October 13, 2003
Farewell, Rick Blake
I heard that Dr Rick Blake, formerly of the Computing Service at the University of Essex, died on 13th September, and was buried at Weeley Cemetery on 26th September. Rick had retired in 1991 due to ill health, and was well known as an enthusiastic cricketer, and was a local in many of the Wivenhoe pubs. I knew him for four years, from 1996 to 2000, as a regular drinker in the Greyhound, and sometimes I'd give him a wave when he paused for a bit of a sit down on the wall opposite my house, on the long trek up Queen's Road from his house to the pub or back again. His stick-thin frame, tweed jacket and floppy white hat made him instantly recognizable, but it was his ability to demolish the Times and Financial Times crosswords after 10 pints that amazed me. He was friendly, polite and clever, but his thirst for beer combined with cancer of the mouth, which conspired to rob him of his teeth in the late 90's, made conversation with him a challenging task for the uninitiated. Which is a shame, because those conversations often went far, wide and deep, and were all conducted through a wry grin. I'm sorry our paths didn't cross just one more time. I'll miss you Rick - you were a gent.
Posted by daen at October 13, 2003 05:10 PM