Monday, February 2, 2009

Carry On Clint Ritchie....

FRIENDSHIP IS THE ONLY CEMENT THAT WILL EVER HOLD THIS WORLD TOGETHER --Woodrow Wilson

I just heard about Clint Ritchie going on ahead, and I thought this would be an appropriate place to pay my respect.

I adored Clint. When I came to ONE LIFE TO LIVE 11 years ago, he was one of the actors whom I worked with the most. He became Lindsay Rappaport's first on-screen husband.

Working with Clint was always interesting. He was a complicated man, and his playful wickedness always made for a fun day. He was someone I loved playing practical jokes on, and I was relentless on the poor man. For this very reason, over the course of the next few years, his nickname for me became "The Little Dickins."

My favorite day with Clint was when I ordered Chinese food for lunch. I am known there as the breakfast/lunch/dinner orderer - NO ONE loves to eat more than I do. Even though we have dressing rooms, the hair and make-up room is where all of the actors eat together (and for that reason, fish is strictly off-limits) This day would be no different. Oh yes, I wanted an audience for THIS one!

I waited for the delivery in the lobby so he wouldn't suspect what I was up to. I then went quietly to my dressing room to begin the evils of the best practical joke I would ever play on him. I fished his fortune cookie out. Armed with a pair of tweezers, and the skill of a surgeon, I extracted the fortune out of the cookie. I then cut a little piece of paper EXACTLY the same size as the fortune. With incredible detail, I typed a new fortune on the small piece of paper. I can't tell you what I wrote (I was a lot more naughty then than I am now) let's just suffice it to say that I knew it would make him absolutely double over with laughter.

I then carefully stuffed the fortune back into the fortune cookie (without so much as nicking it!) and put the cookie back in it's little plastic bag. Crawling, laughing and skulking all the way down the hall to the hair and make-up room, I placed the brown bag of Chinese food on the table, and called him to the make-up and hair room over the PA system to "COME AND GIT IT!"

Well, Clint sauntered in with that true-life cowboy walk, and sat down to have what he thought would be a nice little Chinese lunch before taping. The meal seemed like it lasted forever. I felt like a kid waiting for Christmas morning. I couldn't WAIT for him to finish so he would open that fortune cookie! At last, the moment came. He sat back, patting his belly, and thanked me for lunch. I opened his cookie wrapper (I didn't want him to see that it has already been opened) and practically sang, "here's your fortune cookie!" I cracked mine open enthusiastically, which prompted him to subconsciously crack his cookie open and read it at the same time. As if on cue, he pulled the fortune out, and, as he did, I read mine out loud (of course I made it up) "You will have the love and good will of friends today." I said.

He smiled, suspecting nothing.

I then asked "what's your fortune say?" He put his reading glasses on, and looked at it. It was naughty and personal. He stared at it. I asked again...."what does it say?" He sat staring at it, as if he could barely believe what he was seeing. When his mind finally put it all together, he roared, and mean ROARED with that beautiful Clint Ritchie laugh, and began showing it proudly to anyone who would look. I had tears running down my face, and so did he. Laughter is the best everything. "YOU LITTLE DICKENS!" He bellowed. And that man could bellow, let me tell you.

Between me and Bob Woods, I don"t know who drove him more crazy with the practical jokes. But I do know we both loved him like a brother. Some would say he was difficult. I would just say he was authentic. Did he have issues? Oh yeah, but hey, come on, who doesn't? He could be talked to and reasoned with, and, after all, he was a true cowboy. I think it's safe to say that we would all learn a lot from being friends with each other.

We would have many of those funny days, many great talks. We would also have some difficult days, but, that's what makes us grow up.

Being a forensics fan and true gore-meister, I loved hearing about his tractor accident many years before when he had been literally run over by his own tractor, and he loved telling me about every gory detail.

Many people, including the producer at the time told me that I brought out the best in Clint. The truth is, he brought out the best in me. He made my fun side come out to play when we worked together. He challenged me in my patience and taught me tolerance. He made me laugh. He made me learn how to be "one of the guys" and I loved it. I was an honorary cowgirl-dude, and he loved it.

