Saturday, January 8, 2011
Rickie Oliver-Rest In Peace our Dear Friend
It is with great sadness in our hearts, that we have to share with you that we lost our dear best friend, Rickie on Friday, Jan. 7th.
Rickie passed away after complications from a major stroke on Dec. 27th. He fought a valiant battle, and we are at least gladdened that he knew so many people loved him when he did have some period of alertness and we were able to extend ours, and many others love, to him.
Rickie leaves behind his wife, Kathy, who owns My Mothers Garden Organic Nursery in Wimauma, FL, his beloved sister Pam and his Mom, both of Boca Raton, FL and his brother Larry of Colorado. He was 54 years young.
Rickie was a beloved member of the Market Community and nothing made him happier than being at Market Day to enjoy the market atmosphere and the camaraderie of his fellow vendor friends. His sense of humor always kept us on our feet and not taking ourselves too seriously, and he was a most curious man that never knew a stranger..he would talk to anyone, and he was always interested in others and their lives. He never complained, he accepted the challenges in front of him and always tried his best.
Rickie came from Indiana, attended UF Florida, with a degree in forestry. He was a proud member of the US Air Force (part of his stint was guarding B-52 Bombers armed with nuclear weapons in a remote base in Maine!--(oopps, are we allowed to divulge that ?!)
Rickie was one of the original St. Pete Sat. Morning Market vendors, starting back in 2003, when he used to bring his gorgeous display of aromatic exotic seasonings and spices, organic veggies and herbs. He loved being on Central Avenue on Market days, selling his wares and being close to the band so he could boogie to all the music he loved.
4 years ago, Rickie decided to join us on our adventures in the Exotic Plant business. He was a tireless worker and we shared hundreds of market days and plant events, loading and unloading trailers, helping take care of our stock, and always being there at the front of the booth helping us sell and educate our customers. He was always the first one up and ready to go, and the last one to put his feet up at the end of the day. Frankly, we couldn't have done what we have done over the past 4 years, if it weren't for Rickie.
Personally, he was also our best friend, not only someone that supported us in our business, but someone who was always was there to buoy our spirits, commiserate in the experiences, offer his sage advice and help us in hundreds of ways as we all navigated our business and personal lives. We called ourselves the "3 Musketeers" and it was truly a "one for all---all for one".
Yesterday, Mitch lost the best friend he ever had, and we all lost a special spirit that graced our lives. Today at market, many fellow market vendor friends reached out to us to extend their condolences and we thank you for the many hugs and your expressions of love for the Rickie you all knew. His spirit will continue to live on as we relive funny stories and memorable market days, and we now have another Market Angel up there to continue to guide us.
Rickie's wish was to be cremated and have his ashes scattered in the branch of the Little Manatee River that runs through the back of the family farm in Wimauma (and oh, how he loved that farm.) Kathy and her family have decided to have a celebration of Rickie's life sometime in Mid-March, around the time of Rickie's birthday, at their farm and we will let you know of those details at a later time. For now, if you would like to send a card of condolence, you can send it to:
The Family of Rickie Oliver
My Mothers Garden Nursery
3819 County Road 579 South
Wimauma FL 33598
or if you want to drop a card off at our booth or our home in St. Pete, we will be happy to pass it along to his family:
Mitch Armstrong Nursery
c/o 1331 39th Avenue North
St. Petersburg FL 33703
We want to end this with a brief list of things that Rickie loved as we think of him tonight...
Foremost: Family, Friends, Food & Music................Market....Flamingos, or pretty much any bird....Sheppard's Pie & meatloaf.....John Fogerty, Florida folk singers Grant Livingston & Mindy Simmons..........The Will McLean Festival ( a Must-Do every year).........Air Guitar (or trying to learn to play a real guitar)...........M&M Hots Dogs and Lee's Lemonade at St. Pete Market........CatFish (fried, of course).....Kayaking at Ft. Desoto.......Driving over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge......The Little Tennessee River in N. Carolina...... Duct Tape.....Roasting Pigs....Trying on Mona's hats..........Hiding in Jackie & Carol's booth to eat lunch......Potatoes with Rosemary......Watching TV with Mitch..........Rain.... Cats.....Cooking.....dancing to silly You Tube videos with Annie.......Camping, being outdoors, under the stars.......The Bahamas (did you know that Rickie used to manage a Flamingo zoo in the Bahamas years ago?)......the Florida Gators..... Linda Taylor's Its Our Nature hats.......Tie-dye......Bandanas......Rubber boots........Flying out on a tire swing over the Broad River in Chimney Rock, NC........River-walking........ His truck.....Star gazing................ Doing anything with Mitch.
What didn't he love? There's not a thing..he loved everything. And we loved him. Rest in peace our dear friend, you will be 4-ever missed and 4-ever cherished. Please save us some seats up there xxxooo