I was sorry, but not surprised, when I heard about Richard "Dick" Bullock passing away Oct. 1. I had heard of his failing health during the summer. I was told the doctors weren't giving him much time to live-days maybe weeks.
That was back in July which made it that much more of surprise when I saw him with his Tiger football broadcast partner David Sears, at the team's scrimmage with Mount Abraham Union High in late August.
I was talking with the Mike Donoghue of the Burlington Free Press before the start of the high school football season; at that time, Donoghue told me he thought Dick would be determined to see the first home game under the new outdoor lights that were put up this summer. I agreed that Dick would want to be there, but I still had my doubts.
Donoghue proved to be prophetic. I was extremely pleased to see Dick when I went through the gate at the Tigers first home game a few weeks ago. It was obvious he wasn't in the best of health, but there he was, just the same, greeting people as they came through the gate.
The Friends of Middlebury Football, which dedicated its 2010 program to Dick, performed a class act by honoring him before the contest. But then again, Dick was a class act.
He was color commentator for Tiger football radio broadcasts for 33 years working first with Richard "Ziggy" Livingston and with David Sears. He was also a mainstay of the community both as a businessman and commander of the local American Legion Post 27.
Dick had a love for Tiger football there is no denying that, but more then that, he had an overall passion to help the youth of this community. The final paragraph on the dedication page in the Tiger football program probably best sums it up.
"Dick has always been involved in helping kids learn and grow through athletics. He has worked tirelessly in this regard. Our community has benefited from his vision and commitment for over half a century. We are indebted to him for his many years of caring for us all."
God bless Richard "Dick" Bullock. I'm a little envious because I know he's seen the face of God.
On a final note: in honor of Dick, the Middlebury Union High football players will have decals with the letters "D.B." placed on the back of team helmets for the rest of the season. What a touching gesture of love and respect in memory of a wonderful human being.