Richard Lockwood Memorial Page 1
|Date:||06-10-05 10:57 am|
|Message:||I just learned of Rick's death from Karel Ehrlich in a newsletter for alums of Cornell Telluride house, where I knew him in the late 60s. I remember his wit, engaging goofiness, loping walk, and the time we overlapped visiting a common friend in Paris spring 71. It's a shock that he died; it's a comfort to see what a fine he continued to be.|
|Date:||21-05-05 10:18 pm|
|Name:||Mary M. Chan|
|Message:||Professeur Lockwood was my favorite French teacher of my years at Rutgers. I was taken back by how supportive he was in my hopes to further my education. I did not learn of his passing until today and it makes me so sad that I could not thank him for everything he had done for me.|
|Date:||13-05-05 2:37 pm|
|Location:||Chapel Hill, NC|
|Message:||Professor Lockwood was one of the first people I spoke to when transferring to Rutgers as an undergrad, and he was a major support to me through my undergrad and grad time there. He was always fun to be around, always inspiring. Rutgers will not be the same without him.|
|Date:||15-04-05 4:31 pm|
|Message:||I did not know Rick, but I know his father, and through Ted I can imagine Rick's kindness, generosity and profound culture. Désolé de ne pas t'avoir connu, Rick.|
|Date:||13-04-05 8:42 pm|
|Location:||Highland Park, NJ|
|Message:||My eulogy for Rick's memorial service:
When you live far from family, away from the familiar territories of youth one often tries to re-create that sense of home and belonging with our nests, our children and extended families of friends. For me and my family, Rick Lockwood and his own are in the center of that.
I first met Rick and Cynthia on a very cold night in front of Saks Fifth Avenue. We, both families, had tigers by the tail. Unknown to us, their Meara and our Nils were friends, who at 5 and 6 found each other each day on the playground in Highland Park. For me it was par for the course that Nils found someone he knew among the thousands in NYC that Christmas season queuing up at the display windows. Rick’s bemused face at the event became a fixture in our shared lives of managing kids and the friendship that has followed. While our children found each other to be kindred spirits it has been an unexpected pleasure that I could say the same about Rick and me.
Through letters and email we unfolded our similar quirky views of people and life’s struggles. I waited eagerly for his news from France and England, cataloging each adventure, the artistic and historic discoveries as well as Meara’s adventures with the public transport in London and Ted’s coming of age in a strange land. We shared a love of P.G. Wodehouse, Dorothy Sayers, Enid Blyton and The Famous Five, Django Reinhardt, Spike Jones, old, red, Farm-All tractors and even, thankfully Hank Williams. It was Rick’s good natured ease and Hank Williams that pulled me out of myself and a mess one night when I had overextended my hospitality as usual. I was lifting a pot of pasta, oh, at least 20 pounds of it, (plus 20 more of pot alone) to drain at the sink. I was sweaty, frazzled, worried that my guests knew I felt inadequate to the task of showing them all a good time, and worried I had invited too many, we only had 6 chairs. And as I spun around with the huge cast iron pot, whistling a Hank Williams song, I hit Rick with it, right in the belly, not hard to do since he was so tall even for me. I dropped down with the pot; started crying and Rick sank to the floor with me, singing the tune I was whistling. He knew all the words, as I did, and so together we sang the whole thing: “Why don't you love me like you used to do, why do you treat me like a worn out shoe…” And the dinner was saved, no one knew what happened, and I fell in love with Rick Lockwood forever.
This evening you’ve heard from Rick’s colleagues and fellow scholars, administrators, deans, friends and fellow professors. You’ve heard his favorite music and musical tributes from his children; you’ve heard the love of his family manifest in the words of Cynthia, Meara, and his father Ted. All of it a collective prayer of thanks for him and the gift of his life among us. Perhaps this tribute is redundant, but I can’t say thank you enough for his gift of friendship, for what our friend Alan Vietze cited as pure brotherly love.
