August 12, 2006

Robert Riffle Rest In Peace

Bob Riffle was my step-sister's father. He played a part in my life too because she has been a part of my family since I was three. When I knew him he lived in Houston; but apparently over the years he moved to Florida. I hadn't spoken to him in many years since my (step)sister stopped speaking to him. She got a call from him a night or two ago and he didn't leave a message. She didn't answer because apparently he was an alcoholic and she didn't know if he was calling drunk or not. Anyhow I tried to contact him through e-mail a few months ago and got a response from a woman he had collaberated on a book with. She said she hadn't spoken to him in years. So that left me with a dead end. My sisters didn't know that I had tried to contact him.

I don't remember the alcoholism. I remember that we watched a lot of MTV when it first came out and had a lot of videos on it. I remember his partner being perhaps schizophrenic and sitting in a dark room and constantly watching footage from the Nazi Holocaust. So my sisters and I watched those too. Once Bob drove to the farm I grew up on in Texas and he brought along Randy his partner and Randy pulled out a revolver from the glove compartment. He was paranoid that someone might commit a hate crime against them. We laughed when that happened. When I was ten or so Bob took my sisters and I to the drive in where we watched the Exorcist. That really freaked us out.

Bob gave my sister all of his Beatles collection on LP and also some Cheykovski and Bethoven. So when we got back to our farm (where there was not a lot on the radio) we played those ad nauseum until we had memorized them. Bob had a grand piano in his living room and enjoyed playing it. I remember one year he left up the Christmas tree up all year long. Once it flooded while we were staying at his house and we went swimming in the street where we could see the top of a volkswagon beetle sticking up out of the water.

Once he took us to Herman Park and we went to the zoo. He said he would buy each of us a treat to eat. I couldn't decide between cotton candy, popcorn, or something else and I threw quite a fuss about it. What a little piggy I was being.

I heard that he published books about tropical plants had travelled a lot. I regret not being able to re-connect with him.

Posted by Butterfly Emerging at August 12, 2006 10:14 PM


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