To the editor:
I was saddened to be notified of the sudden death of West Milford resident Mark Richards in November of this year.
Mark was one of the more iconic, colorful, and interesting residents of West Milford that I have known.
I knew Mark informally throughout the years that I lived in West Milford, though I actually met his father, Gene Richards, who was I believe, the building inspector before I met Mark in person.
Mark was an established Libertarian.
After I would submit letters to the editors sections of various local newspapers regarding political issues with my usual liberal viewpoint, he would often respond by writing handwritten letters that he would mail to my house, and in which he would respond by either agreeing or disagreeing with my comments, with additional comments of his own.
He was always polite in his responses, and never nasty.
In the last few years, Mark became a volunteer at the West Milford Museum, of which I have been a volunteer for the last 15 years.
He came to the Museum during its' hours of operation every Saturday, very seldom missing a day.
Being a life long resident of West Milford, he possessed a deep knowledge of the town, and the surrounding area that he would convey whenever he conducted tours of the museum to visitors.
His knowledge of West Milford was exhibited weekly when he almost always guessed the site of the picture puzzle of a location in West Milford that appears weekly in the "Where in West Milford" section of the "West Milford Messenger."
On the Saturday before he died, he was telling me while volunteering at the museum, of a movie theater that existed on Main Street in Warwick, presumably in his youth, that would be filled with local Warwick farmers on a Saturday back when there were a lot of farms in West Milford.
Robert J. Bailey,