Friday, February 26, 2010

Show Me that Smile Again: Rest in Peace, Richard Stabone

Boner captured my childhood. While most men my age might look to Mike Seaver as the voice of our generation, I must confess I related more to Boner.

While Mike was the cool, handsome charismatic troublemaker who always got things right in the end, Boner was awkward and doofy looking with a knack for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time and messing things up with chicks.

Mike appealed to the side I wanted to be, but Boner reflected the side I was. He spoke the truth of my teenage angst.

Like Boner, I rarely had the right answer in the classroom. I too, was terrified of my friend’s parents. I mostly did what my buddies told me to, even when it meant extreme personal humiliation. During one hilarious mishap, Boner began to misguidedly refer to God as “Jimmy.” As an impressionable young teen, I understood his confusion.

Yet despite all that, despite living in the shadow of the original Zach Morris, despite being the constant butt of Mike Seaver’s jokes, despite falling hopelessly in love with his best friend’s little sister…Richard Stabone exuded a quiet confidence.

I mean, let’s face it. From the time he met Mike Seaver at the bus stop until well into his college years, little Dicky Stabone answered to the name Boner.

Boner. They called him Boner. He went by Boner. And that took balls.

The role that helped me grow into and out of my awkwardness probably haunted real life Boner the rest of his life, leading to his death. They claimed we were nowhere near the end. They lied, and now Boner is dead.

We’ll miss you, Mr. Stabone.

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