Talkin' smack since 1997
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I first met Dickie when I was 19, on the first day of my English II class. I saw him in the hallway; an Earnest Hemmingway lookin' barrel-chested guy wearing a leather jacket and engineer boots. He was standing in the hallway smoking a goofy-looking More 120 (tihs was back in the day before people decided seconahand smoke was worse than the 8 billion other toxins we push into the air and you could still smoke inside) and holding a couple little books under his arm.

I remember thinking "Great, some fucking continuing education 40 year old freshman is going to be in here making painful discussions even worse," and went past him and sat down in class. five minutes later he walks in, introduces himself as "Mr. Mahlstedt", and starts teaching the class.

Two weeks later I got a part in a show with the Auburn Players. Dickie was in the show, his wife was directing, and we became friends.

Dick was one of the first adults to treat me as an equal and not just another dumbass kid.

Thanks to Dick I managed to survive all the required college english classes with the minimum of pain, though he never missed a chance to bust my balls in class.

We used to hang in the theatre offices to sneak cigarettes after they made the building non-smoking. More 120 cigarette butts look like little turds in the ashtray, so I could always tell if he'd been there already.

He helped me to actually understand all that garbled crap Shakespeare wrote.

I still have the little "No, you're not an idiot" note he passed me one day when i was suffering stupid young adult angst over a dumb breakup.

He was the first old guy I sat around and got drunk and then had those super-ultra-serious drunk conversations with.

During one night of pertying Todd and I dubbed him with the Suprehero name "Suave-Debonair Guy." I think he dug it.

We haven't spoken in a while, now I guess I'm gonna have to wait a little while more. I'll see you in a while, Suave-Debonair Guy.

Slap Out

28 Jan 01

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