Richard Mezejewski
(Dick, Mezzy, Mez, Ski)


This is a typical "Dick" picture. Pipe in his hand, That is probably Rebel Yell and Coke in front of him
and I am sure that is Whiskey his Spaniel. Laurie is in the background. I took this photo around 1995-1996
one of the very few that I have of him. - Michael Grossie -


Dick and Mt. St. Helens. These photos were taken in 2004.

This section is dedicated to my good friend Richard (Dick) Mezejewski. We all knew him as Dick, Mezzy, Mez, Ski and a list of other names that probably should not go here. This section is made up of my remembrances of Dick, your remembrances of Dick, and some of Dick's writings. I often told Dick that I would publish his writings somewhere. He told me that he had lots of little articles, stories, thoughts written and all were on his computer or on disks - I hope that his beloved Laurie can find them so that they can all be shared with the world.

 

A very Happy Thanksgiving,
      and enjoy those around you....
 
     ..... Mezzy

That was the last email that many of us got from Dick - it will go into the "file" with the rest of the things that he has sent me over the years.

The last time I saw Dick was when my wife and I drove down to Portland from a convention we had been to in Washington.  We had dinner with Dick and Laurie and I wondered how he was lucky enough to meet her.  Ha Ha.
Dick lived here in Lincoln, Nebraska, for a number of years.  He worked on the Lincoln Journal newspaper as a reporter.  Actually, he was a lot better photographer than he was a reporter, but that won't come to a surprise to anyone who knew Dick and his love of the camera.  The City Editor of the Journal was my best friend, Bill Kreifel.  Through my friendship with Bill I got to know Mez and, the rest, as they say, is history.  We all went out drinking, hunting, drinking, fishing, drinking, trap shooting, drinking, and a number of other things guys are supposed to do.  Oh, did I mention, we often played poker and drank.  Mezzy had the quickest hand you ever saw.  Someone would bet a dime, Ski would call with a quarter chip and drag back twenty-cents.  To this day, when those of us that are left get together for the monthly poker game that has been going on for roughly thirty years, someone will say, "Hey, Mezzy!  That was a dime (or whatever denomination) bet, not a nickel.  He will never be forgotten here by a whole host of people. 
     And Mezzy stayed true to himself as well as his friends. 
     Ski came back to Lincoln when Bill Kreifel died.  We all knew Bill and so we all got together for a game of poker
to celebrate Bill's life.  My daughter drove in from Denver where she had been able to find a twelve pack of Hamms beer, and we had some corn dogs slathered in mustard to pay homage to the epicurean delights Kreifel loved so much.  Needless to say, after he had choked a Hamms down, I had to get out my best Irish Whiskey out to bring Ski back to life.  As we all said our goodbyes to Bill that night, we will chock out this one too.  But, God, it ain't gunna be easy.
Rest in Peace, Ski.  And may all of you who were part of Dick's life,  Bless you all and may you all be comforted.
Larry Schenkel.

I first met Dick when he took the job as editor of the Skamania County Pioneer in Stevenson, WA. This was about 1987-1988. I was the Undersheriff for Skamania County Sheriff's Department, and Dick had come in to introduce himself to my boss, Sheriff Raymond Blaisdell.  The three of us sat and talked for what seemed like forever. It seemed like my boss and I had known Dick forever, he was that kind of guy. Dick told us of his association with the Clackamas County, Oregon Sheriff's Department. He had covered the Sheriff's Department while he worked at a newspaper in the area. As soon as Dick left, my boss instructed me to "check up" on Dick and see if he was what he portrayed. I contacted Sheriff Bill Brooks of Clackamas County, Oregon, and Bill assured me that Dick was all that he had purported to be and more. Bill felt that he was a valued and trusted friend as well as an excellent reporter and investigator.

Well after that first meeting and his reference check, Dick probably spent more time in my office, Ray's Office, Ray's car, my car, then he did anywhere else. Dick was on the "call list" for anything major that happened in the County. Homicide, rape, drug bust, Dick got a call and always came to take pictures and write the story. That is unless he was already there with us. If we called Dick on the weekend, he would just about always bring his beloved Laurie with him. She would sit in the truck "FOXPAWS" and read a book while Dick took pictures, got the information for the story, etc.

I can remember one time in particular,  this was a Marijuana grow operation. We thought that we had the suspects rounded up. Dick was on his way to take pictures of the field of green. So, we left two heavily armed US Forest Service Law Enforcement officers with Laurie and the truck, just in case a bad guy came back. Laurie’s comment later was she didn’t know if she was more afraid of the bad guys or the two guys with the guns.

Mount St. Helens was always a place that Dick loved. We went there as often as possible. He used to tell stories of getting by the roadblock in the days before and after the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in May of 1980 by dressing in clothes that resembled those worn by the Forest Service and Law Enforcement agencies in the area.  

I, myself, am a Game Warden in Okanogan Washington.  I met Dick as a new Deputy Sheriff, patrolling the Mt. St. Helens area, meeting through my old Undersheriff Mike Grossie from Skamania County Wash, now in Lubbock Texas.  Mike was a good friend of his and Dick was often visiting Mike when I was around.  Dick and I managed to dent a body panel fixing a flat tire on Mike's powder blue (yuck) Ford LTD in about 1988.  I remember 'cause Mike hollered just a little at us when he discovered it (we didn't see it Mike, honest).  I only maintained contact with Dick through the internet over the years, but I did maintain that contact fortunately.
 
I am truly lucky to have known this man and, like all of you, I am sure will miss his e-mails including his observations on life.  My daughter would check the computer and say "...Dad, Mezzy sent you something..."
 
They say you can judge a person's life by the mark he leaves on people, for better or worse; I am truly better having known him.  Darn-it, he was a good guy!
 
I included an old snapshot of MSH erupting May 18, 1980 that Mezzy sent me, and maybe all of you, last year. 
 
Jim Brown

 

After Dick left the Pioneer, he went to work for Buggs Computers in Portland, Of Course he might of had a job in between - can't really remember. Dick got in on the ground floor of the computer boom. I, along with the Sheriff's Department purchased several computers from Buggs, through Dick. Dick fit right in with the group at Buggs. Bryon, Scott, Kelly Wilcox and their Mom and Dad just became part of Dick's large and growing circle of friends.  I remember going to Buggs just shoot the breeze with Dick and all the folks that worked there. 


