The Monday Morning Memo for July 7, 2008
I’ve known Richie Starkey since I was five. He turns 68 today.
Richie said the only thing he wanted for his birthday was for you to pause today at noon, wherever you are in the world, make a peace sign with your fingers and say with a smile, “Peace and Love.”
Will you do it?
Yes, it’s ridiculous. But before you summarily dismiss his request, let me tell you a bit about Richie and why he might merit your cooperation.
1. People have made fun of his big nose his whole life.
2. He throws a great party.
3. He was dealt a bad hand as a kid.
Richie’s dad was a dock worker who walked into a bakery one day to buy a donut and fell in love with the girl behind the counter.
Richie was three years old when his parents divorced.
At six, Richie was rushed to the hospital for a ruptured appendix which put him into a coma for 10 weeks. Then things went from bad to worse. Awakening from the coma, Richie was given 2 toys to play with in the hospital but the boy in the next bed didn’t have any. Richie leaned out of his bed to give his red bus to the other boy but lost his balance, hitting his head hard enough to throw him back into a coma.
When Richie finally got out of the hospital, he’d missed more than a year of school so he was put into a class with much younger children.
Richie struggled to get caught up in school but at 13 he caught a cold that turned into pleurisy. This put Richie back into the hospital for several months and threw him even further behind in his schoolwork. Finally, Richie said, “screw it” and dropped out. He could barely read and write.
Richie went into business with three young partners and each of the others became incredibly successful. Richie was forever in their shadow.
His lifelong dream, sadly, could never be realized. More than anything, Richie wanted to be in the audience during a Beatles concert.
This is because the other toy they gave him was a drum. Richie taught himself to play it, began to wear a lot of Rings on his fingers, and dropped the “key” off the end of his name, “Starkey.”
Do you have a moment to watch a short video of Richie asking for his birthday present?
Peace and Love.
Roy H. Williams
From the Cliff Claven Treasure Trove of Trivia: Because this is a leap year, July 1 at midnight was the halfway point, 183 days. In a non-leap year it would be noon on July 2, 182.5 days.