by Deck Deckert
(Swans - June 20, 2005) Sitting beside my desk is a box filled with magazines intended for Richard Mackintosh -- good liberal magazines like The Progressive, Harper's, Extra! (a publication of FAIR), newspapers like The Progressive Populist, and newsletters like The Washington Spectator and The Lowdown (Jim Hightower's publication).
Good publications for a contributor to Swans and ones he always appreciated.
He'll never get to read them now, but wherever his spirit has gone, I hope he can find the equivalent. Better yet, I hope the next world won't be so mad as to require these few oases of sanity.
Richard was a kind and gentle spirit, and a good and gracious friend.
I have -- make that "had," such a hard word to say -- known him only two years, a short, but tumultuous time for both of us. Within a week of my meeting him, I had a stroke, which made me a little hard to communicate with. But he managed, making frequent visits to the hospital and to my home and buoying my spirits immensely. We celebrated my wife's birthday in a rehabilitation ward, Richard and Jacque were the only other two guests present and all that was needed to make it a festive occasion. A few months later, Richard became the patient, his worsening heart condition requiring frequent hospitalizations.
But despite this, he became an instant friend, one to whom I felt closer than people I've known for decades. We would start by talking of shoes and ships and sealing wax, and cabbages and kings. But inevitably the conversation would turn to the present state of the world, national politics, the perverse, insane nature of the federal government, and the corporate domination of all that is. Then we would both sigh, acknowledge that we were talking to the converted, and talk of more personal and mundane things.
A world without his good humor, his intelligence, and his kindness is so much poorer. He will be sorely missed.