Thank you Rick for sharing these short years with us. Thank you for your graciousness, kindness and warm spirit. Meara and Ted, look around you tonight. There isn’t one person here who would refuse you if you called on us. You are surrounded with love and concern that won’t fade as we put Rick to rest in our hearts. Thank you and good evening.
|Date:||12-04-05 3:10 pm|
|Message:||Rick was working on Bossuet, and was an experto on eulogy-- I am not, and it is nearly impossible to articulate this loss. This is supposed to be the celebration of his life, but we are heartbroken. It is impossible to say anything that will come close to filling the emptiness that we all feel every time we walk into the department, and see that the door of the corner office, formerly always open , is now closed. He was our touchstone, our conscience, our sense of purpose and proportion, the kernal of the department. When he took me to lunch recently, to discuss department matters--and as always insisted on paying-- we both talked about how lucky we were in our jobs, and in our department; and what a joy it is to be part of that community. Rick said he had absolutely made the right choice in becoming a professor. . As department chair, Rick was industrious and solicitous, attentive to the most domestic of details.The last memo I received from Rick was about mice, and how to avoid them in the office . He was a balm and a soother of egos and ruffled feathers. He worked with a sense of quotidian justice. For instance, when he and Francois discovered that all the men in the department had been hired with research funding, and nearly all the women had not, he quietly added an equivalent research budget for each of us. He was the only man whose name I saw on the women's studies roster.
Rick was a wag and a wit. Two particular examples come to mind--The first is he and Cynthia coming to a Halloween party wearing paper bag elephant masks on their heads(he seemed to love elephants, for some reason. Maybe it was because he had such a memory for detail, such a solicitous attention to duty…). And I also remember his 'rhetoric rap', given at a party function the semester that three of us were teaching rhetorical topics in our graduate courses.
The refrain was: "She's Jerry, he's Francois, and I'm Rick. Re re re rhetoric…"
He was acutely intelligent, but never took himself too seriously. He was grounded and joyful. . I remember going to a high-faluting conference at Berkeley, where I chaired a session at which he spoke. The conference was sponsored by The Association for Philosophy and Literature, and the other two papers of the panel dealt, respectively, with the Frankfurt school's take on fascism, and Derridean deconstruction as function of rhetoric. In contrast, Rick's paper was on Dr. Seuss, "Horton Hatches the Egg." This is an instance of his blithe and bright spirit, never dulled by a ponderous and stuffy profession..
Rick rang true. I team taught two courses with Rick, and witnessed his humor and thoughtfulness to students. He told me once we had a similar intellectual metabolism, and I cherish that remark. He was fearless in being himself, and letting brillance, which he possessed in every sense of the word, be its own witness.
I know he loved his work, however fatiguing, but it did not consume him. I know how much he loved Cynthia, Teddy and Meara--he would leave the department on the dot to pick up the kids. He left an afterglow in the department, which softens our sadness.
But it still seems scandalous to say Rick 'was' anything. His presence is so palpable. There was not one time that I sat in my office that I did not hear his laughter ring out from the other end of the hall. I still hear it--we all do. We know what he gave to our work community was paternal and fraternal, precious, tangible (donuts appeared at every meeting). Rick was loved. Rather, he is loved, in ways collegial and personal.
He moved and shaped our department through hard work and imagination--most recently he was busy devising new courses in translation to attract non French majors to the program. But above all he moved the department by daily example, with a quiet leadership that was cohesive. That example--as scholar, colleague, dear friend, human being--inspires us now to continue his work. I find it hard to conceive of a time when he will be a memory, since he remains a presence.
|Date:||31-03-05 9:58 pm|
|Message:||Quelques heures avant de prendre l'avion à Roissy, je revois l'allée sous les arbres, l'escalier qu'on prend pour accéder au département de français. Il y a la porte vitrée qui bat, la salle d'accueil, le comptoir...
Comment imaginer qu'alors Rick ne surgira pas du bureau là-bas au coin, ou que je n'entendrai pas sa voix à travers une porte laissée ouverte ? Il était, pour moi, au coeur de la vie, là. Ebouriffé-solaire, toujours si amical, discrètement fidèle, et, on le devinait, profondément raffiné.
