Suzanne Escoffier & Patrick Bagacina

Alan Rich did just as his name promised… he made us rich. Many people knew Alan professionally, but I was lucky enough to call him a friend as well. We met at Voyager, where he delighted in calling me “his” producer, and quickly embarked on a long-term friendship outside of work.
As I was living in a condo and suffering from land-deprivation, Alan opened his yard to me as my weekend design project. I spent many happy hours planning, digging, and planting in his back yard. He would always make lunch for me and discuss the progress of both his writing and my gardening. My weekend gardening at Alan’s house ended when my husband and I purchased a fixer-upper but I still stopped by regularly for a chat and a stroll through the garden.
Alan was at the top of the A-list for the backyard parties we held at our house. He met many of our friends and always contributed to the ambiance of any event. He was part of our family, in that very special way that we all build ‘families of choice’ when we move away from home.
We celebrated many memorable events with Alan. He picked the dinner music for our wedding (Mozart, of course) and provided a lively toast. We met up at concerts all over town and delighted in reading his reviews. We showed up for New Year’s Day and stayed to do the dishes. We threw him a birthday party celebrating the end of the 60’s – complete with love beads – for his seventieth and staged a gamelan and dance performance in his backyard for his seventy-fifth. And with our dear friends Moira and George, we flew him to Napa and treated him to a magical meal at The French Laundry Restaurant for his eightieth. Sadly, we didn’t celebrate his eighty-fifth birthday last year, as he was struggling with his own declining health.
My husband and I were fortunate to be able to cook for Alan in this last year, and to take him to the Jacaranda concerts when he was able. Just to share a meal with him was a grace and a privilege. Alan was brilliant and unstuffy, cantankerous yet gracious, and always interesting. I will miss him forever, but count myself blessed to have been his friend.