If we hadn’t belonged to the same gym, Louis Menchise and I would never have been friends. He was about ten years older than me, a balding guy in a grey USMC t-shirt, huffing away on the recumbent bike or grimacing while lifting free weights. When he first started talking to me, I figured he was trying to pick me up.
But we became buddies. Continue reading
Writing Richard Hunt’s story often unexpectedly yields its own good stories. In summer 2014, I was on Cape Cod interviewing Hunt’s sister Kate when she mentioned their “phenomenal” high school music teacher: Gail Poch. At Northern Valley High School in suburban New Jersey, Poch conducted Hunt in multiple choruses, directed him in school musicals, and hung out with him and his friends as they crowded into Poch’s room during free periods, playing records and rehearsing lines and singing, always singing. Poch wasn’t much older than the students, a beatnik who laughed at their jokes as he smoked endless cigarettes and swigged from a seemingly bottomless thermos of coffee. “I wonder how he is,” Kate said wistfully.
I looked him up the next day, still on the Cape. I figured I’d find an obituary – but instead I found Poch! He lived in the Boston area, where I was already planning to stop on my way home. I dialed him right up. “I’m sorry to bother you, but is this Gail Poch, the music teacher?” It was. “I’m writing Richard Hunt’s biography, and I was wondering if you might be able to meet for an interview…” Continue reading
Richard Hunt spent many enjoyable days in the 1980s in Toronto filming Fraggle Rock, a harmonious show both on and off-screen, and a lesson in collaboration for today’s fractious time. I put together a map of Hunt’s spots in Toronto. Enjoy!
Picture: Dave Goelz filming Traveling Matt outside the studio.
I’m starting a new feature, releasing quotes from the manuscript in progress! Today’s quote is from the late 70s: One of Hunt’s friends casts his mother Jane as a cyborg in a futuristic film. “She ends up a woman, but originally she’s a vacuum cleaner.”
Richard Hunt, Northern Valley Regional High School yearbook, 1969.
In honor of what would be Richard Hunt’s 65th birthday, here’s an excerpt from the high school section of his biography! Continue reading