My second “tour” at Prudential-Bache Securities began in August 1988. Even though I had worked there before, I was told I had to attend orientation. Another lawyer was starting at the same time. His name was Carlos Ricca. We didn’t know each other until then. Carlos was a big guy. He had a very expressive face and always had a smile for you. In a department with litigators with egos, Carlos stood out because he didn’t seem to have one. Or at least not the outsized ones possessed by others.
Because of his fabulous voice, Carlos was quite a presence. As I recall, he did some radio announcing in his life. But he was part of the group of crazies that was flying all over the country defending Prudential-Bache in arbitrations. We were comrades-in-arms. Whenever a group of us got together, there were stories.
We are all “kids” then. Some were single. Some newly-married. I might have been married the longest at that time, all 6 years of marriage. As I recall, Carlos married either just before or after I left the firm.
It was always good to see Carlos. He always smiled. In later years we talked about kids and family. With Carlos, as with many from that group, you felt like you could pick up right where you left off. Nothing seemed different about him.
I received a disheartening email this morning from an old friend. He told me that Carlos passed away this morning. I was stunned, speechless. I am dumbfounded. I know it’s part of life, but there are so many jerks out there, why would the fates claim a good guy? I’ve written before about how I feel like I’m becoming part of the “old guard.” Another friend told me that this is part of the process. I don’t like it, not one bit.
So I passed the information on to some friends who I thought would want to know. The reaction was universal shock. Then one friend reminded me of an incident where Carlos, I believe with some liquid encouragement, danced with a goat. I wasn’t there so I can’t remember if it was a fake or real goat. He did end up with a papier-mache goat in his office as a result. So I think the first goat was real. Then I remembered that, for a while, the joke was that Carlos’ Indian name would be “Dances with Goats.” (If you don’t understand the movie reference, then you’re not old enough). I chuckled to myself and I smiled. Because those really were “the days” and frequently the nights, too. Carlos will be missed by all who knew him.
Rest in peace, Carlos. When you see Generelli, tell him we all say hi.