Comment imaginer que nous n'aurons plus jamais de conversations comme celles que nous avons eues ou comme celles que j'espérais encore pour apprendre de lui, pour recevoir quelque chose de son savoir et de son humanité ?
|Date:||25-03-05 7:47 pm|
|Location:||Rutgers University - New Brunswick, NJ|
|Message:||I had the great pleasure of getting to know Rick better over the past few months, as our office moved in down the hall from him in the Ruth Adams Building and as we began to work more closely with him on account related matters. He had such a warm and welcoming personality, and always made it a point to stop by, say hello and (of course) crack some jokes. He was a very supportive, brilliant and kind gentleman, with an infectious sense of humor, and someone who I truly admired and respected. He will be sorely missed.
My sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends.
When I unexpectedly lost my father several years ago, my family and I found some comfort in these words by Kristone, and hope that you might too:
Those we love remain with us,
for love itself lives on,
And cherished memories never fade
because a loved one’s gone…
Those we love can never be
more than a thought apart,
For as long as there is memory,
they’ll live on in the heart.
Memorial Service Tribute, March 21
Among the visions of Rick that I am clinging to, there is one that recurs all the time : a certain smile, in a blushing face, eyes glittering quietly behind his glasses. When you came to him with a problem, he would give you that smile, both gentle and knowing, almost apologizing for its own intelligence. It was, for me, the very image of wisdom.
How many times did I freak out for one mundane reason or another, and Rick calmed me down with a few smiling words ; suddenly the cause for panic did not seem so vital. When a crisis threatened the conference we were organizing together, on ethos and pathos in rhetoric, we reacted differently : I did pathos ; he did ethos, kept his cool, and conceived the plan that carried us through. “That’s not good,” he would say – smiling – in the face of those setbacks we too easily call disasters ; and he would find a way to make it good.
As a scholar, Rick was fascinated with persuasion, the kind that persuades you, “not to do anything, but to be something.” How can a speech you hear, a page you read, transform who you are, bewitch you into a new version of yourself ? How can such a process be legitimate instead of abusive ? These questions he researched first in the rhetoric of praise, the subject of his great book The Reader’s Figure. There was a delicate irony to this very modest man becoming one of the world’s best experts on ostentatious discourse, exploring how such showpieces as 17th-century funeral eulogies could convey key ideas through deep emotions.
Rick was himself – but without ostentation at all – a great persuader. For example, he wrote the statement that sold the Graduate School on the arcane concept of joint doctorates with France. A 10-page protocol, complete with philosophical rationale, curriculum designs, budget charts ; whipped up in one evening ; pitch-perfect. It worked like a dream as a selling piece, and has been working ever since as a policy prescription. It persuaded us to do something specific ; but it worked because it was shot through with a sense of who we, as a graduate program, should try to be.
One of his signature phrases was : “it seems reasonable.” Rick never pretended to be the voice of reason, even though he was, compared to the rest of us. He never claimed that reason could be achieved. But he believed that an agreement can be built on what people, working together in good faith, find rational at a particular juncture. Crucial to this agreement was the very sense of its fragility. That was the essence of Rick’s humor : something that seemed reasonable couldn’t be that reasonable ; but it seemed reasonable to try it anyway. This kind of double awareness he dedicated his scholarship to studying. And what he studied, he practiced also.
