Posts Tagged ‘Richard Waller’

Rest In Peace, Richard

18 Aug


Classical Richard


ALBANY, GA—Submitted by Tom Hedrick

Richard Handley Waller artist, poet, and lover of music.

"What if you had been a child put to work in a cotton field near Roanoke, AL, and ten years later you found yourself in a room with the Emperor of China? It happened to me, but I didn't have the slightest idea who the man was."

This was the lead sentence to the autobiography Richard Waller was working on before his death. It also reflects on the extraordinarily interesting life he led.

Richard Handley Waller, 81, of Albany, GA, died of heart failure August 8 at Phoebe Putney Hospital, after a long illness. The body will be cremated as per Mr. Waller's express wishes. He will be interred in Roanoke, AL, next to his beloved Mother, Father and Brother; Ethel George Waller Hedrick, Handley Saunders Waller and Thomas Eugene Waller. Mathews Funeral Home in Albany, GA is in charge of the arrangements. A graveside memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. (CST), Saturday, August 16, 2008, at Cedarwood Cemetery in Roanoke, AL. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Albany Symphony in memory of Richard Handley Waller.

Mr. Waller was born in Roanoke, AL, grew up in Newnan, GA, and served in the U.S. Army in Manila and Tokyo in Gen. Douglas MacArthur's Headquarters. While he was in the service, his family moved to Albany, GA. In 1954, he received a BS degree from the School of General Studies of Columbia University in the City of New York, where he lived for twenty years. He returned to Georgia in 1970 and was retired from Lawyers Title Insurance Corporation. He made his home in Albany for over thirty years and was well known in the community.

Mr. Waller was a world traveler and enjoyed the art and architecture of the many countries he visited. He enjoyed his retirement in Albany and was a member and past president of the Georgia Artists Guild; a staunch supporter of the Albany Symphony; and a member of the Albany Writers Club. A talented writer who was not afraid to express his opinion on matters he cared about, Mr. Waller also often injected humor in his editorials and poems. Many will remember his letters to the editor in The Albany Herald's "Squawk Box" and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Also a talented poet, he was the author of two books: Beethoven's Brain and Other Poems, which was used as part of the ticket sales for the Newport Music Festival in Newport, RI in 1995 and what he considered his highest achievement; and The Famous God Said Sonnets. He also composed music and lyrics; played the violin and the guitar. Always creative, he won awards as a talented painter and photographer.

Mr. Waller had an inquisitive mind, and was constantly reading and studying music, art, writing, religion, and, in later years, mastered the computer. He liked to point out that on his paternal great-grandfather's gravestone is carved these words that also describe his life: "He did what he could." His wit and his e-mails will be sorely missed by his family and many friends. He loved to share his knowledge with all.

He was born a Baptist, but died a Universalist—one who believes that salvation is extended to all mankind. A life-long bachelor, he is survived by cousins on both sides of his family, Wallers and Georges, and by many nieces and nephews of his step-family, the Hedricks of Albany and Atlanta—some loved, some unloved; and, the feeling was mutual. He is also survived by his beloved cat, Prunella.

Mathews Funeral Home
Albany 229/435-xxxx

Love And Time Installments As Life Reminds Us Of Itself Again

26 Jun


Time Installments


At 9:55 AM -0400 6/26/01, Sue Hedrick wrote:

Dear Richard,

I really feel bad now.

Gabriel came home last night after being away a week. First he drove to Monticello, GA to pick up his brother Allan, then the both of them drove to Chicago—where their mother, Peggy, who is studying for her doctorate in psychology is at the Adler School—to visit her before driving back here, arriving last night. I told Gabriel of Mama Ethel's passing over the phone before I went home last evening. Then, when I arrived home, he said there were several e-mails from you starting on the 20th and ending with the funeral arrangements...I am so sorry that I did not check his e-mail over the time he was gone. I actually had thought about doing so, but didn't, thinking that is sort of like opening someone's US mail.

