In the past months I’ve wondered how I would approach summing up 35 years of a relationship–a premise that is pretty much impossible to satisfy. But all of you who knew Rich would recognize that writing was central to his life and, bookworm that I am, there’s no way I could have hung around for that many years without having it rub off on me. In fact, he led me. Every single time was an adventure: pruning, shaping, molding, turning from prose to poem or back again, and the joy we got out of sharing that. Him sitting on the couch and me reading my draft out loud. Sometimes he would shake his head and say I don’t know what that is and we would agree to disagree. He didn’t like my propensity for doing away with punctuation in particular. But he did have a way of being a champion. Even if he didn’t agree, he would still encourage.