Over the years, I came to think of Richard Peck as a friend. We were not particularly close, but we’d meet at conferences, and speaking engagements. I got to know him very much better when he was part of the ensemble for Authors Readers Theatre, our reader’s theatre group that toured the country.
He was always the gentlemen, urbane, witty, hardworking, willing to share his distinct point of view, free with his opinions. Always impeccably dressed too, just this side of vanity, defused by his own self-depreciative wit. We never talked politics much, but when we did I doubt there was much upon which we agreed. That said—during these days of rancor and hostility—it’s worth saying that those differences never mattered in our friendship or when working together. He was fun to be with, full of energy, and sly humor.
I won’t pretend that I knew him very well, but he was one of those people who, when gone, is sorely missed.
4 thoughts on “Remembering Richard Peck”
OH my! I was just packing some his novels away and thought—my students need to write to him next year. 🙁 What a generous and talented writer.
Richard Peck had a casual wit as evident in his books. I had occassion to call his home to request a book and he spent time talking with me about kids and books as if we were old friends. A rare treat in today’s rush, rush world.
I met him once. We selected Long Way From Chicago for a One Book. I found him to be a remarkably intelligent, thoughtful, principled person. He is someone I call an advocate for what’s true and important and a natural skeptic of all things shiny and trendy. He was like an open window in a stuffy room because his thinking was so clear and he expressed himself cogently.
Richard Peck authored some of my favorite Middle Grade novels. In addition, he was unfailingly generous to other writers who sought his counsel and advice. A precious soul has moved on.