Another friend gone

Born in Turlock, California in 1964, Richard Paolinelli began his writing career as a freelance writer in 1984 in Odessa, TX and gained his first fiction credit serving as the lead writer for the first two issues of the Elite Comics sci-fi/fantasy series, Seadragon.

A few days ago I shared the news that a fellow sci-fi writer, and a good friend too, Gibson Michaels, had died suddenly in his home near Houston, Texas. It was a hammer blow to his family and friends.

downloadWe were going to meet up in Santa Barbara this Thursday, he was scheduled to be in town for a conference and I live about an hour away. I am sure Thursday at 9 a.m., when I am sitting at my desk here instead of at the restaurant in Santa Barbara where we were going to meet, is going to be a sad time for me.

Then yesterday I got word that another friend had passed, a long-term illness finally overcoming his well-fought battle to beat it back. This news was just as sad, though not as much a shock, since we’d had warning that his health was failing.

Still, losing two good friends in such a short amount of time is hard to take. Ron Sarhad was an attorney, a veteran of the Vietnam War like Gibson was, and I met him back in 2013 when I began researching From The Fields.

WMB0063957-2_20170830Ron was the starting quarterback for the 1957 State Championship football team from Turlock High School. He was a valuable resource for information and access to other former players whose stories enriched the final version of the book.

He was also a valued and ardent supporter of From The Fields. His first response, when I called him and told him I was writing a book about the history of football played at Turlock High, from the first ever game in 1920 to present day, was classic Ron Sarhad:

WMB0063957-1_20170830“It’s about damn time someone did,” he said.

Plans to commemorate the 1957 team in Turlock on Oct. 6th during halftime