Granddaddy Ricky, we’ll miss you (repost)

Back in 2007, we lost a dear friend. Ricky Sunico was a darling man, and he passed away in April of that year due to a stroke. 

I was reviewing saved entries from my Multiply blog, and I found this. I wrote it a few days after Ricky’s passing. Nearly ten years have passed, but we still miss him.

Over the years, some friendships have died natural deaths. People move to other countries, get married and have kids, fall out of touch. It happens. It’s good to remember.

Granddaddy Ricky, we’ll miss you

(Originally published on, April 20, 2007, 3:33 PM)

where does one begin to write about Ricky?

there is a gulf of memories and good times almost as vast as he was, and i don’t know where to start.

i met Ricky nearly four years ago. i wasn’t even a member of SWP yet; i was just there because Az told Matrix Philippines to convene there. i saw Ricky sitting in one of the armchairs on the second floor of Starbucks at The Podium, reading a book. i thought, ‘wow, there’s a classic geek!’ he was in a t-shirt and shorts, with a belt bag, and he was laughing along with everyone else, and sneaking in mentions of Star Trek–at a Star Wars gathering!

he was always volunteering for stuff. the con, the Harry Potter events, the Neil Gaiman stuff. he was just… always there. always helping. always cheerful.

in my mind’s eye, Ricky is always wearing a big t-shirt, wet with sweat because he’s been walking; shorts, usually with a lot of pockets; rubber shoes; and a belt bag or a backpack, always containing a book because he was never without one. i can see him now, his face red with exertion and laughter, an infectious smile, an earring dangling merrily from his ear.

it’s funny, whenever there would be a geek gathering and i’d tell my mom to go, she’d say, “e sino’ng kakausapin ko dun?” i always replied, “e di si Ricky!” and true enough, they always did have a lot to talk about.

and it’s even funnier that Ricky is friends with my brother–and Ricky is three times my brother’s age! they’d talk about World War 2, and Blackadder, and Monty Python. i found out just today that AEGIS had been planning a World War 2 RPG, and Ricky was so excited about because he wanted to take my brother there. how many 48-year-olds hang out with 16-year-old buddies?

it was because of this age difference that i liked referring to Ricky as ‘Granddaddy.’ one time on the SWP mailing list, i greeted him with Fafah Ricky, which is what some of the other guys were calling him. he asked, ‘what, i’m not your granddaddy anymore?’

Ricky liked good food and good drink, and i always thought it was great that he and Reitch were together, because she loved to cook and he loved to eat. in fact, i kind of associate Ricky with a lot of finer things: in addition to nice food and drink, he loved the movies, he loved good books. he even liked my earrings, haha; i would give him the ones whose pairs had gotten lost. i remember seeing him once with a black bead earring dangling from his ear, and being so happy that he actually wore my earrings.

i remember when my dad died, he even messaged my mom and offered her condolences. it was really sweet.

i remember about two years ago, we were at a thon in Gabe’s house. it was a few weeks before my birthday, and someone–probably Paul, hrmph–mentioned that i should get a lap dance of death! next thing i knew, Granddaddy Ricky was on my lap, along with Ron, Paul, Oneal, and probably Beej! i think i can rightfully say i was one of the first women to ever get a lap dance.

i am sure, though, that i was the first person to ever have the Stormballs at her birthday. i remember specifically asking Captain Ball to be there. sure enough, the men–okay, boys–arrived and shocked all the Pizza Hut crew and customers, and my family too. the ‘Balls even drew on one of the placemats and turned it into a birthday card for me. it’s still hanging on the wall of my room.

there’s so much more. and it saddens me to think that there will be no more. but it’s okay, because there are so many of us who will remember him, and there will be more who will know who Ricky was, and what he was to us. we’ll make sure of it.

we love and miss you, Ricky. i’m sure you’ll be watching over us geeks. i’ll miss you threatening to sit on people if they didn’t behave.

Goodbye, Papa Ball. May the Force be with you in your journey across the stars.

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