Testament for Richard S. Gresalfi

By Alex Young
September 12, 2010


You know there’s not enough room on this page to write all the experiences we’ve had together.  I mean how many people have I known well enough to get hit by a car with.

And so begins Rich’s June, 1977 yearbook note to me.  A year or so earlier, Rich and I were riding bikes along Middle Country Road in Centereach on our way to some forgotten destination.  A driver making a hasty exit from a parking lot managed to strike both of our bikes, depositing Rich and me into the middle of the road.  Somehow we both scrambled to our feet and dove off the road before any additional damage occurred to either of us.  We both appreciated that we were having a good day and we shared a laugh before limping on to our next adventures.

Rich was a combination of Tom Sawyer, P.T. Barnum, the Pied Piper and Magnum, PI.  I consider myself lucky to be part of the gang that grew up with Rich from Seneca to Stony Brook and, for many of us, back to Long Island.  Rich and I had a brief stop as housemates in Arlington, VA as Rich attended his first year at GW Law School and I worked on Capitol Hill.  Any visitor to our house.

came was immediately captured in a Polaroid photo that was taped to a wall.  Rich also taught me that sliced dill pickles work very well with almost any dish.  Rich was my first friend to meet Randi.  He like her enough to bust her chops at every opportunity.  Randi dug in her heels from time to time and fought back.  At these times, I usually sat back and enjoyed the entertainment.  Lake Grove always bested Scarsdale in these battles. 

Rich was there when I needed a friend. 

I know that my words are the same as those of so many others.  Except for the bike incident.

Rich and Jayne and Randi and I ultimately moved into homes about 10 miles apart as we settled into our professional lives and began our families. Our children grew up together, although the Gresalfi kids seemed to grow at a faster rate than the Young kids.  Rich was always the main attraction in any visit to Northport as he trained a new generation in how to live life to the fullest.  

I know Rich was proud of the accomplishments of Stephanie, Chris and Kelly.  And Rich was a great fan, spectator and audience member of the games and performances of his children.  Rich even cheered for me as I coached my track teams during meets at which Stephanie was competing.  And while nothing was more fun for me than to recount every step Stephanie ran during her four years on Northport’s strong track and field teams, I think Rich would not have minded a recounting of Steph’s races that did not take 29 minutes longer than the 60 seconds or so that it took Stephanie to finish her

lap around the track.

We will just keep it going.  This way I won’t have to sum it up.  Richie.

Alex Young