This from a Bugg's Computers
New Years Party - Year unknown.
Front - Left to Right
Michael Grossie, Debbie Grossie, Laurie White

Somewhere during his tenure at Buggs, my wife and I started going to the Long Beach, WA Peninsula. with our travel trailer Dick and I both knew Ann (Wieseman) Harryman who worked for the Skamania County Emergency Medical Services. At the time Ann's father-in-law lived in Ocean Park, WA which is on the Long Beach Peninsula. We got to know this gentleman, and before long, he was selling both Laurie and my wife and I property on the Peninsula. 

I can remember one time, prior to our purchasing property there, that Dick, Laurie, my wife and I, along with the dogs, spent Father's Day weekend Ocean Park. We stayed at a an RV park that also had cabins. Dick and Laurie rented a cabin and my wife and I stayed in our trailer. During the course of the weekend there were many trips through the dunes to the beach. On one such trip, Dick and I found a "fort" that the kids had built into the dune area. They had dug out some sand, and then used some boards to create this covered "fort." We both took note of it, as there were a couple kids in it and the dogs of course were curious. 

A couple hours later, I was in the trailer and I heard yelling outside. I went out to see that the dunes were on fire. The dune grass was pretty dry and the wind was blowing the fire south down the dunes. I reported the fire by radio to the Pacific County Sheriff's Office, and then Dick started yelling "Mike the kids," meaning the ones we had seen in the "fort" a couple hours earlier. We both took off running and found the "fort" vacant, but all of the fire was south of the "fort." We had found the pint of origin of the fire. Dick and I then spent the next hour or so helping the local fire department, Department of Natural Resources, residents, fight the fire. Once it appeared to be controlled, Dick and I started looking for the kids that we had seen in the "fort." Now you can imagine the sight, Dick and I going through the neighborhood waving badges (I think we left the weapons at the trailer park, though Dick had his vest on, so he probably had a weapon), asking everyone if they had seen some kids. By the time that the Pacific County Sheriff and Deputy showed up, we had identified the kids that were in the "fort." After questioning by the Deputy, who pointed out the singed eyebrows, the kids confessed to playing with an aerosol can, that ignited and started the fire. We were going to have T-Shirts made that said "We fought and solved the Dunes Fire."

Laurie is a Grandma for the third time... Daughter-in-law Michelle gave birth about 1:15 a.m. this morning to a baby boy, Good Sam hospital, Portland.... don't have the particulars yet... all are doing great, including Grandma. Michelle was supposed to graduate with a teaching certificate at 2 p.m. 4/31 at Concordia College when the labor pains hit.... missed graduation and the party, but has a new member to her and Ryan's family... Baby arrived about 5 days earlier than expected.... I'll be headed over to take pix....

Mezzy - May, 2005

Child/Pet - Proofing Your House

I’m sure, at one time or another, most of us have experienced the need to secure certain doors and cabinets around the house from the prying hands and eyes of a youngster. This could be as a result of your own kids or those that may be visiting. It seems kids can get into all sorts of stuff, create messes and possibly endanger themselves. There is an entire industry that addresses the potential problems, and offer all sorts of attachments to secure said doors and cupboards.

 Now I agree with this, and have no problem, should the need arise, to place some sort of apparatus on door and cupboards to thwart potential incidents that could harm the up and coming generations. After all, they are said to be our future and I don’t want some youngster, 20 years later, complaining that he/she could have been a contender in something. But, one day they visited my house, as a child and what happened traumatized him/her so bad that they lost the ability to stay focused. (Given the times, there would probably be a lawsuit in this someplace).

 As a "back when I was a kid" thing, I remember well dragging out pots and pans… along with canned food and using them as building blocks and the such. The potentially dangerous stuff, knives and things with related sharp edges, were kept in area well above where we could reach. Pretty much did the same thing when my kids were growing up.

 Anyway, as I said, kids I can understand, but I never thought I would have to consider this where my pups are concerned. Silly me…

 This isn’t so much just a thing with the current generation of fuzzy people who share their lives with me. It goes back a ways, in hindsight, just that it has become more obvious. Or, the pups are evolving and seem to be more able to mimic some of the moves that humans make… sort of.

 Learning how to open and close regular doors has always been something they learn, even to the extreme. For instance, when Libbie was much younger and in heat, I had to leave her for a while, and Whiskey seemed to be waiting for me to go. Realizing this, I thought it would be a good idea to put Libbie, along with food and water, in a back room with doors closed. Two doors as a matter of fact. One leading from the kitchen to the laundry room, and the other, from the laundry room to the back room, which is sort of a den and rather comfy.

 Feeling like I had the situation well in hand, I left. I don’t know how long after I left, Libbie decided she wanted back in the main part of the house, but when I got back home, she was in the dining room, under the table, and Whiskey was laying in a corner trying not to catch my eye.

 Here’s what Libbie did and it also shows how powerful her jaws are when she has a goal in mind. She jumped up, I don’t know how many times, grabbing at the brass doorknobs, collapsing the metal and turning the knobs on both doors until they opened!!! (They are still there as a reminder). She also managed to wreck the molding the side of both doors. She was determined, and she did it…. She knew enough the knobs opened the doors as I am sure she had seen me do it hundreds of times. O yeah, no puppies as a result of this, so I guess that’s why Whiskey looked sort of sad….

 At one time I had a floor mounted surge suppressor for this computer, and I would walk in, tap it with my foot to fire it up. It didn’t take Whiskey long to figure that one out. Each time he came in here with me, he would head for it and smack it with his paw, I guess trying to turn it on as he had seen me do. I remounted it off the floor as a precaution. After all, I didn’t want him in here using the computer surfing for questionable Lassie pictures!!!

 These sorts of things happened with all the pups, each to a certain degree.

 Now then, I have this one Spaniel named Raider. Aptly named he is. I made the mistake, thinking it was funny, to actually teach him to open and close certain doors. He learned fast. For example, if he wants to get away from it all, he walks down the hall, into one of the bathrooms, and closes the door behind him…. Not completely shut, just enough room to get a paw into to open it when he is ready to come out. No idea how he figured that part out!!

