He once told me that I was born in the wrong century — I should have been an explorer in the American frontier, somebody with no conventions or no rules being told to go out and find some new things, not having any structure to it. Again, it’s a generous way of putting it, but if I was to put it in more stark academic terms, I mean basically I was a slacker and I wanted to go wherever my interests took me. You know, it’s hard sometimes to stay focused on things that would get me to be a captain of industry. But I don’t think that Gaudino—I mean he probably saw all that, even when I was 20, but he never put it in any sort of way that made me think I was less than, or not fulfilling my potential, if I didn’t become a captain of industry or a doctor or a university professor.

Then there was this other thing he said to me one night out on that little patio, you know, outside his living room. It was like Indian summer. We were watching the sunset, having a bowl of vanilla ice cream, and he said, “You know, I want to give you something. I want to will to you my love of life.” It sounds very touching and very dramatic. But I think he also said that to a couple of other people. There may be others. I remember that because I felt—well, I still feel, I still feel I have not come close to living up to that bequeath or whatever you want to call it. If he willed me his love of life I don’t think I’ve kept faith with it very well. I still look at the glass half empty way too much. I don’t appreciate the fact I’ve lived, you know, 15 years longer or 10 years longer, than he did. I try to. But the fact that I remember it 35 years later, it had a definite effect on me. Oh, gosh.

Dick Slade '74