Another twist to this saga is that Gabriel had actually talked about going to Albany to visit you and Mama Ethel last week after picking up his brother in Monticello, GA. But, she may have been to ill to see them at that time.

The point of all this is to let you know I do feel terrible about this missed opportunity to stand by you in this event. If I had read those e-mails on Saturday, I would have been there.


Sue Hedrick

Wow. My world too is rocked as life reminds us of itself again and again.

Love and time installments,


Not Much Anyone Can Do With Arrogance Like Gabriel's

15 Jul


An Arrogance Like Gabriel's


Date: Sat, 15 Jul 2000 08:49:33 -0400

Sue, I can never forgive you and Gabe for the way you have treated me and spoken to me, especially since when you were here time before last when I agreed to let mother give you $450 worth of Royal Doulton and a rare plate that was mine. "Blythe Morning" alone is worth $250 retail. That gift to you and Gabe more than paid the fee he waived. I don't think either of you have been at all nice. But there's not much anyone can do with arrogance like Gabriel's. Your mistake is defending it.

Richard Waller

Please Show Me The Courtesy

14 Jul

Clowns Of Society

Clowns Of Society


Date: Fri Jul 14, 2000 11:41:28 AM America/New_York

Small service failures are everywhere, but with a bit of hopeful news and personal grit, Sue writes, "Gill Rogers called and will do the appraisal next Wednesday at 1 PM. His phone number is 703-866-xxxx."

"Thanks sweetie. Guess what? Twenty of twelve and not a peep out of Covad or Toad. What kind of pipehole service is this! And Richard Waller thinks he is such the suffering saint...I don't know what we have to do to get the good Doctor Gaveris to contact us, but what if he doesn't, and doesn't even show up for the closing? Meanwhile this emergency co-location with ToadNet due to our move while we wait for Covad and Bell to settle their differences to install at our new place, is technological hell. Why can't Toad simply restart my machine when a bit of thunder and lightning takes down their power service?"

Never one to miss out on a controversy of time and consideration, the always fluent Richard Waller adds more fire to the boil, "Please show me the courtesy of advising the removal date of my website. Thanks."

My turn. "Dear Sir. Whew! Finally broke down and spent another wad for a dial-up modem since Bell Atlantic and Covad continue to play keystone kinetics with my broadband order (since I no longer had a modem in the house, having giving the last one away to Tim a few months ago). So I come to you courtesy of an AOL connection established two nights ago, just in time for your latest scolding. But back to the business at hand. The site will be dismantled this afternoon with a single click of the button. Trust this satisfies you immensely, GT."

Unfortunately, I have yet to come across the email where he asks for any shutdown date, much less August 31. By inference, I just thought that he wanted it closed. And so I closed it.

Richard responds, "I specifically asked for August 31. Just another example of the difficulty of working with you. Just wrote a letter to Agency Chicago to take a look at it Monday. Will never fogive you for your behavior. Bye bye to you both."

"Gabriel has really bent over backwards (another cliché like shut up) for you because you are family. I really do wonder why when you apologize to us (remember those four or five nasty notes when it was your ISP's problem), it wipes the slate clean, but when Gabriel apologized to you (IN THE SAME NOTE), nothing happens...
A day later, Richard is back. "So you have really removed it before I was ready. I am disappointed in you as a person. I really do think you need help in relating to other people. When Pep or Tommy Hedrick was here Memorial Day, we talked about a possible website for his orchid business. Your name came up. I'll let him know about my bad experience with you."

Another day goes by. Richard again. Timestamp is Sun, 16 Jul 2000 15:55:55 -0400. "I really do like my website and would miss it terribly if it were gone. Please let me know your terms to keep it running for the rest of the year. We can decide before New Year's what to do next."

The next day Sue jumps in a bit late to tame the sharks. Date: 17 Jul 2000 12:47:15 -0400. "Richard, this will be just a short note to reply to you...I will tell you just what I think later when I am not plummeted with my duties here at my office.

