Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sad news about a Central Park friend

Yesterday I heard the shocking news that an old Central Park friend, Rik Davis, died last Saturday.
Bruce Kamiat, a fellow member of the Woodlands Advisory Board, sent me an e-mail telling me of his death. Bruce wrote::

I've just now learned the sad news that Rik passed away on Saturday at Beth
Israel Hospital. He suffered a sudden massive heart attack.

His wife, Anna Mae, told me she and Rik had planned not to hold any memorial service in such an event.

For those wishing to send condolences, the address is 37 W. 19th St., NY, NY 10011.

Sorry to be the bearer of such news,

Bruce Kamiat
I met Rik sometime between the winter of 1991, when an unusually pale Red-tailed Hawk was first seen swooping over the Lake with a rat in his talons, and 1995 when that same hawk, now universally called Pale Male, became the proud father of three chicks in his Fifth Avenue nest.

I met a lot of people during the exciting years Pale Male nested on Fifth Avenue, but Rik was one of the few who became a friend forever.

After 1995 Rik became a familiar fixture at the Model-boat Pond, exhibiting his marvelous photographs of Pale Male and mates and sharing his storehouse of knowledge about the Fifth Avenue hawks. I could always count on a look at the nest through Rik's fine Swarovski telescope, and I always looked forward to stopping and chatting with Rik for a while. He was one of the nicest, friendliest, kindest people I've ever met.

I can hardly imagine Central Park without Rik Davis. The thought makes me terribly sad.