Rick Ryckeley's blog

The Judge and me

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The pull of childhood memories is strong. A sight, a familiar smell, even a taste can transport us back in time in an instant. Melear’s Barbeque had all three.

To some, it was a meeting place to discuss the current politics of the day. To others, it was just another barbeque restaurant. For still others, the stopping point before the big race. To me, it was much, much more. Read More»

Questions from The Boy

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The first time I saw him his blue eyes looked up at me as a small hand wrapped around my finger, and I knew nothing for either of us would ever be the same again. The Boy doesn’t remember that day, the months or even the years that followed. But I was there. So it’s left up to me to give him a glimpse into his past, to show him where he came from, so he’ll know where’s he’s going and what awaits him when he gets there. Read More»

If only

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If only this were a funny story, it wouldn’t be so sad. If only it weren’t so sad, maybe it wouldn’t be so true to so many. Funny will return next week.

If only I were rich, I’d not have a care in the world. I could buy anything, go anywhere, and afford the most expensive things. Health issues wouldn’t be a problem because I would have the most expensive doctors always on call. Traveling the world in my private jet would be a never-ending trip — never-ending seeing so many who still have so little, some without even clean water. Read More»

The ugly hat

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It was last century since a winter storm brought this town to its knees for more than just a day. Back in ’94 it went by several names.

Dubbed the snow storm of the century, or Snow Jam, it slowed traffic on all the major freeways to a crawl and kept motivated students from school for a few days, but it was nothing like the ice storm that hit us Sunday night.

I think it’s safe to say that, for those of us who didn’t know already, one inch of ice on the streets and this town shuts down. And this time it lasted for three glorious days. Read More»

Ways to save

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For the first article of the year, it seems only logical to write about something that’s on most people’s mind these days: saving money. Long ago, my dad told me, “It’s not what you make, it’s what you spend.”

Sound advice, but times are very different now from when we all lived at 110 Flamingo Street. I’ve updated his advice. It’s not what you spend, but what you save that’s important. Read More»

The Christmas Card

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Funny thing about life is that if you live long enough, you’ll have the chance to play each role. To better illustrate my point, we’ll use one of the many traditions of the season, the Christmas card.

Since it’s Christmas Eve, one would think great thought and timing went into this article. Nope, I just needed a break from writing all of those addresses. I finished mine in 10 minutes, but The Wife’s got lots and lots of friends and needed some help. Read More»

Three generations of elves

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As far back as I can remember, there has been an elf who has visited our house right around the holiday. Now I know most people believe Santa is the boss and does all the heavy lifting, but he’s just the figurehead. As with any multinational corporation, it’s the people behind the big guy that actually do all the work. And when you’re talking about Santa, there’s a lot of behind.

Growing up at 110 Flamingo Street, we really only saw Santa once. That’s when I was 5; it was the night he fell off our roof and Mom had to call the fire department. Read More»

Marriage's greatest trial

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A friend of mine just got married, and he was distressed that he and his wife already had a fight. Well, to be honest, she called it a fight; my buddy contends that it was just a disagreement. I guess you can say they’ve now had two fights ... I mean, disagreements.

As always when people move in together, there’s bound to be an adjustment period where both sides need to give in a little to make things work. He was upset that, after just two weeks, a disagreement had come between them in their wedded bliss. He asked me for my sage advice. Read More»

Every window a stage

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It could’ve been entitled “A Snapshot of Small Town America: A Short Film Suitable for All Ages.” Admission was free — free for all who had taken the time to sit, sip, and simply watch the show.

Sipping a vanilla chai and enjoying the ambiance the small town coffee shop had to offer, I sat and pondered how seemingly simple yet complex the world outside the picture window was. Having nothing better to do, I decided to watch for awhile.

First on the world stage outside the window, a middle-aged lady wearing a skin-tight shirt sauntered by announcing “Bringing Sexy Back.”

She wasn’t. Read More»

Thank you

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Last Friday our local hospital had one of the busiest days ever. Teams of skilled surgeons performed 68 operations that ranged from minor to life-saving. I know this because I spent all day waiting on my best friend. As events unfolded over the next 24 hours, she was to be on the receiving end of one of those life-saving operations. Read More»