"First of all, you should not jump to conclusions about anything that we are or not doing... You must think you are alone in the universe, that anything that happens is only to you or about you. I have told you that our servers are in Annapolis, MD and not immediately reachable to restart when there is a power outage. Gabriel has usually had to drive to Annapolis to take care of the servers. This is what happened on Friday—ALL of our websites where down, not just yours. If you have a question about whether it is just your site or all or ours, go to If the iMote does not come up, then our servers are down, and to repeat, in Annapolis, MD and not immediately reachable! We drove to Annapolis on Saturday to restart our servers and then of course your site came back up.

"Gabriel has really bent over backwards (another cliché like shut up) for you because you are family. I really do wonder why when you apologize to us (remember those four or five nasty notes when it was your ISP's problem), it wipes the slate clean, but when Gabriel apologized to you (IN THE SAME NOTE), nothing happens...

"To quote my beloved, 'Arrogance and humility suck on the same straw.' Just sign me: The Unforgiven & Mistaken, Sue Hedrick," and Sue is outa there. Richard then pastes his plea to Gabriel to please reinstall his website because he is sure he will now miss it, in another note to Sue. A piece of work, this Richard Waller. While we are at it, although she did right by me, the quote is actually:

Ignorance and virture suck on the same straw.

Poor Richard's almanac ends here for now.

The Subject Is Enormous And Deep

11 Jan


Enormous And Deep


Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 08:16:54

Gabriel, gee, you must be really mad at me! I did NOT reject YOU, I am simply not up to commenting on those long philosophical swill letters. I don't know enough to do that, but you have inspired me to read about philosophy. I've bought several important books on the subject such as The Passion of the Western Mind by Richard Tarnas, and The Examined Life by Robert Nozick. The subject is enormous and deep. I remember at Columbia University, I had to drop philosophy because I didn't know what they were talking about. The fault is mine.

It is pure torture and God said, "You will just have to go to that little Unitarian church in Tallahassee if you don't want to be paralized from boredom." Honestly, that's what he said. He also dictated my book to me, but nobody believes it!
I don't know if I told you & Sue or not, but I received a letter dated Dec. 12 from the President of Mercer University, Dr. Kirby Godsey, praising the FGSS. He didn't have to. He doesn't know me. I never met the man, but to get such a letter from a progressive Baptist means a lot. I don't expect acceptance from fundamentalists. Anyway, it doesn't matter anymore. There's a great new collection of essays by Poet Randall Jarrell who said, "Poetry disappeared long ago, even for most intellectuals."

The public doesn't read it. Literary review poetry is written by poets for other poets. You can't exceed the beauty of Hardy, Frost, Stevens, and Yeats, and you can't outdo Alan Ginsberg for obscenity. So what's left? Only the FGSS.

I hope you and Sue are well. Jan 13 will be one month since my surgery but I still feel like a stab-wound victim. Tell Sue Mother is doing well but it's hell on earth with her only if I refused to take her to Episcopal services EVERY Sunday. I refuse to do it. Then she pouts for three days although she can take no part in those rote responsive readings, long weekly communion lines, and every last verse of hymns sung over an hour and 13 minutes. We just sit there like outsiders. It is pure torture and God said, "You will just have to go to that little Unitarian church in Tallahassee if you don't want to be paralized from boredom." Honestly, that's what he said. He also dictated my book to me, but nobody believes it!


He Died Believing This, Says Waller

10 Dec


Biting The Hand


Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 09:24:27 -0500

Editor's note: In Richard's defense he would be 73 years old on February 12, but the reason he was invited to join our list was to submit him to a dose of his own medicine in the only way I knew how—but only because I knew he would drop out after a few weeks, and he did. Richard had begun to become a major nuisance with his own long "look at me, aren't I clever" rejoinders, and as luck would have it, his long missives would arrive just as I would be jostling with hosting or other hardware and software problems and I had zilch time at all to deal with him, so of course, he became belligerent in letter and then on voice mail because none of my explanations comforted him. It got nasty, not vulgar, no, just strong in fact and follow-through, after a long bout of him berating me while I'm trying to deflect his rage and sense of propriety as a well-educated and well-traveled elder to whom all prestige was being resented or rerouted, he left without a hint of his own complicity in any ongoing crisis.