I will miss knowing you are on this Earth, Bucky. You may have given up your human suit, but we will all see you again someday... and, I WILL have another fortune cookie waiting.

God bless Your Journey HOME....

The Little Dickins

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22 Comments:

Blogger Tammy said...

That was as beautiful as you, almost! Girlfriends don't get much better than you! Best banana in the bunch! Thank you for getting me thru the most miserable break up ever! He would be so proud of you and prob, up there winking at you now!

February 3, 2009 at 9:09 AM  
Anonymous Michele said...

What a wonderful remembrance of Clint. Thank you for sharing it.

February 3, 2009 at 2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey cat good afternoon wow... awesome new article indeed. your friend. bill green :)

February 4, 2009 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger Damon L. Jacobs said...

Thank you Catherine for such a beautiful and personal tribute. I feel like I have a better idea now of the man behind the cowboy.

February 4, 2009 at 8:14 PM  
Blogger JHS. said...

Cat:

Hope you remember me . . . we met at the studio and fan club lunch a few years back.

Well, it's official. I haven't been able to stop crying for days now and, although you did not help that situation, you sure did make me laugh. I remember hearing about that fortune cookie and I assure you Bucky was still laughing when he called and told me about it.

He adored you! He used to call and tell me how much fun he was having working with you. He was absolutely rejuvenated when you joined the show and I have the videotape of every scene in which you two acted together to prove how re-energized he was!

Thank the heavens for all that videotape. We are so lucky to have it to remember our cowboy. And hear that laugh . . . omg, how I am going to miss picking up the phone and hearing that voice, followed by his laughter.

Issues? Yeah. So what? They are like a certain part of our anatomy . . . we all have at least one. :-) But he was the most charming, caring friend anyone could have.

I got annoyed with him about a year ago. He wasn't calling me back and I wanted to know everything was ok. Finally, I answered my cell phone and heard, "So do you want to call me a hat full of [expletives]?" I responded, "Yeah, you big hat full of [expletives]! Why the hell haven't you called me?" Then he started laughing. I started laughing. And that was it . . .

Clint was a unique and, as you said, complicated man. But he was also a progressive man who sometimes acted like an old-fashioned, somewhat chauvinistic cowboy but wasn't really. Aside from my hubby, he was my best cheering section and supporter. He was comfortable being a true friend to a woman. When some twisted people on the internet tried to start rumors that we were "more than friends," we laughed until we cried. Then we sat there and flirted with each other, trying to see who could top the other, right in front of my husband who thought it was hysterically funny. Now that's a rare kind of male friend!

I wrote my tribute to our guy here: http://www.jhsiess.com/2009/02/03/tuesdays-tribute-clint-ritchie/

And, of course, his official website is here: http://www.clintritchie.com

They tell me that eventually two things will happen: 1) I will believe that he is really gone; and 2) I will stop crying. Right now I wouldn't bet on either.

Love and light to you,

JHS
"The Woman from Lodi"
"Bucky's Babe"
My most important title: Blessed to have been Clint's friend and to have known that he was mine

February 4, 2009 at 8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting a wonderful tribute. I was shocked when I saw that he had died. He was a favorite of mine. Thank you for showing that he had issues but was still fun to be with. Men like him are few and far between. You were so lucky to know him.

February 5, 2009 at 6:54 AM  
Blogger The 4th Doctor said...

Thank you, Catherine, for a lovely and touching tribute to a fine actor and a great man. And thank you for not letting his life go uncelebrated.

February 5, 2009 at 3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Catherine, that was truly lovely to read. Did not know the man personally as some of you indicate, but I was a fan of his work...he touched my heart with his beautiful portrayal of Clint Buchanan all those years.

February 6, 2009 at 12:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow that was beautiful,Cat. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about your former colleague and friend. He was a great actor. He seems to be very unassuming. May Clint rest in peace.

