May 7, 2017



  1. The Greeting: “Rocci Baby, how you doin’,” asked Eduardo Ureta.
  2. He always seemed like he knew something you didn’t.
  3. A good sense of humor, a good laugh.
  4. He always wanted to know the skinny.
  5. He posted a lot on Facebook, in Spanish.
  6. Pictures galore. Picturesque places. Been to so many.
  7. . . .By the pool, towel wrapped around, swimming pool over his shoulder, mountains in the BG.
  8. . . .On a boat with a life jacket on, waterfalls in the distance.
  9. . . .Leaning on a fence at Volcan Osorno (volcano) on the shore of Llanquihue Lake.
  10. . . .Sailing The Aventura in San Francisco Bay in 1973.
  11. . . .Believe It: With Fidel Castro. The guy got around.
  12. . . .Relaxing with a good cigar.
  13. . . .Always wine, the accompaniment.
  14. . . .Or champagne, sitting in a bucket on the table, him in a chaise lounge in Pebble Beach with Maria Casanueva.
  15. . . .Always ready to toast.
  16. Good God! Hippy-looking in Marin Country, Cali back in ’72. Charles Manson?
  17. The aviator sunglasses and regular glasses too.
  18. The sun tan. The necklace, the bracelet.
  19. The hats . . .
  20. . . .A signature sign. Often duplicated by friends.
  21. . . .Big on straw, with the band around the base.
  22. . . .A top hat with Richie and Barbara Adams at a function, all three duded up.
  23. . . .Ball caps worn frontwards and backwards.
  24. . . .A bandana scarf.
  25. . . .A pancho he wore walking the line in a NABET strike.
  26. . . .The blue jeans, the jacket.
  27. Proud of his family and his native Chile.
  28. On the road. On the Harley.
  29. Many ABC years. Editor in the 1” tape room: two, two and three, the machines. Maybe one quad.
  30. . . .Crashing and burning but not upset.
  31. . . .But he could get upset and become a Spanish hot-blood.
  32. . . .Monday through Friday but sometimes the weekend.
  33. Then to NBC, an intake operator.
  34. . . .When he died, Meet the Press gave him an on-air credit: “In Memory of Juan Ureta.” So nice.
  35. A classic picture of him: with John Williams and Richie out to dinner somewhere.
  36. Often he and Richie would pop up to the fourth floor and stop by my office, see what was going on.
  37. . . .We’d talk a bit and then they had to go cuz of World News. I didn’t cuz I was a slave to the weekend.
  38. . . .On their way out the door they stopped and called to me.
  39. . . .I looked up and saw them bending over with their bare asses mooning me. Then they were on their way.
  40. . . .It was pretty funny.
  41. On Jan. 25, Richie posted on Facebook that his dearest friend Juan had died at hospice in Arlington after a long battle with cancer.
  42. People couldn’t believe it and many didn’t know he was sick.
  43. Richie sat with him that morning and held his hand. He was not in pain.
  44. “Throughout his years of illness he maintained a sense of dignity and calm,” wrote Richie.
  45. Juan was a unique person. He was the man.
  46. UH . . . Big Man in Town—The Four Seasons, 1964 on Philips Records.
  47. . . .That he was.


© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts

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