 Anyway, Raider has also figured out how to open the lower kitchen cupboard doors and nose around. Fortunately, no food is kept at the lower levels, though it can be a little spooky coming home and finding cupboard doors open. Another concern I have with this guy, is that he has also figured out that if he jumps up on one of the kitchen stools, he can get a better view of things higher up. This has me a bit concerned also… Then again I thought it would be fun to teach him to jump up on a stool to say hello when I come home. As a result, he is a premier counter surfer… So I have to move the stools away and against a wall when I leave.

 Then there’s Breeze, my Cocker. He’s like the kid in the neighborhood who lets others do the dirty work and then follows in behind to see what spoils can be his. And then gives me that "don’t look at me" look when I ask who was responsible for the current mayhem. Then again, I did catch him once with a paw in the cupboard.

 Through all of this, Libbie now just lays off to the side with a "been there, done that" _expression, bored by the whole thing, probably thinking: "when you guys can be locked behind two doors, and can figure out how to grab, crush and turn a brass door knob, come and talk to me… Until then, it’s child’s play."

 Which brings me back to the original thought of this, childproofing your house if you are silly enough to teach your pups, or other pets, how to do things you don’t want them to do… or something like that.

--Mezzy - October 18, 2005

 

The property on the Peninsula became a focal point for a while. As I remember it, the local water company would not provide water unless there was a septic tank on the property. So, Dick found a local contractor (who is now out of business) to install the septic tank. Of course, the ground had to be cleared of brush, and there were some trees that needed to be taken down. Well of course Dick and I can do that, we're MEN. We had chain saws and brush cutters, what more do we need. So the plan was set, Dick and I would go to the Peninsula and stay at the RV park with the travel trailer. This meant that we would fend for ourselves - this was going to be a male bonding experience that you would not believe. So, in preparation, I sent Dick several faxes (this was before email) outlining what we would need to bring, what food we would need to bring (course who was bringing the Rebel Yell and Coke), and who would cook, etc. One of these faxes I had the menu all outlined and made some smart a$$ remarks that we would not have any cooks, you know the people that wash their hands before they handle the food, with us. Laurie though that the entire message was just hysterical, and for years it was pinned to a bulletin board in their dining room. 
So off we went to the Peninsula to clear brush, cut trees down, be men, oh,oh,oh,oh (imagine Tool Time Tim Allen here). We arrived and started our work. We went down on a Friday and would return home on Sunday. The brush got cleared and trees cut down, and two our three got hung up in the other trees, which required the use of a truck and cable to pull them free. Firewood was cut and stacked, all in all a beautiful park like setting - which, of course Dick didn't like. No park like settings for him, wild and overgrown was his style. The term park like setting became something that I would tease him with for years afterward.


Dick the logger. This was taken around 1990-1991 as we cleared property
to install the septic tank on Dick & Laurie's property - Michael Grossie

When my wife and I purchased our property, Dick came to help. I taught him the finer points of installing electrical cable in ditches, gluing plastic pipe for the waterline, laying TV Cable, all those things that are required to have the creature comforts, oh yeah, also back filling the ditches by hand after we were done.

This experience lead to a couple other do-it-yourself projects that he and I did.

Hello Fellow Mezzy Fans: I'm Adrianne, I moved in across the street from Dick (and next to Al) almost ten years ago. Dick and Laurie have been a major part of my support system, especially through a divorce four years ago. True to fashion, Dick remained friends with my ex and it was through my ex that I learned of his passing Sunday evening. I was in and out of my house through the weekend and saw that cars and people were around, but had no idea what was happening. Though I certainly had a feeling something wasn't right. I told a friend, "I'll call or email Dick and see what's up." I spoke to Al tonight and he shared everybody's emails with me, so that's how I got your addresses. I'd like to be included in your correspondence regarding Dick and I plan to send out emails to all of you if I should see or hear anything. Al tells me Laurie's in Portland with family and I'm glad, because I just can't imagine what it's like for her. I can't imagine what it's like for Dick's family, either. But I do know that there are about six families right here in Dick's neighborhood who are all devastated by our loss. You guys know Dick, so you can imagine what an icon in our neighborhood he's been. It seems like almost everything revolved around him, we all liked him so much. What a bright, interesting, full-of-bull guy with the biggest heart. I'm still in shock at the idea that he's no longer in my life. I'm ever so grateful that he was. Here's Dick out in front of my house on July 3rd, this summer, with his pipe and Obsidian, of course. His house is to the right of the light blue house you see in the background. We had an impromptu gathering in my front yard as I had family down from up North and he came over to say hi. It's not quite as glamorous as the picture of him with St. Helen's in the back, but this is a pose I'm sure you all know so well...

Adrianne -

 Somewhere along the line, Dick purchased a Hot Tub. This was going to go in the back yard. There was just a little problem of not having any electrical power, at least not enough to power the heater in the Hot Tub. No problem, there are MEN here. We can handle this problem. So off to the electrical supply house to get the necessary parts. I had a friend that worked for a large construction company in the Vancouver area. He told me what supply place to go to, where they had an account and did business. Just tell them it's for the company, they will give you the company discount. So at the supply store standing at the counter you have two guys, one wearing a vest (which contained who knows what) and smoking a pipe, wearing a baseball hat over longish white hair, and the other one in a sweatshirt, blue jeans, trying to act knowledgeable about the fine art of high voltage electrical wiring, circuit breakers, wire size, etc. We are experienced electricians working for one of the largest construction companies in the US. Of course we know that we have to have that thingy that clicks when you move it. It shuts off the power doesn't it?

It really wasn't that bad, but it sure seemed like it. OK, now we have the parts. Back to the house. In checking the main fuse panel, we found plenty of space to install the required 30 Amp - 220 Volt breaker. Yes, there was a path to take the wire up into the attic, across the house and then out through the eve to the area of the Hot Tub. This is going to be a piece of cake. Let's turn off the electricity to the main panel and get to work. What do you mean we can't turn off the power to the main panel. The house had been built before the time of the master circuit breaker that killed the power to the lower portion of the main panel. OK, what do we do now? Pull the meter? That would be simple, but what would real men do? So, without pulling the meter, while the box was still "hot" Dick proceeded to install the required breaker and put the wires on it. He told me later that the hairs on his arm were just straight out while he was doing this. And there were other projects... 