It wasn't like I was accusing him of anything, just that I didn't have time right yet to get to his long rambling anecdotes about Buddhism, vegetarianism, or meditation, or some other Richard Waller whimsy, and occasionally when I did follow up a note it wasn't what he expected, and thus, I failed him in that regard as well. When he couldn't get to his web site he screamed bloody murder, as if I weren't spending 21 hour days already trying to keep things running as they were supposed to run when it was ToadNet, our uplink—who was failing in their role as ISP provider—more often than not.

We would fall out to each our utter end of decency further down the road, but that was the price of peace. We both agreed good riddance was a strategy worth pursuing, but here we are again, the young having the last say once again as onlookers wince at the silliness of this long joking gesture, this hobbled parade of the horribles...

Gabriel Thy

Dear Gabriel, the kube's writing this morning is just really too much, too time-consuming for me to dope out and fathom. We have not begun to fully grasp the philosopical systems we already have. For instance, Schopenhauer said, "Subject to the limitations of human knowledge, my philosophy is the real solution of the enigma of the world." He died believing this. Nobody paid much attention until he died. And he was probably right. But each man wants to try.


Too Much Too Soon

Wittgenstein said the same thing in his Preface to Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, "...the truth of the thoughts that are here set forth seems to me unassailable and definitive. I therefore believe myself to have found, on all essential points, the final solution of the problems." If just a fraction of the members of the human race must each have an elaborate system, we won't live long enough to think about the millions. No one solution is ever enough. We must simplify.

I don't want to offend ANYBODY when I ask you to unsubscribe me to the Swill. I am beginning to have health problems and can barely keep up with the course of studies I already attempt—music, the poetry of others, the history of thought, and above all, this business of living.

Richard Waller

The Girl Is Sick, Sick, Sick

18 Sep


Gabriel's King Richard At MoCA DC


Date: Sat, 18 Sep 1999 16:24:19

As I told you, it is raining here for the first time in weeks. Nice talking to you. You asked me what I am doing & I forgot to say that I am reading Jay Parini's new bio of Robert Frost who I rank with Walt Whitman and Wallace Stevens as America's three greatest poets, besides me and Gabe, of course.

Just checked the mail—Mary Ann didn't send mother a birthday card. She hasn't called her in about four or five months just because she hates me. That girl is sick, sick, sick. Did I tell you that Mary Ann is sick? I've reached the point where I actually feel sorry for her. She has so many years to go not to get along with people. 

Lou's phone number in Greenville is 1-864-xxx-xxxx. 


Richard Waller's Famous God Said Sonnets

15 Apr


The Famous God Said Sonnets


Date: Thu Apr 15, 1999 3:36:04 AM

Hey baby—Richard's site should be up, domain name progigated throughout the system, et cetera. You can find it here. Maybe you could dazzle the old buzzard if you could take him by the library today or tomorrow before you leave Albany to see his site, preferably on a Mac.

It's 3:30 in the wee morning, and I've got to get some sleep. Tomorrow will be a busy one with the Covad mess, and hopefully more gardening before the heavy rains expected by early afternoon wreck all my unplanted boxes. The image map on the website is not coded, but I will get to it as soon as I can. Otherwise the site is fully operational via the text links. Hope he likes the aesthetics. Colors I used coordinate really well with the cover of the book. Always attentive to the details...

