A Big Fish Story: The Funny-Face Man
I grew up in Pekin, Ill., a little town just south of Peoria. When I was a little girl, my mom would often take us along when she visited friends in Peoria. I remember one man very vividly. His name was Richard.
Richard had gone to school and played baseball with my mom's uncle, and his mom and my grandmother both worked in Peoria. I remember the first time I met him, I told my mom he was the funny-face guy from TV. My mom turned so red, but Richard smiled and bopped my nose and asked my name.
He was always teasing and joking with the kids. I remember this one time some of us wanted to play Atari, but the older kids could not get it plugged in right. Richard came over and pretended to plug the joystick into himself and let us move him around with the controls.
That was about the last time I remember seeing him.
I was still a little too young to understand who he was. He was just the funny-face man to me, and to my family he was just Richard. The rest of the world knew him as one of the greatest comedians of all time, and knew him by his full name: Richard Pryor.