My best friend Rick Miller loved to collect old things.
Open any drawer in his island cottage on a lake in New Hampshire and you would be liable to find linen from a forgotten hotel, postcards from the 1930s, smooth rocks from the ocean, note cards from his grandmother, or bronze fittings for a speedboat.
Shelves of Big Band records lined the walls, and his daily china was antique Blue Willow. To get to his cottage he would pick you up in one of many old wooden boats, most of which were always on the verge on sinking.
In an all too brief period, together he and I had enough adventures to last a life time. We founded country inns and filled them with collections, we scoured New England for antiques, we explored Europe, we restored old speedboats.
And when his health began failing, we bought a nautical antiques business to keep him occupied. He loved each and every item in the Nautiques collection.One night, after a busy day selling at an ocean liner show, Rick quietly passed away. He was 49 years old.