Oh, Hechinger refused my credit card with me standing there registered up with $160 worth of goods. I used the AMEX card but not before I let the supervisor woman know she had really pissed me off with her attitude, lack of concern, and no, I didn't want to open another flippin' account. They issue you a credit card, and if it's dormant for say, a year, they close your account. Do they really expect you to run it up on power tools just because you agreed to their plastic 24% convenience? That's sick...

Hope you get this in time to show Richard his site...

Love and safety tips,

Lonesome baby

Nostalgia In A Bag

30 Sep


Nostalgia In A Bag


Originally published on September 30, 1996

Friday's notes were written under the influence. Starting drinking about one thirty or so in the sunny after effects of too much joy, always a reel for me—forgive the stilted demagoguery, the whining, and the bitch.

Yesterday the Dollhouse gang was spent in a Australian/punk rock retro-feast. First Perry Farrell's GIFT (a crippling celebration of drug mania and rock music), then two Australian flicks. Blumstein joined Tim, Libra and I for these last two flicks: the "skinhead is stupid" (no arguments here) film called ROMPER STOMPERS where this racist gang of onionheads pretty much self-destructs after picking on some innocent Vietnamese and carry forthy until they run the gamut of such a tiny war against nothing. And from the Dollhouse vault, DOGS IN SPACE, another look at the uselessness of it all, not that ANY lifestyles, alternative, square, patriotic, fetishistic, traditional, mail order, fuddy duddy or mistletoed guarantee anything less humiliating than the chaos and oppression of fighting the nature this planet reflects. But all this energy that goes into rebellion...

You'd think by now somebody would have figured out that revolutions of the masses is a stroll in the park in peace, not some flaming pipebomb in one's own pocket. Every backyard connects to somebody else's. Youth rebellion as fashion statement. Radical man, burning man...

Mimicking medieval fashion, mimicking God. Nothing seems to change the way arrogance, greed. stupidity, and pain work their generational black magic across every demographic slice ever evolved, calculated, or found in chains on their way up, or on their way down. The rich just USUALLY have a better back-up plan. The hope of billions is a hope based on a madness only the mirror on the wall seems to hide as each of us stare into it murmuring for old time's sake, "Who is the fairest of all?"

We ordered Chinese last night from the old reliable Sechezuan House on Eighth. Been ordering from there I reckon near monthly over a satisfying 12 years of whimsy and fortune cookie analysis. There were no surprises, just good dependable eats. Managed to track into Rio Grande's on Wilson Blvd. Saturday afternoon on our way to Microcenter to play the Macintosh fiddle plus return a German translation program I bought the week before but later thought better of the expense. This is no exaggeration. Rio Grande's is the absolute finest Mex American diner I've ever experienced. A jazzy colorful place with a killer ambiance meshing art and leisure, a winning combo which lobbies the nostrils and flotillas the eyeball for days! Most excellent service staff, handpicked smiles polite to the teeth. A wolf's rack of marinated ribs, fajitas, salsa, nachos...the whole enchilada.

The funniest part was we barely touched our entrees on site, stuffed to the gills on the nacho platter, but the pedigree of the establishment is no longer a well-kept secret. I loved it!

The Pennsylvanian YAST is on the wane around these parts. Both literarily and personally. Nothing I can do about that. The speculative prowl. The beckoning howl. Strong incentives to blow off the streets and into the wind of better things I figger he is thinking. Girls in pearls beat guys on sighs as any decade can prove. Friends are like coffee for two, or nostalgia in a bag. Cost more than you'd expect, and somebody's bound to be disappointed with the flavor of the month. Meanwhile, the aphrodesiac of appearances is a one-way street no prejudice can navigate without some measure of success.

After a week on the back burner avoiding a few web problems I'm back to the grind today.

Libra's grandmother was rushed to the hospital with internal bleeding this weekend, postponing her son Richard Waller's visit to the Dollhouse planned since spring for the upcoming weekend, indefinitely. She's 90 plus, 95% blind, and won't see her regular physician until today. Get well soon, Mommy Ethel!


"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""