This week there was a thread on a RS fan page where people shared their RS stories – when they became fans, how aware they were of RS in the ’90s and how they got back to this point (on a RS fan page). It’s pretty incredible to learn about the impact he’s had on so many lives.
The passage of time is such a funny thing. In an interview with RS that I heard recently, he mentioned that at this point he’s lived in the U.S. longer than he had lived in Australia so this feels more like home now. But since the 80s when first becoming aware of him, I’ve always thought of him when I hear something about Australia. I guess it’s kind of like when you think back to a certain time in your life and you think of the people as you knew them rather than who they are today – such as when I see pictures of the preschoolers I used to teach when I was in college and have difficulty grasping the idea that they’ve grown and likely have children of their own.
Although, this is probably different now with Facebook and similar social media when people keep abreast of people’s lives long after they are no longer an active part of them.
Anyway, when I was reading these fans’ stories, I couldn’t help but think of a young Richard Lewis Springthorpe so many years ago who had no idea what his future was and feeling so bleak about what those possibilities might look like. While he was distressed about his relationship – or lack thereof, as he describes it in his memoir – with girls, he probably could not have fathomed the depth of his success or his impact on people’s lives. “Don’t worry that none of your female classmates seem interested in you, Ricky boy, someday women will be making calendars out of your photos and paying a few hundred dollars for the chance to meet you,” a time-traveler might have told him, if one was able to travel back in time.