Ever since he left, I have been looking for Rick in his writings. As it happens, his texts talk about that – about absence and the way it is redeemed by words, yet only in part. Much of Rick’s thought on rhetoric deals with death and commemoration, with how we speak of the dead or make the dead speak. And every sentence he wrote seems to have just acquired a more personal meaning. This phenomenon would not have surprised him. He explained it in advance, while discussing Plato or Pascal. We are left with reading someone we talked with every day. What is gone cannot be replaced ; wherever we find him, we also miss him. Yet for Rick that was our condition, as creatures of language and memory. And so we find an added measure of both grief and comfort in the precision and compassion with which he describes, about speeches written hundreds of years ago, a world touched by someone’s vanishing ; the changed world in which we now have to live, with him and without him.
|Date:||22-03-05 8:08 pm|
|Message:||I could not believe and still cannot imagine the death of Prof. Lockwood, as is often the case when someone we know suddenly passes. I had my first class (a 400 level 17th-Cent-Lit.) with Rick during the second semester of my freshman year. My close academic relationship continued with him until I left Rutgers to pursue a PhD at the University of Miami, for he was a professor and advisor with whom I was always able to hold a frank conversation. When I defended my dissertation last November, in 2004, I made sure he received the news, because he had played an important role as a professor and advisor in my academic life at Rutgers.
Dr. Lockwood was a man with a good, compassionate, and understanding heart. He was also a man of character and great humor. Such a man can only be in a good place after physical death. May God bless his soul and his family, particularly his children. My deepest condolences to all those who knew him and are grieving his death.
To those of us who are still in the flesh and soul, let moments like this humble us and remind us of the importance of life and of each other. Let us cherish life, let us cherish one another, for one never knows when the last second will come.
May the soul of Dr. Richard Lockwood rests in eternal peace.
|Date:||22-03-05 2:39 pm|
|Message:||The ceremony yesterday was beautiful. A number of you asked about the poem Mary Shaw read. Here it is:
by Richard Lockwood
The sassafras trees bend upward to the sky
Leisurely, as if less hurried to get there
Than eager to shape their boughs in graceful curves,
Forks, twists; turning this way and that as if
Drawn a moment aside by a picturesque sight,
A butterfly, a sunbeam, a mote, and then
The moment of moving desire caught forever
In the odd sideways jog of a limb
–Now forty years old, thickened
Heavily sheathed with craggy scarred bark,
But still bent, bent as the twig was bent, inflected aside,
Still climbing its own angle path upward to the sky,
Bent as it will stay bent, until one day
The brittle wood shatters; one day, I hope,
Of a glorious snow falling wind-driven,
Whose heavy heaps then linger on in a transfigured world, glistening under the spring sun;
Or perhaps of a summer thunderstorm
Whose sudden transcendant fury
Bears the branch down to lie grounded,
Yet still twisted its own way,
Until the slow earth take it back, and - who knows?-
It grow up towards sky and sun again,
Leisurely, drawn upward but turning as it will,
Drawn aside, not by butterfly, but by beauty.
|Date:||22-03-05 8:49 am|
|Location:||University of Virginia|
|Message:||My deepest sympathy goes to Rick's families: his wife, son and daughter; and his French Department family. I hope that the memory of his buoyant good humor will comfort and encourage you through your grief.|
|Date:||21-03-05 3:36 pm|
|Location:||University of Alabama|
|Message:||I was very fortunate to share an office with Rick during our first professional years at The University of Alabama. What a magnificent way to begin a career, beside a dedicated and brilliant scholar, and a quick-witted and caring person. Many of us here at 'Bama will miss Rick a great deal.
|Date:||21-03-05 2:50 pm|
|Message:||Before you were a scholar you were a friend.To hopes,dreams,growing up together and believing in each other.I will miss you-namarie.|
|Date:||21-03-05 12:20 pm|
|Location:||French Embassy - New York|
|Message:||Mon cher Rick,
Tu vas nous manquer. Nous n'oublierons jamais le travail que tu as fait pour que nous réussissions à lancer le centre de ressource pour le français.
Pour ma part, c'est ton amitié, ta sincérité et ta gentillesse qui resteront à jamais dans mes souvenirs.
|Date:||20-03-05 7:59 pm|
|Message:||Some people really don't realize how much of an impact they make on other's lives...Prof Lockwood, I never thanked you for how much you made me appreciate French literature. You were truly a sincere person and I'm grateful that I was able to be in your class last semester!! Thank you so much for just being you! You will be greatly missed.