My name is Robert, Mez and I have been tight friends since we met in Nebraska in 1967. At that time, he was an editor for the Lincoln newspaper and I was a college student. We immediately became close friends, I spent countless hours at his home talking, playing with Lisa and Marie, making ammunition while drinking too much wine, planning mischief, annoying the F.B.I., playfully irritating every ranger and game warden in a two hundred mile radius over those 4 years. Upon graduation I moved to Las Vegas, shortly Mez and his family moved here also and the adventure continued. We worked together for several years as sub-contractors for the U.S. government. I didn't realize until his passing that all my good stories are involved with Mez and just how many adventures we actually shared. When he moved to Los Angeles, then to Vancouver we continued as close friends while communicating by phone and email. I just have so many funny, interesting stories I don't know where to begin. I'm still in shock that my best, most trusted friend is gone. He always portrayed himself as a tough, somewhat crazy guy but that was a facade, he was really a soft, sensitive and loving person. I can hear him screaming at me for revealing this but all should know the real Mezzy as I do. We loved each other as the truest friends and had a deep trust that developed from rescuing each other from many, many scrapes. Once the shock has passed, I will try to put together the best stories for your website as a tribute to my buddy. The truest measure of the man, is how many people knew and loved him and how profoundly he changed their lives. Please pass this email on to anyone you feel would want to read it. This is a great idea, Mez will love it, thank you. Sincerely, Robert Olivo

 

Some Thoughts About Bears & Avoiding Attacks 

Recently, there has been a lot of bear attack prevention stuff in magazines and newspapers, especially since the release of that movie about the guy and girl who lived with grizzlies up in Alaska and were later killed by one or two of them.

 In one national magazine, they printed out several tips on how to avoid being attacked by a bear. The first one was: "Don’t surprise a bear"

 Like what? I’m gonna creep thru the woods and sneak up on a bear and go BOOO!!! I don’t think so… I might call ahead and let them know I’ll be in their area… and take it from there

 Then there’s the thing about if you’re walking down a trail and come face to face with a creature of the bruin persuasion .. at this point your supposed to stand up as straight as you can and raise your arms above your head and wave them to make yourself look bigger… yeah, right

 I’m a little over 5’10… hands above my head make it a little over 7-feet I suppose… and I weight 168… no matter how tall or big I look…

 I can see this happening: I’m walking down a trail, minding my own business, and coming toward me is this bear… So, I stop and the bear stops.. I raise my arms up and make myself look as big as possible…

 The bear, probably surprised by this move, and we ain’t supposed to surprise bears… rolls his head back and forth looking at me, rears up on his hind legs and raises his front legs up above his head, and depending on what kinda bear you run into, black or brown, they can be anywhere from 7-8 eight feet tall and 3-400 pounds, like some big black bears. Or, 10-12 feet tall, with paws bigger than the average human head, and over 1,000 pounds for browns/grizzlies.

 With my luck, we would both be standing there, looking as big as we could and the bear would say: "Okay, your move…"

 At this point, another suggestion is to hit the ground and curl up in a fetal position, protecting you head with your arms and hands… Ohhhhh yeah.. the idea is the bear will probably bat you around for a while, get tired of the game and wander off. You may be bruised and battered, but apparently can survive… while in the fetal position you can try calling for Mom… and see if that helps.

 My luck would be: I lay there for a while until I feel the fur ball is done playing soccer with me has wandered off to other places and stand up. I start to limp back the way I came, when suddenly I feel a tap on my shoulder from behind… I turn and there’s the bear, standing up, making himself look as big as he can… front legs raised above his head and all that bear stuff, looks at me and goes: BOOO!!!

 Now then, this time the bear surprises me and the manuals don’t really tell you what to do if that happens. One thing for sure, I can’t picture a bear curling up in a fetal position at this point if I raised up to make myself look bigger.

 Next thing I would probably hear is: "Gotcha…."

 Then there is the thing about the variations of pepper-type spray that are supposed ward of bruins. Personally, I think this is nothing more than seasoning for the all you can eat session the bear is about to take part in.

 Recently I was talking with a couple of folks who took a vacation into the wilds of British Columbia. They stayed at a lodge that warned of possible bear encounters and provided those wanting to take a hike with, lapel bells, whistles and if all else failed, a thermos-sized container of bear pepper spray, complete with a holster. And suggested they travel in groups rather than wander off alone.

 I have a mental image or two here:

 A group of hikers wandering thru the woods looking like a potential bruin buffet, wearing and carrying all of the above. The bells and whistles make a noise that surprises the bears and they come out to investigate. This no doubt freaks out the hikers. So, out come the thermos-sized, high power pepper sprays, which I will bet in the fear and frenzy goes off all over the place hitting more hikers than bears.

 At this point the bears are confused at all the ruckus and probably start knee-slapping, laughing and pointing at the scene in front of them as the hikers try and get away, but hampered by their own pepper spray are slamming into trees and falling over each other.

 A few years back, up in Alaska if I recall, scientists did an autopsy on a rather large brown that was dispatched because it had attacked and killed a hiker. While investigating the contents of its stomach, they found lapel bells, a whistle and a small can of pepper spray!!!

 There is a simple and safe way to avoid attacks by bears: Don’t hike where there is a possibility of such an encounter. A number of cities offer urban hiking thru parks and sections of metro areas. The only creatures you might encounter for the most part are panhandlers and, while bells and whistles might signal your approach, in this case, pepper spray does work…

--Mezzy - September 2005

Then there was the time that we decided that we were going to pressure wash our houses. No big deal, rent the pressure washer in Vancouver/Portland, pressure wash Dick's house, then go to Stevenson to pressure wash my house. We got the pressure washer early one morning and took it over to Dick's. Fired the unit up and started to work. Now only one person can run the pressure washer at a time - the other one just tries to avoid getting wet from the spray bouncing off the surface, or from the intentionally, unintentional stream that the operator might mistakenly aim your way. We decided to trade off every once in a while as it was a little tiring on the arms, I think we were using about 2500 PSI, enough to take bark off trees I am sure. I was working with it on a back corner, when I stopped. Dick was in the house or on the other side, and he came back and asked what was wrong. Didn't take him long to figure out why I had stopped when he saw the bare wood on the side of his house and the pile of paint scraps on the ground. At then point we decided that the paint was going to come off, we just needed to change the angle of the spray just a little so that we did not take ALL the paint off.
We finished Dick's House, went to Stevenson did my house and only encountered one problem when a beehive just happened to get between the water spray and the house. No damage to the operators or the house.

