It is with great sorrow and sadness that I report tonight that the Sound Off Sister’s husband and best friend, “Rip” Van Wickler, passed on last night. Rip was a great brother in law, a fellow conservatarian, and the most tolerant person I think I ever met.
Each summer at their house on the Cape, he would put up with my rants, my violin playing and my disgust with the Red Sox. It often looked like he was just disinterested, but every now and then he would peak out from under his Crossword puzzle and say, “Well, what are you going to do about it?”.
Avid golfers, he never resisted taking a shot at my inability to play, which was always funny I can assure you, and eventually drove me from the game. A service to all.
And to give you an idea of what lay behind the rough exterior, his favorite past time each summer was feeding “Chip” their local chipmunk, grapes and nuts, which I was allowed to do as well, but only under careful supervision.
He and the SOS always made the music festival, always contributed well more than the cost of any ticket, and always pretended as if they liked the music.
Rip was an interesting man. A pilot for Eastern, National and Pan American, he loved to talk planes, and I would always turn to him after airline incidents for critical information. And of course I couldn’t resist pointing out that every airline he worked for went out of business.
My sister, as you can imagine is beyond sad this evening but I can assure you she is standing strong, as is her fashion. Rip and Barb did everything together. Never tired of being around each other. Indeed, they were best friends.
If you would like to express your condolences please leave it here in the comment page, as she is not connected to the e-mail. If you choose e-mail because you haven’t registered, I will try to forward them to her.