Most of us are content to celebrate our birthdays with a cake, a few friends and a little bubbly. But not Rick Griffin! He’s traveled half way around the world to drive in the Mongol Rally, a 10,000 mile journey from London to Mongolia, camping somewhere in Kazakhstan with flatulent camels. Then again, that’s the way Rick is about everything. We’ve compiled a list of 50 things about Rick, along with 50 photos to commemorate his 50 years! Happy Birthday Rick! Wishing you many more!
Growing Up Rick.
To know a parents joy and love is to read the beautiful words written by Frances Griffin, Ricks mom. She gives us a glimpse of what it was like growing up Rick Griffin in list 1-12
1. Rick was a unique being from the very beginning. His family liked to go camping first in a tent, later a travel trailer. Once Rick, around age 4 or so, decided to be “helpful” and wash the silverware in the creek in the mountains. It all washed away & they were unable to retrieve it in the cold rushing waters.
2. Altho’ he seemed fearless most of the time – he did not like bridges. His family went camping on an island outside Charleston, SC and had to go across a very long bridge. Rick hid on the floorboard of the car. Wanting to get even with him for some of the mischievious tricks he’d played on them, his brother & sister told him we were over the bridge when they were on the highest part, Rick got up, looked out to see and cried out as he got back on the floor, “That’s the longest bridge in the world!.”
3. Always a lover of pets, Rick always had one from gold fish to tropical fish, cats, dogs, hamsters, white mice, parakeets, etc., etc. He once tried to keep a green snake in the house. It got loose & they never did find it. One of his favorite pets was “Little Kitty” who died. His mom was surprised that Rick didn’t seem to grieve over it as much as she though he would. A few months later he was sick & she had to leave him at home alone while she went to work at school. When she came home at lunch to check on him, he was in bed crying his eyes out with a picture of “Little Kitty” tied to his wrist. It broke her heart.
4. Always the maverick, Rick didn’t want an ordinary birthday party like the average 4 year old might want. He wanted a “Hippie Party” He had his mom make him a Hippie cake with a little drum & guitar on it. Rick dressed up as a Hippie with a black wig and black vest with yellow binding. He and his guests sang some Hippie songs.
5. Most kids wouldn’t have been allowed to do to their room some of things Rick did. As young as 5 or 6, he was a Beatles fan as well as a fan of Jackson 5. He had their pictures posted all over his room. His mom says she thinks he still likes their music to this day.
6. Rick got a lot of inspiration from the books he read as a young boy. His favorite one was “Where the Wild Things Are” and loved it when all the beast made a mighty ruuuummmble in the forest. One of his next best was Dr. Seuss & The Cat & The Hat.
8. Rick was always a determined young man. He taught himself to play guitar & the keyboard. When he came home one day & told his parents that he was playing in a band called the Dialtones at Six Flags, they were amazed! And shocked! They certainly didn’t know he could play that well! Everyday he drove about 30 something miles to Six Flags thru Atlanta traffic.
9. Little did we know at first that during his job at Six Flags a pretty young girl went out to see him. It seems they had been dating for a while but his family had no idea. He had to keep up his image of hating girls as evidenced in 4th grade when he tore up all the Valentines girls had given him.
10. His family didn’t get to meet his Six Flags mystery date, Denise officially until a few months later. Rick left his grandmother’s birthday party early. When his parents arrived home he asked them to come out on the porch. Sitting in the swing was a pretty young girl. “This is Denise”, Rick said with no explanation as to who Denise was. Due to the rumors they had heard, they knew.
11. All his life Rick had been a huge Alabama fan. His granddad, Dad & older brother had all been to University of Alabama and Rick had always planned to go too. That was until Denise came along. Not wanting to go away and leave her, Rick elected to stay at home & go to Georgia State. Now that’s true love!
Always the shrewd one, Rick tried to get his parents to pay him the difference in what it cost him to go to an state and the tuition they had to pay for his brother & sister to go to out-of-state schools.
12. While Rick was a very fun & interesting son to have around, his mom often worried about him being a little different from the run-of-the mill kid. How relieved she was when she went to a seminar at the University of Georgia. It was about creativity. The speaker said that the creative child marches to a different drummer. They have many positive attributes that the average child doesn’t have. His mom’s heart lept or joy. He’s not deviant – he creative!! And he still is to this day. A very special, loving, caring , adventurous young man, never at a loss for ideas to do something fun or try a new dish or find a way to help mankind, who seemingly has no fear. He’s added more than words can express to his mom & dad’s life.
Rick Grows Up. (sort of)
13. Rick married Denise and has been happily married for over 27 years.
14. Rick and Denise have 2 beautiful daughters, Sherri and Kacie.
15. Aside from his family Rick’s passions are travel, photography, writing and video.
16. Rick owns Levoyage, an award winning video production company.
17. Rick is a lifelong Georgia resident.
18. “Bless Your Heart” is something you’ll often hear him say AND he means it.
19. After a life threatening experience back in 2004, Rick decided to reevaluate his priorities and as a result the MidLife Road Trip was born.
20. He developed the creative concept used in Budweiser’s 2009 Designated Driver Campaign that premiered during the Tonight Show.
21. Rick won 1st place in XlantAds.com “Searching for Love” webisode contest
22. Rick won 1st place in Poptent.net’s “Road Trip” contest
23. Rick was a featured speaker at BlogWorld 2010 on Travel
24. He made a splash during Princess cruises “Follow Me at Sea”
25. He puts hot sauce on almost everything. His daughter Kacie says he puts Tabasco sauce on ANY food- and she has even seen him drink some out of a shot glass
26. You can only stay mad at him for about 15 seconds, which is how long it will take him to make you laugh.
31. A Midlife McGyver, he can fix just about anything
32. A natural athlete Rick is a great tennis player.
33. Nothing phony or fake about him.
34. Patience of a saint
35. Rick has never met a stranger
36. Favorite Food: Shrimp & Grits
37. Is the mayor of his local Mexican restaurant
38. Has season tickets to every University of Alabama home game.
39. Can fall asleep anywhere
40. If you are looking for the silver lining, Rick knows where to find it.
41. Rick is the epitome of southern gentleman.
42. Never says an unkind or cross word about anyone.
43. He eats lemons and limes whole
44. Can find humor in any situation.
45. Has a goal of wearing no socks for a year.
46. He played in a band in high school and college at 6 Flags called the Dialtones.
Plays the bass at church on Sundays.
47. He cannot read sheet music, but can pick up a bass, guitar or banjo and play just about anything by ear. He taught himself how to play by listening to Beatles records
48. Does kind deeds anonymously
49. Makes a wicked Chicken Tortilla Soup and the secret ingredient is a chicken foot for good luck!
50. Has a bottomless Bucket List. Ever time he checks something off he adds something else
and for Good Luck number 51 … Kacie says “He is the best dad in the whole world!” No greater compliment for 50 years well lived!