[pjw] A zero gun salute to Rico Vicino, a veteran for peace & PJW member

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Wed Jul 27 16:19:21 EDT 2022

It's been pointed out that I forgot to add that the Celebration of Life 
event is on Saturday, July 30, the day after the funeral. Sorry for the 
dan h.

On Wed, 27 Jul 2022, Peace and Justice Works wrote:

> Greetings again Peace and Justice Works community
> This has been a rough month-- after losing Yvonne Simmons on July 2, we heard 
> from longtime member Rico Vicino's housemate yesterday that Rico (born Fred 
> Kempe) has also died.
> Our records of the start of PJW 30 years (and 4 months) ago aren't totally 
> detailed, but 12 of us met to start what was then called Portland Peaceworks 
> in March 1992. Yvonne was one of the 12. Rico was at the second meeting in 
> April, so he was with us a long time. We met him through his work with 
> Northwest Veterans For Peace (NWVP), which formed in late 1990 as the "Gulf 
> War" was gearing up. Having served in the Air Force in Viet Nam, Rico was 
> strenuously anti-war.
> Rico's active contribution to our earliest event, the Peace and Justice Fair, 
> was a dunk tank wherein throwing a ball at a target would drop a teddy bear 
> wearing a George HW Bush mask into a toilet, which Rico labeled the "Offal 
> Orifice." Years later he expressed regret that the activity didn't fully fit 
> his vision of nonviolence.
> In 1994, Rico presented at the summer quarterly PJW meeting, sharing slides 
> of a trip he and three other vets made to Viet Nam. (This is captured in a 
> Flying Focus video which unfortunately is not easily available on the web or 
> on DVD, known as "A Return to Vietnam," an hourlong "Speakers and Events" 
> show.)
> Around that time PJW was able to rent office space from NWVP in their coffee 
> shop known as the Liberty Tree up at NE 28th and Everett. I flew to Dallas, 
> TX for a national conference on police accountability and... left the 
> itinerary on the desk. I knew Rico's number by heart, and he lived nearby so 
> he was able to go in and get me the information.
> Over the years Rico was a frequent participant in our "mailing parties," and 
> I'm reminded in the last several years he would bring his dog with him, a 
> very well mannered houseguest so to speak. He helped whether the mailings 
> were for PJW, Portland Copwatch or Flying Focus.
> I can't count how many times I crossed paths with him as he tooled down the 
> street on his bicycle. While he got worked up about stuff I feel he was 
> generally optimistic.
> PJW cofounding member (and board member) Linda Tomassi remembers Rico as 
> "quirky, optimistic and kind."
> For those who knew him there are two events this week that his housemate let 
> us know about.
> The first is a Military Honors funeral at Willamette National Cemetery (this 
> is why I titled this email "zero gun salute"... there may in fact be some 
> protocols at the cemetery involving such displays of firearms, so be 
> forewarned), Friday July 29 at 2:30 PM. They ask that you arrive at least 15 
> minutes before the 2:30 PM start time and check in at the main office for a 
> map of where to go, and remember they will have him listed as Fred Kempe, not 
> Rico.
> The second is a celebration of life party with food and drinks at Rico's 
> house in SE Portland, from 2:30-10 PM. Please RSVP to get the address. Rico's 
> housemate adds: "Come and meet family and friends and share your stories of 
> this amazing man."
> We'll miss you Rico!!!
> dan handelman
> peace and justice works
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