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Subject: Memories of Dick

Kate Spencer
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Date Posted: 11:25:05 01/02/02 Wed

I first met Dick at Old Joe Clark in Cambridge. One of my fond memories of those days is of accidentally walking into one of the OJC bedrooms where Dick and a young lady were passionately necking. When I later apologized to Dick, he said in true gallant fashion, "Not a problem. I'm just glad there was something worth interrupting!"
I got to know him better in 1972 during a long and hilarious 16 hour road trip to Union Grove in Don Duncan's 60's Chevy.
After Dick moved to California, we lost touch until a joyous reunion at Namm at the Saga Booth in 1989. Dick spent the rest of our days at the show chaperoning my friend and me around Los Angeles, out to dinner and to his gigs at one of the Country Western dance halls where I learned to do the Texas Two Step.
Dick came East after that to my Memorial Day Parties; I was honored that he made the trip to visit and play music with his Old Joe Clark friends. I last saw him and Banjo Camp North last May; we had a long talk and promised to meet again next May. I loved him dearly. Here is his last letter to me; I share it with you because it is full of happiness, a little lonliness, and plans for the future.

Hey Kate,
I've been meaning to send you a note for a while, but I keep shutting down the computer. I almost did it again, but no more excuses. How are you doing? When I see the picture of the front of your store I feel like I'm there in spirit, and can smell that New England air that I miss so much. Mike Holmes invited me to banjo camp for 2002 to visit and jam, but it's later in May and I'll probably be back East around the first week in May, so I may have to miss it, but we'll see. I'm glad I don't have to go anywhere for a while. With e-mail I've been in touch with more people than I thought would remember me, and it's kind of nice to be just a "send" away. Dave Howard and Rod Roach have helped me out on bluegrass questions, I'm helping Jay Unger out on some fiddle tunes. Pat Sky, who I haven't spoken to since about 1974, has been tracking down some 19th century minstrel stuff for me. Small world. I looked at the pictures from the banjo camp web site the other day - that was great to see.
All the best, and I hope to see you soon.
Love, Dick

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