Greetings from Donabate Dubling Ireland.

I never had the pleasure of Meeting Mez in the flesh we were internet pals I posted on some boards with Mez over the last 3 years. We were to buy him a drink or two when ever he got to this side of the pond.

Mez asked me in email onetime to do him a favour I should have known he was up to something when he asked me to keep hush about it ...he asked if he could post a package to Ireland using my home address he wanted to reunite two lost friends. I was delighted to be able to help him out.....HA until I realised he was talking about "socktoy" and Driscoll ( Keith Rowles).

Keith and himself had won the Socktoy at a fair or something that they had gone to when Keith went out to visit him, sometime before I really knew them. I had seen photos and heard some very hairy stories for the want of a better word from these two pals as to how they got Socky and who done what with him/it ......we decided sometime ago Socky was male...it was great craic and the slagging was always fierce ...

Anyhow Mez sent the Socktoy to Dublin he told me to make a huge fuss over presenting and reuniting the loving couple...his words not mine...I was to take photos and ring him and tell him all about the reunion ....he laughed so hard when he seen the photos and heard the story of me presenting Keith with Socky in the middle of Temple bar in Dublin we then took Socky to 3 pubs in the area each time we bought a drink we raised them for Mez...it was a priceless moment watching Keith opening the postal tube I had told him there was posters of Ireland inside so he wasn't expecting anything funny....

I added some Irish pins to him before he went back to Florida with Keith .Mez thought this was great and between a bunch of us we have taken Socky on trips around the world and he has quite a selection of pins and other bits and pieces. I know Mez got very excited about entering Socky into the Guinness book of records and had in fact been intouch with them. I think between us we could get his wish to come true. Prehaps when things have fallen in to place with his untimely departure we could really get things moving with Socky again I know Mez was documenting all the air miles etc that Socky  made..I have photos of the Socktoy and the reunion in 2002 and of his trip to Dublin for St Patricks day 2004.

Mez was a gentleman, always two steps ahead in his thinking always sharing and caring. I'll miss him about the place but I know I'll see him again some day I'm more then glad are paths crossed on the cyber highway, he was one of the good guys

"Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam".... May he rest in peace 


Linda Foley & Family 

 

The top photo is of Dick, Richard and myself at the Irish games several years ago.  The second one is of us sitting at the picnic table in Dick's front yard.  We spent many a night out there drinking Guinness, shooting the breeze and bat watching.  We did this on all the major holidays except Christmas no matter what the weather was like.  If it was cold we made a fire in a small pit right there in his front yard.  Needless to say this attracted a lot of attention and anyone who came by was welcome to stay, get warm and have a beer.  I live across the street so all it took was one phone call to trigger a bat watching session.  Sometimes we stayed out there until one or two in the morning.

Alvin Videto

Yes, Al and Dick joined forces many an evening out there at the picnic table, under Dick's trees, by the fire pit.

I'd always holler, "Bat Patrol tonight, boys?"  And they'd reply, "Of course!"

Dick collected all kinds of strange rocks, a lot of them were tall and he placed them in a semi-circle in his yard.  A friend of mine dubbed it "Dick Henge"  and she called them "Dick and Laurie of-the-Henge." One day it was Summer Solstice.  I placed a glass bowl of strawberries on it.  Dick thought it was a great "offering." If you've never seen his yard, the front has many trees and bushes and the foliage is extraordinarily thick during the season.  They painted dark green a few years ago and his house disappears when the leaves come out. 
Sometimes, Laurie came to sit in my yard because I got sun.

We got a parade permit to shut off the street for New Year's 2000,  the changing of the millennium.  Dick had to place the permit on top of one column shaped rock underneath a round rock.  He dubbed it "the monolith."  Of course, these types of celebrations were always celebrated with Dick's homemade fireworks.  This is kind of thing that
went on here in our neighborhood. - Adrianne
 

In 1994, when I decided to run for Sheriff in Skamania County, Dick and Laurie were there to help. Dick took pictures of the campaign and both he and Laurie reviewed speeches that I gave and other written material. Dick spent several days driving me around to various places in the County as I went door-to-door with my message. He was there to console on the fateful election night when I lost.

During the time I lived in Stevenson, dinner with Dick and Laurie almost took on a weekly routine. We would always meet for dinner at a local restaurant, normally Salcido's Mexican Restaurant, which was located on Mill Plain Blvd. not far for Dick and Laurie's.

My wife and I moved to Moses Lake, WA and Dick and Laurie continued to be part of our lives. When we got to Vancouver, we always had dinner with them. Of course I was in the process of putting together a brand new 9-1-1 / Emergency Response Dispatch Center for Grant County, WA. We needed to have computers and a network to tie them all together. So who better to call than Dick and Buggs Computers. Naturally we had to go through the bid process, have vendor meetings and site visits. Then there was the install and the follow-up on the install. Then there were the equipment problems. Each necessitating a trip to Moses Lake by Dick and generally someone from Buggs. On one such trip, the weather was miserable. Snow and Ice, wind, just typical winter weather. When Dick arrived in Moses Lake, on the hub of one of the wheels of his bronco was a ice formation. It looked like a multi-point star, and it shimmered in the like. Since the temperature was well below freezing it stayed in place long enough for him to take a photograph of it. He sent that photograph to one of the national photography magazines and it was printed in one of their monthly editions.

