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updated 8/23/10

The page below was originally placed on my home page as a memorial to Paul, for a month after he died. I relocated it here where it will remain, for as long as I'm on the internet.

 This page is dedicated to the memory of Paul Allen Rice.

(born into this world Jan 26 1964 - he left us Feb. 8 2005)

 Although the contents of this home page will change, and once again I will display pictures of my beautiful show dogs, this page will be forever dedicated to the guy that first put us on the net.

Who was Paul Rice? I suppose he was different things to different people. To me he was a friend as well as the guy who ran the server that my Pomeranian email discussion list ran on.  He was incredibly dependable. Johnny on the spot when one of his friends and/or customers needed assistance.

I first met Paul on an email list in 1998 where an earlier host had opened a list for us list owners to get together and help each other with the details of operating a majordomo mailing list. Paul was at the core of that list. When that company dumped the mailing lists, Paul picked up the pieces, and on Dec.18th 1999 he created a small mailing list/website hosting business. On Dec. 21st 1999, he gave us our own little mailing list for majordomo list owners. He named it vlowners and hosted it on his new servers.

For me it had become a home away from home on the net. Until recently that small group of us came together almost daily for all those years, often having many off topic discussions. Paul had a tremendous amount of patience. Over the years someone like that becomes a regular character in your life. You get used to that, often taking them for granted.

 There wasn't much that was computer/internet related, that Paul Rice couldn't do. He was always there. When you called on him he answered, never putting anyone off. Besides being a great place to host a list, he was the one who first launched this website.

He was one of the wittiest people I ever knew. Quick with a come back, never lacking in humor.

Things always went well with Paul at the wheel. He was real good at running things behind the scenes, and on our vlowners list, he WAS the scene. If I needed any help I could always catch him in an email or find him on ICQ  message.

 Then one day in late Jan.2005, everyone's lists started to malfunction. At first we sort of waited, so sure Paul knew what was going on and would have things in order soon.

On Feb 4th I sent him an email message: << Paul, I am actually growing concerned for your well being. It is not at all like you to not reply. I am truly concerned. I understand if you are burned out, but please let me know that you are ok >>

There was no answer....

When the group began to email Paul and get no reply we all grew very concerned. When I telephoned him at home, he had just walked in with his mom. He'd been in the hospital for 9 days having had a massive heart attack on Jan.24th 2005. He told me he was planned for by pass surgery sometime soon. The call was brief, and although I didn't know how we'd do it without him, I left the phone telling him not to worry about anything, we were managing.

I knew Paul would do what he could, when he was able. That was the essence of who he was. At around 2:40 in the afternoon on Feb. 7th I messaged him via ICQ:

<< Paul, Everyone KNOWS you will do what you can (we are all thinking about you) we just don't know if you even realize the lists are all down? It doesn't do any good for us to email the off topic list because nobody knows anymore than the next one:) Just nod  >>
His reply: it is something i am working on
My answer: I knew that :)

A message came in from Paul via ICQ at 7:40 pm central time on Feb 7, 2005:

<< Cross your fingers. My tech in Vegas did "something" and it looks like it opened the floodgate. I see a ton of list mail going through. I can't promise it's permanent but it looks like we may have found the problem.>>

 Sure enough it appeared as if things were going to smooth right out, but those thoughts were short lived. It never happened.... ...would never happen...

By Feb.8th the list server was seriously malfunctioning, sending out  dozens of copies of the same email posts over and over to some of the subscribers. I waited patiently.... Paul would know what to do.

I didn't want to press him after what we learned about his state of health, so just a gentle email to make certain he was aware of things... and wait. Into the afternoon, and then into the next day, and the next ... and no reply. This wasn't like Paul.

The hours went by, one after another with no word from him. Some of our list group members from vlowners were gathered on the internet discussion list into the wee hours of the morning between Feb 10th and 11th not knowing what to do. Several had sent an email to Paul, yet nobody heard a word from the most dependable guy we ever knew.

I think it must have been quite late, and growing even more worried when on Feb.12th in the wee hours of the morning I hammered out an ICQ message to Paul and then emailed the following message to the group of us who were still up worrying and wondering what to do:

<< I was so close to phoning him tonight... it is simply not like him to not reply. I see him on ICQ but it is set to "Not Available"... something is  surely wrong ...>>

I left him this ICQ message:
<<Paul, people are worried about YOU. It's more than the stupid lists... we are VERY concerned. I'm calling tomorrow. Is your mom alone other than having you? Please tell me if I can help at all in any way, you are our friend not just a business. >>

None of us ever heard from Paul Allen Rice again

As soon as it broke daylight on Feb.12th 2005 I telephoned his home for the last time,  to hear his mother's soft, broken voice speak the dreaded words "We buried Paul yesterday morning"

It has been an extremely sad time, and I don't think any of the vlowners group, his customers or his  friends will ever forget the time we spent with him.

Our former group from vlowners are currently gathered on a small list . Some of us had been gathered together since 1998. Some plan to reunite. If  we manage to stay together, I am certain that Paul will still be at the core of our group.

Paul ...Thanks for everything. You were the best at what you did. The very best. Take care buddy. Someday when we meet again I'll have the chance to tell you just how very much I appreciated all your efforts, your time, the humor you brought... how incredible. Goodbye my friend...

              ... Jessie Klein


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