For my Friend, Vincent Hellane, & US


You see it now, you must know now, you must let us know! What did we earn? How much of our yearnings are open to conjecture, satisfaction, or denial? Were we correct in our misgivings, lies & giving? Did we, are we, will we miss the boat? I left you behind, in an eighth grade classroom, as me & the rebels jumped out the window to freedom & wildness, leaving 218 West Washington St & the Nuns behind! Were we unnerved or just crazed? The smoke of the sixties became the stark realities of the seventies, & Nixon, we cruised through the eighties, and into Prosperity, Want & Affliction! Oh Vince, when we re-unite for your Memorials, will you please whisper to our as yet unsettled hearts? Will you smile, through a cloud, or send a bird to grab a flower from your too early coffin? Can you please let us know we’re not Lost, not devoid, not to be found? Can you get someone to let you close to the Gate & Wave? Or Grin? You, who fought, can you please let us know what we are up to Counts? To Them? To you? To yours’ or even, blessed Man, Ours? I sure would appreciate it, as I’m sure everyone you touched will be so satiated by just that sign you send, in Your Name! Amen.

PS: I’ve lost seven friends in the past eleven months. Will you please ask Jesus to take a break? Thanks, Man.

John Rickard


11 thoughts on “For my Friend, Vincent Hellane, & US

  1. John,
    I was dusting today..looked up there staring at me with smiles & happy mom & uncles & a couple of friends lost in the last couple of years. I had just sent a voltive candle online to St Jude for my mom(our patron Saint) and the photo seemed to thank me..
    As God blesses us to advanced years…he needs our friends and family..why? This is where Faith comes in..
    My prayers and heart go out to you in your sorrow. God will embrace him..and the Angels will sing upon his arrival..
    I wish I could express myself as well as you….your words just dance across the page.


  2. I knew Vince since 1977 when he came over to Japan with the U.S. Navy. We both worked in the same Work Center. It wasn’t long before we were friends. Of course with Vince it seemed all people would soon be his friends. He had this ability to quickly charm. I use to like going out drinking with him, because it seemed once we went into a place it wasn’t long before the drinks were flowing our way. This ability extended over into those that didn’t speak his language. He had friendships with many Japanese people. In fact it was who Vince took me out the night I met my wife Kimie and he was the one that introduced us. I was always impressed by his quick wit and knowledge. We had a couple names for him, “Vinnie” and of course “joe Cool” because he had this habit of wearing sunglasses indoors. God BLess.

  3. Touched man…you capture so much of my questioning and pain in your missive. You have my deepest condolences on the loss of your friend. To live in the hearts of those we leave behind is to live forever. Peace be with you my brother.

  4. John, Enjoyed reading your thoughts. Keep up the fight. I write as well from time to time but its been along dry spell. Do some volunteer work as well. Worked with the Obama Campaign during the Pres run. Not sure if that will happen again. Sadly as with all politicians he’s bedded down with too many corporations.

    • Thanks for your kind words, Cliff. I’m still waiting on the Change, but I think he’s working hard for us, while trying not to purge the status quo, and exposing the Republicans, Tea Party as they truly are: selfish, and truly unconcerned w/ the Future of Our Great Country, The United States of America.

  5. Hi John,
    I’m Vince’s wife. I wish you’d had more contact with Vince over the years. He may not be waving at the Gate, but he doesn’t need to. His life was testament to what counts: take life seriously but take every opportunity to smile, make the hard work fun, tell a joke and be free to be silly. I look forward to meeting you. Julie will be contacting you soon. In the meantime, check out .

    • I will be honored, humbled and flattered to meet you. We lost contact after the diaspora of St. Mary’s. Thank you for your kind & encouraging words, Pat. Thank you.

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