I've seen the web site and I think it's awsome. It's nice to see all this stuff. He was a remarkable human being. I wish that we lived closer together so that I could have seen more of him. He is my cousin. My name is Ray Wedge and I live in Spencer, MA. His mother and my mother are sisters. I only started receiving emails from him about a year and a half ago, but then it became an almost daily thing. At least I got to know him much better because of the computer. I sure am going to miss him and his emails. I saved some of them but now I wish that I saved more. When we were young our parents would get together a few times a year for a Sunday feast. Unfortunately, he was nine years older that I and back then a 15 year old didn't really want to hang around a six year old. So I really didn't get to know him very well. From everything that I hear, I wish that I knew him a whole lot better.
 
I'm looking foreward to seeing your website on him grow.
 
Thanks,
Ray

 

Dick was my cousin.  His father and mine were best friends.  His dad introduced my mother and father and my father always had stories about Richard.  I think he jumped off our garage roof with and umbrella or something and thought he could fly.  I was a little younger than he is was, but he was a legend in his own time! It's nice to hear that he had so many friends.  Even though I was new to the email list, his emails were always interesting and family meant alot to him. He will be missed. I live in MA.  I wish I lived closer to Portland. I love Guiness! Have one for me. You will be missed Richard.

 Love, Deb White

Once my wife and I left Stevenson, our communication with Dick and Laurie became the telephone. This was in the mid - 1990's when Email was not as popular or accessible as it is now. Tele-marketing was also a "big" thing. So Dick had this little greeting on his phone that stated something like "This customer does not except telephone solicitation, if you are a tele-marketer, please add this number to your do not call list." Of course this was a perfect oppertunity. The first time I heard it I waited for the beep and started a spiel about metal roofing, how it would protect your home and came in a multitude of colors all to match the perfect park like setting of his neighborhood. Another time it was Veeeenile  (Vinyl) siding. Never have to paint again. A multitude of colors. All to blend into the perfect park like setting. Dick would always return the call and when I answered it was always the same - "A$$hole." The first time I did this, Dick said he had to listen to it twice to make sure it wasn't a real sales call, as he was in the market for a metal roof. Course I think he bought it green - to blend in with the perfect park like setting. 

Getting Ready For Winter

Outside the window, on the other side of my monitor, is a world I find interesting in watching, when I have the time to be in here.

The window looks out over the front yard, toward my ring of stones, the fire pit and the road. Between and among here and there, are maples, an oak, overgrown rhoddies, fir trees, a tulip tree and assorted bushes, the varieties of which escape me at the moment. From the trees hang a few feeders for birds, squirrels, raccoons, the occasional possum and various night visitors who might happen by.

Most of the activity of late has been centered around two small, young squirrels, born this year by the looks of them, who have decided to take up residency on a limb of one of the fir trees. At first I was concerned these furry ones would not make it through the summer due to their size, and the fact this area is alive with all sorts of potential dangers. But they have….

I first noticed one of them a couple of months ago, scoot across the yard with a mouth full of leaves, but really didn’t pay attention to it. Then I noticed the activity was increasing and decided, when I could to watch more closely to see if I could determine what the little guy was up to. It didn’t take long… Near the end of a large bough, almost directly in front on my window, I could finally see a dark mass taking shape. A Nest, the little fellow was building a nest before the cold weather set in!!

Smart move I thought, considering he or she picked a spot a short run through the branches to the nearest feeder… actually about dead center between two feeders. Good move, not too far to go during bad weather…

Watching the furry critter darting back and forth became sort of an education, when I had the time to watch. I was amazed now and then, to see it hang by its back legs, somewhat like a bat, I thought, to get what it seemed was just the right leaf or twig to fit a certain spot in the nest. The trees and other vegetation were becoming sort of a Home Depot supply store for this build in progress.

While watching the nest in progress, I wondered, though I know better, if, in the high branches of some secluded evergreen, there might not be a school for young nest builders. Some squirrel elder, with a pointer and collection of proper leaves and twigs, along with examples of other suitable items on display, showing the up and comers just how its done… And wondered if what is being built out front will be graded… I hope it passes, as I would hate to see it start over, given the way the weather has been of late.

One day I decided to see what would happen if I added some potential building materials to the mix. Lint, collected from the clothes dryer and placed where the squirrel could see it, and when I had time, I would watch. I had put lint out a few years ago, and found that robins and a few other birds seemed to like it for lining their egg-raising habitats, so why not squirrels, I thought…

My offering sat out there for several days from what I could tell and then one day I noticed it was gone… I wondered if the furry-tailed limb hanger had finally spotted it and decided to use it. So, I retrieved some more from the dryer and placed it in the same place, just outside the window, thinking I might be in here if the nest-builder made a visit. It took several more attempts with the lint before I saw the critter actually take it and head toward the nesting site. Hey, I thought, this is going to be one snug nest come winter time… My only concern being if the high winds of winter, that come out of the Columbia Gorge, a few miles to the east, might not cause some concerns, seeing that the nest is built near the end of this long bough. Time will tell, I suppose.

In the meantime, the little critter is busy, scurrying around with leaves, twigs and lint… Unconcerned about my crows feeding at a suet feeder, or going after the corncobs in another. Or, the stealth of a passing cat, creeping through the bushes. And, hanging by its back feet selects another leaf to line and protect its home for the winter. I don’t know if both squirrels will be sharing the nest or, if both are working on it, as sometimes the squirrel social structure amazes me.

I think however, I may have learned something very simple in watching this activity when time permitted… Size doesn’t matter, it’s perseverance…. I guess you can be a fairly small squirrel, hang by your back legs, and still build a pretty good-sized place to hang out for the winter.