February 8, 2009 at 7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Catherine,

That was a beautiful tribute.
I'll miss Clint Ritchie. I always thought it was possible that he'd be back on my television screen one more time.
Maybe ABC will do a a show of flashbacks to help us remember Clint and his Pa.
Margie

February 8, 2009 at 9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautifully said! Very much miss seeing you on OLTL!

February 9, 2009 at 4:59 AM  
Anonymous Dana said...

Miss Hickland:

Thank you for that beautiful letter. The letter is a very giving tribute. The underlying message, in addition to the honor you show Mr Ritchie, is that you is that care enough to share these personal experiences with plain ole fans (outsiders) and that says volumnes about YOUR character and humilty. -Dana

February 10, 2009 at 3:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your memories of Clint Richie with us! He will be missed along with Phil Carey too!!

February 10, 2009 at 9:06 AM  
Anonymous Ellen S said...

I'm sure Clint is re-reading your story with all of us and laughing just as much. Beautiful story of a beautiful friendship. Condolences to you and all the OLTL show. And now Clint has his 'Pa' with him and they can laugh about all the good times.

February 10, 2009 at 8:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Buchanan Men are Riding High!

Catherine,
Your pearls of wisdom and sharing of your experiences touched my heart deeply. Clint will always have a very special space in our lives from the show, the character he created, lived out and portrayed so incredibly well. There was no match to the Clint Ritchie I knew will remain a legend in many ways to millions.

Namaste

February 10, 2009 at 8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Catherine,
You are an amazing incredible light and the value you share and sprinkle all over the world is appreciated! I read your tributes to Philly and my Uncle Bucky and I can see why both men had a memorable, fun, everlasting time with you.

From the reading I have done on your site, YOU are an example of a phenominal woman and for that I Thank you. I Thank you for sharing so many fun times with my Uncle. I knew him as the cowboy he was at Happy Horse Ranch and had the honor of spending his last hours with him as he made his peaceful transition. During that time, I was sure to Thank him for all he has done for me, taught me, shared with me, and yes, insisted I learn in his gruff loving way.

We all knew Uncle Bucky in our own special way and I had no idea how many people's lives he had touched, the magnitude of the love, lessions and jokes he shared with so many others lights up my heart. He is truly in a better place and riding high. I would love to chat and hear more funny stories.

Warm Regards,
JP

February 10, 2009 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Moanerplicity said...

That was truly a beautiful and very telling tribute. You learn far more about people, and get a better sense of insight from the memories they leave behind. It appears Mr. Ritchie left you with plenty, and so, in some way, as long as you think of him, he will remain alive.

I didn't know the man, but your tribute for him makes me think I would have liked him. Authentic people rock!

Rest In Peace, Mr. Ritchie.


Snatch JOY, Ms. Hickland!


One.

Lin

February 11, 2009 at 1:59 PM  
Anonymous Ms. Lolly said...

That was such a lovely statement. Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us fans who are so sad to see our beloved cowboy ride off into the sunset.

February 11, 2009 at 6:28 PM  
Blogger Rona's Home Page said...

When I think of Clint Buchanon I will always picture Mr. Ritchie.

February 16, 2009 at 5:02 PM  
Blogger A Mom's Journey said...

Thank you so much for sharing that story. I could not help but laugh. You two sound like you would had been a blast to work with.

I just learned today that he has passed and it really saddened me. No one is Clint Buchanan as Clint Ritchie no matter who they replace him with...as no one will be the Lindsey we know -no one can replace you either.

We have missed him and will miss him ever more now. I pray that his spirit will continue to flow in your studios to watch over you and guide you in your career.

RIP Clint.

Come home...Lindsey. We miss you at OLTL!!

Safe hugz,
Dee

February 24, 2009 at 12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful actor and seems like an amazing person. Who doesn't have "issues", whatever they were, I loved watching him on screen and hoped that he would return sometime soon. Now I will just remember the beautiful memories of an amazing man, whom I did not know, but one who showed himself on screen as someone I would have loved knowing.

February 26, 2009 at 8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for that! I thoroughly enjoyed reading that so much!!! :) I wasn't ready for it to end. I love you too!!!

May 8, 2010 at 2:59 AM  

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