showed me that it was okay to say to another guy that you love him and I loved you Rich. I wish I would have said it before but, heck, it would have just felt weird for both of us so I just hope you know. I knew you cared about me like you did everybody, Rich. My own brother never would accept me through all my terrible weaknesses and faults like you did.
I wish you were here now so we could do this good bye thing together. Yeah, I know we are sort of because of the spirit bond that will forever live in my heart and, I guess, that is what this life and death stuff is all about. I don t get it why it hurts so much though! I know you know what I mean because you would be all messed up too thinking about my wife like I am about our Mary Anne. I am in such panic not being with her tomorrow when all the gang gets together to share their sorrow and tears with Mary Anne. I hope she knows that I would do anything for her if she ever needs me. I am so darned far away, Rich. But I ll call her when I can without blubbering all over myself and just make her feel worse. I ll tell her that in my Buddy Code that she is now part mine forever to watch over as best I can because that is what buddies like us do, isn t it? Not everybody understands that but we do, don t we? I m sitting in a darned hotel room doing this and, Man, do I wish one of our friends were here because I almost can t stand this huge thing exploding in my soul or whatever it is God gave us when your whole being just wants to scream so hard and loud to block the pain.
But we lived some cool times didn t we, Pal? Remember that 160 contest with JJ and all those crazy Field days? We knew how to play hard with our buddies, didn t we? It sure was fun down at XE2FU, too. I ll never know how you put up with me when I was making your other radio friends talk so badly about me. But you always hung in there with me and with that heart of yours you always were able to be a friend to all of us even when we acted like children with our stupid egos. I was envious of your power to maintain an open mind and your ability to forgive so easily. I surely pushed you to the edge so many times with my self-centeredness. But you were always there for me, Rich, when I surfaced out of the blue and at the end of another one of my runs from reality.
I wish so badly that we had made that DXpedition together. It was always so cool running the heck out of em someplace and there would be ol K5WA in the pile-up with a perfectly dropped tailend. I ll find some time in all of my future trips to drop your call right smack in the middle of a huge pile-up on me to answer K5WA 5NN. And as the pile waits, I ll take that moment to be real close to you for few moments, Rich. You ll feel me, I know, and I want to know that you will smile. I know I will feel that smile and maybe this leaving thing will get a little easier for me to take each time I work ya, Rich.
I know you know how hard it is for me to type right now as my whole body trembles but its okay, right? This must be what buddies do when they can t see each other again. I ve lost friends before in Nam and out here in the World but I never lost you before and I just don t know quite how to do it. Talking to you through my heart is kind of better than on the air but it sure hurts a heck of a lot more. If we were together now, we would be laughing like mad, wouldn t we, with me slobbering all over the place. I guess I know in my heart because of my beliefs that your are here but I am still a Novice at copying this way. Help me from there if you can, please. While you re at it, please put in a good word for me there because I m going to need it someday. Yeah, I m going to need a buddy in the right place like where you are at. But, they say He has a heart even bigger than yours so maybe I ll have a chance.
OK---I am going to try and let go now. Oh God, here comes the tears again but, they say This too shall pass so I am sure I will learn this new mode of communication with you, Rich. Good bye, my friend. I loved ya, Buddy.....
Dennis Motschenbacher K7BV & all those other terrible calls you and I used to laugh about.
God, I miss you...
Contributed by: (K7BV)
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