-- Mezzy - October 2005

 

My name is Keith (Driscoll or Dris). Sometimes Mez would call me the "Socktoy Man".  Anyway, I went out to meet Mezzy in August of 2001 from St. Petersburg Florida.  All I can say is poor Laurie!  She was a saint in putting up with the both of us for 5 long days.  Yes it's true, Mez and I drank Guinness like there was no tomorrow!  Even Alvin join us every night in Mez's front yard to partake in some star/bat watching!  BTW: Alvin's last picture he posted of the front yard was proudly taken by me.  I guess I was the only one who was able to work the camera correctly that night. 
I never met anyone like Mezzy before.  He and I hit it right off.  It was like we have been friends forever.  He made everyone feel that way.  He had a great gift in making everyone feel comfortable.  I was so lucky in meeting Mez when I did.  He was there for me when I went through a tough time in my life.  His great sense of humor, his articles and his poetry were amazing.  I'll always be grateful to him for the advice he would give me.  I've always hope he knew how thankful I was.
The story of the Socktoy was all Mezzy's!  the Socktoy was a sad looking prize that sat on the picnic table along with other more appealing prizes during an Irish society annual picnic Mezzy took me to when I visited him.   During this raffle, my ticket number came up and Mezzy FORCED me into taking this pathetic looking sock that had this goofy face on it.  To tell you the truth, Mez and I laughed so much that day (of course we had a few dozen pints of Guinness). 
When I was leaving his house to go to the airport, he tried to stick that sick  toy into my suitcase.  I got the last laugh and ran it back into his kitchen, without Mezzy knowing it, before getting into his old Toyota truck (he drove that truck like a maniac going 150 miles an hour).  Mez called me when I got home and was so mad at me.  He swore revenge!  Hence the story about Mezzy's caper in Dublin. Mezzy made the Socktoy a modern legend!  He had such a creative sense of humor that I admired so much.  I mean, who would of thought that a sick looking socktoy would travel the world?  Only Mezzy could create that one!!!!!  I hope that socktoy gets into the Guinness world record books one day.  Mezzy would be so proud of his twisted creation! 
 
I miss Mezzy.  This world lost someone special.  I like to think Mezzy always knew what the purpose of life was and how meaningful it was. I could tell by the way Mezzy smiled at everyone.
 
Bless the memory of Mezzy...........
 
I love you Mez  

I tried to keep my memory of Dick, our history so to speak, in chronological order. As you can tell that did not work very well, as I can remember the incidents, (yes, most of them were incidents) but not always the date of when it occurred. Like when Dick got the Shop Smith. The all in one woodworking machine, a table saw, lathe, sander, drill press all built into one piece of equipment. Kind of like a "big kids" transformer. Now why he got it I will never know. But, when I heard, I asked him if the deer were creating that much of a problem that he had to make his own blood meal. I also told him the Stubby Mezzy just did not have a ring to it - like wise Stumpy Mezzy didn't either. He just laughed like only Mezzy could, called me a few choice names and on we went about something else.

I know that my wife and Laurie would just shake their heads when we got together, because we would feed off each others remarks. There was an area that I worked in that Dick always thought reminded him of scenes from the book and later the movie Deliverance. I think it was the people that lived in the area, not necessarily the terrain. Of course this brought on the list of names of characters that could be in a similar movie, like Joe Bob, Lilly Sue and the ultimate Billy Bob Dog __ck. 

One of the traditions that I had was going Christmas shopping with a friend of mine that I met in Law Enforcement Academy back in the mid 70's. For more than 20 years Richard Moothart and I would meet in Portland, OR or Seattle, WA and go Christmas shopping. It always started with breakfast. The big he-man breakfast, high carb, high fat, served at Denny's or Shari's. Then the shopping, then drinks and dinner at a nicer restaurant, then drinks and cigars on the "front porch." One year I invited Dick along. Within five minutes of meeting Richard, you would have thought they grew up together. That was the way Dick was with most people that he met. We had the traditional breakfast, then off to the first stop - the cop store. A place filled with guns, bullet proof vests, pepper spray, boots, gloves, ammunition - oh the testosterone.  This particular store both Richard and I had done business with, but did not know the owner. Five minutes after we arrive, Dick and the owner were on first name terms and Dick introduced him to both Richard and I.  Typical Dick.  Toward the end of the day there was always a stop at the liquor store. We would buy a couple bottles of whatever we favored for the Holiday Season. Of course for Dick it was Rebel Yell (he later switched to Jamesons I was told). We got out to the car, I was driving, and Dick asked Richard if he had ever tried Rebel Yell. Of course he had not, I never knew it existed until I met Dick. So then it was off in search of glasses and Coke. That was the way Dick liked it. Richard told him to give him the bottle and Richard took that cap off and pulled a slug straight from the bottle. That was the way that Richard liked it. Well the next stop on the list was G.I. Joes. This place has tools, fishing, hunting, camping supplies, clothing and of course glasses. We get back in the car and Dick gets out the glasses  that he bought (red plastic with horizontal ridges) and the Coke and starts mixing drinks in the back seat while I am trying to drive. Didn't take long before I had two have looped passengers, both trying to get me to imbibe. Course the glasses got left in my car. I kept them for several years, everytime I found one it would bring back the memories of that shopping trip. Haven't seen them in awhile, guess we got rid of them somewhere.

I must have done something wrong...

Like most of us... I get a daily splattering of spam coming thru here... I never open them, but at times will read the subject lines before I delete them.... some amazing offers...

One that caught my eye the other morning read: "Burn Fat While You Sleep...."

Hmm, I thought... tho I had an idea what it was about, I decided to do exactly what the subject line said to see what happens.

So I gathered up some bacon fat, chicken, beef and pork trimmings, that I save to feed the crows and make the various other birds happy, about a pound I suppose... and just before I went to bed, and after a couple of pints, I took this mixture outside to the back fire pit area and lit it on fire, making sure the fat was burning, as per subject line in said spam message...before I called it a night.

I could see the glow outside as I settled in for the nite.... My dogs were looking at me sort of strange... but for some reason they do that often.

Come morning, I couldn't see anything different in the house, so me and the pups ventured outside to look at the fire pit... hmmm, sort of a big greasey black spot in the middle of it, nothing really different out here, except some blackened maple leaves.. and the dogs didn't seem to want to get too close with their sniffing.

There was also a lack of birds and squirrels in the immediate area...

I sort of forgot about it until the phone rang, and a neighbor asked me if something died in the neighborhood...

I asked why... He said there was this odor that covered the area for a while the nite before and was wondering if I knew anything about it....

Hmm, how should I respond to this... o well... the truth

So I set about telling him about the various spams and such I had received and how one said to burn fat at nite ...but I didn't open it or read it... so I burned about a pound or so of mixed fats the nite before to see what would happen...

There was a silence on the phone.... and he softly said... "You are crazy... it's about a freaking diet program... " and hung up...

Maybe I should have read it first...

O yeah, after a couple more calls, I found out which way the wind was blowing over nite...

Mezzy - September 2005


Picture on the left is from 1997, Don't think I have a date for the one on the right.

 

The Aroma of Fall

It’s always amazing to me the memories that Fall seems to bring to the forefront of my mind. And most date back to a time of so-called "innocence" compared with the era we are now living in.

Times have indeed changed… for the better?? The answer to that I guess in something each of us must formulate for ourselves. For me at least, the chill in the air, the reports of snow in the higher elevations of the Cascades, the southward flights of geese, ducks and other fair-weather fowl and the changing colors of leafy trees, opens a door that takes me back to Western Massachusetts a lot of years ago.

Back there and then, as a kid, when the Maple, Oaks and Elms changed colors, the smokey aroma of backyard leaf fires and some in the cobble stone street gutters, signaled the onslaught of Autumn and the magic which came with it. True, the Berkshire Hills are not the Cascades by any shape of the imagination. But, viewed from the right place, when the frosts started in earnest, the tops of these ancient and glacier-worn hills, took on a mantel silver that glistened in the sunlight and you knew the snows of Winter were not far off. It is in the aroma of these burning leaves that the memories come back.

Raking leaves from the many Maples around the house… to pile them in the backyard garden to burn, only to have my Collie, Sabre, decide running through them and scattering them was more fun that chasing squirrels. And then my deciding wrestling with him was even more fun until either mom or dad called us back to the reality of the project. Once the dry pile was ready, dad would light it with a match… at first just curls of smoke lifted up.. the aroma soon covered the area. Ours was not the only fire burning in those days, as most folks had backyard gardens and trees, and the ashes were mixed into the soil to help improve the planting for next year. I would imagine, from the air, the columns of smoke could remind you of a village somewhere further back in time, going through some sort of ritual.

Over the years things have changed, and the smoked filled memories, or the possibilities of memories sparked by Autumn fires, were legislated out in favor of the variations of clean air acts instituted to control smokestacks of industry and our mobile society. But I enjoyed the memories the fires brought and in a way rebelled against the law ensuring my two daughters would be able to bring back a memory when they caught the aroma of burning leaves.

And I still do… in my backyard garden. I rake the Maple leaves into a pile, on a crispy Saturday or Sunday. Watch as my Spaniels run through them, for whatever reasons Spaniels do things like that… Think back to Sabre and those days that have passed. The smoke rises and scatters with the wind, masking the aroma of the fireplaces and wood stoves, lit to take off the chill. It spreads across the neighborhood and there has never been a complaint… only the comment from neighbors that it takes them back to when they were kids and the memories.

So, every Fall about this time, I light up a pile of memories for me and others. I’ll do it a couple of times before mulching and bagging the rest to be set along the curb for recycling and wonder a little at what memories I will have missed.

Mezzy – October, 2004

 

 

MINDS' EYE

Noises in the closet
A thumping in the hall..
A taping on the window
A shadow on the wall..

A clanking in the cellar
A moaning by the door..
A face in the mirror
A footstep on the floor

A picture floats across the room
A light goes on and off
A voice is heard beside your ear
At night there is a cough.

Just what could the reason be...
Is it witches, bats or ghosts
That cause these things to happen..
These devilish, unseen hosts...

So you think, what could it be
For the answer you should try..
So you sit down and listen
And seek through your Minds' Eye

Copyright, Dick Mezzy - Quatermoon etc..

 

June 30, 2008

I called him Dickie-Do.

It was a pet name I coined just for him, in defense of some silly nickname he had for me, while we worked together daily at the Enterprise-Courier in Oregon City. I was the budding journalist who had the nerve to think I could make it on a small daily, after working at will as a correspondent for The Oregonian.

Dick’s faith in me was immediate. He was a maverick, a true believer in mankind, and a man who lived his life on his own terms. It impacted me. He taught me to roll my own film for the camera, to take plenty of shots every time I went to cover a story because, “You can’t restage most photo ops. Make sure you get plenty of pictures on the spot.” He taught me many ways to get the story, to check out court records, to cooperate with the cops in a way that netted us some exclusive stories, to establish important relationships so folks would call us first with tips.

He supported me in the many story ideas I had and, believe me, he had plenty of ideas on his own. People confided in him, trusted him. From the sheriff’s department to city officials, everyone knew Dick. Day after day, his desk sat abutted next to mine and we worked on our own stories, and chatted all the while, without interfering with the creative juices that we shared. He encouraged me to investigate stories, to crank them out day after day at a quick pace, and to never miss a deadline.

Somehow I knew, that with Dick’s faith in me, that was all I needed. We set out to tell the public the stories they had a right to know. About crimes, city council agendas, fishing troubles on the nearby Willamette, and so on. The basic stories came easy for me. Still, with Dick’s encouragement, I tackled the tough stories that left me speechless. They hurt my heart. A mass murderer who did horrible things to women, and how to drive back to work and “report just the facts” after witnessing the remains of a murder scene. Drug busts, sting operations, etc. Crime was not something I was used to, and will always abhor. Still, grass-roots reporters must cover the beat we are assigned.

As a result, I won many state awards and even some pretty heady national ones. Thank you, Dick. I called you a year ago, unaware of your passing, to let you know a chapter in my 410-page autobiography was about the Enterprise Courier, and about you. I wanted to show you a copy, and hope you noticed the picture on the cover was taken by you. I imagine you would read a chapter or two, and point out a typo or tell me I should’ve mixed more short sentences in with the longer ones.

I am sad, even to this day, that you, my friend, are gone. Thanks for being my newspaper partner. Thanks for the faith you had in all of us on the staff, and especially in me. Thanks for your amazing sense of humor, which included lifting your middle finger up to supposedly push up your glasses (when we didn’t agree), and grinning at me. Shame, shame. I’m sure you only did that because your glasses did not fit. (Yeah, right) Ha!!!

Love you,

Teri Brosh
New author, your retired reporter/editor/publisher
But more importantly, your friend

 

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Last updated July 7, 2008