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  • We lost The Old Fhart, Richard Bailey

    It is with great sadness that I say that we lost another one of our early members of WhiteBlaze and the Appalachian Trail community. Richard “The Old Fhart” Bailey passed away last Friday after a long battle with cancer. I have a lot of good memories with him in the WhiteBlaze community, Appalachian Trail community, and the geocaching community.
    I had the unforgettable experience of riding to Trail Days from Maine and back with him twice. It is an experience that I will never forget. For people that knew him, know what I am talking about. He was a very intelligent person. He knew things that most normal people would never know or care to know. That made him a great wealth of knowledge. If you needed an answer to something he probably knew it and if he did not know it, he would find out. I am at a loss for words here, he was a remarkable person and friend. Maybe a few will chime in and share a story or two that you have of The Old Fhart.


    This article was originally published in forum thread: We lost The Old Fhart, Richard Bailey started by attroll View original post
    This article was originally published in forum thread: We lost The Old Fhart, Richard Bailey started by attroll View original post
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. Ewker's Avatar
      Ewker -
      May he Rest in Peace
    1. Alligator's Avatar
      Alligator -
      He was wicked smart. Sad to hear this, he was a good guy.

      One time The Old Fhart was talking about regional sodas and mentioned Moxie soda and I chimed in that I knew it was a local Maine soda but I had never actually seen one in the stores there. He took pity on me, I guess it's like not never trying lobster roll or fiddleheads, and being the kind soul that he was, he brought one down from Maine special to the gathering just so I would have the pleasure of tasting it. I drank every drop of that soda! I haven't had one since but the next time I'm in Maine I will drink one down for you Old Fhart. I know you'll be smiling in Heaven to see that! Rest in peace.
    1. The Scribe's Avatar
      The Scribe -
      RIP Old Fhart. As attroll mentioned, you made those rides to Trail Days something to remember. I don't think any other roadtrip generated a higher LPM (laugh per mile) average.
    1. Cookerhiker's Avatar
      Cookerhiker -
      Very sorry to hear of Old Fhart's passing. In the days before digital photography, his photos stood out as among the best on WhiteBlaze. Some of them came from his experience spending winter at the weather station atop Mt. Washington.

      I first met him in person at the now-defunct Long Trail Festival in Rutland, VT on my 2007 LT thru-hike. In fact, the above picture of him was my photo from that festival which I posted here on WhiteBlaze. Subsequently, we encountered each other at ALDHA Gatherings and Trail Days festivals. Always an interesting and insightful guy, a joy with whom to converse. My condolences to his family.
    1. BAG "o" TRICKS's Avatar
      BAG "o" TRICKS -
      The Old Fhart aka Richard Bailey was a 98' thru-hiker who I met for the first time that year at The Barn in Gorham NH. I was up in that area helping out a hiker friend and had stopped in there to say hello to the owners and talk with any hikers who may be staying there. When I walked through the barn door I'll 'never' forget Richard turned and said to me in a slow deliberate voice with a heavy New England accent, "Oh, you're not a Thru-hiker". I smiled and said to him, "how do you know", with a big grin and bright smile that befit his bearded face he said, "your too clean". I just laughed at him and said, "your absolutely right. I then asked him "so what's your trail name", and he said, "I'm The Old 'Fat' ". I laughed and said, "the old fat", why are you called the old fat, your not fat." He laughed at my midlantic pronunciation of his trail name and slowly repeated his again in that same accent, "noooo.., I'm The Old 'Fat' ". I just looked at him shaking my head and replied, "that's what I said", to which he quickly replied, "but that's not what I said". Somewhat flustered now I said, "well what did I say", and to the best of his ability he tried to say "fart". He then proceeded to tell me it's pronounced "fat". I then asked him to spell it out for me and he said the letters, " f h a r t ", and then again he pronounced it one last time for me so that I would clearly understand it.., "fat". I'm just glad I didn't mention to him that day that I worked in a bar and had a cat in my car.
      I only knew The Old Fhart from his hanging out with our group (Billville) during trail events over the last twenty plus years we've been together. I learned during those many years that Richard was a extremely intelligent and resourceful individual. When he and ole' Baltimore Jack would get together they'd usually always end up having some 'very' interesting and 'intense' conversations. Jack called him a PITA more than once and The Old Fhart knew this and actually garnered that title with a great deal of pride. He also knew a great deal about the history of the 'AT' and the White Mountains, the stomping grounds he loved so much. On occasions he wore a bright red foul weather or rain suit with matching crocs. Whenever I'd see him wearing that get-up I'd tell him, "you know I could spot you on an overlook in that outfit a half mile away", to which he'd flash me one of his big 'cheeky' smiles. Richard also told me he had spent time volunteering his services up at the Mount Washington Observatory. While there he took some of the most incredibly beautiful and spectacular pictures I've ever seen from that mountain summit. The Old Fhart was an accomplished amateur photographer who over years of pursuing and honing that hobby captured many stunning shots throughout the New England area and along the entire Appalachian Trail. Some of his pictures have been used in catalogs such as L.L.Bean and Lands End. His exceptional photography has also appeared on the covers and inside many ATC and AMC calendars and various other periodicals. The Old Fhart seemed to be a Jack of all trades. I do know he thoroughly enjoyed participating in our BILLVILLE Useless Gear Contest at Trail Daze wearing his applause-o-meter tee shirt. One of his best entries in our annual contest was his 'Leave No Trace TP Kit'. If any of you reading this show up at TD's this year I'll be happy to demonstrate it again at this event in his honor.
      Old Fhart was one of our beloved BILLVILLE brothers,who, like Otto, Mala, VSA, Baltimore Jack, and Phatt Chapp that have passed on before him, will be sorely missed within our hiker clan.
      Rest In Peace Old Fhart, we'll always Love you Brother.
    1. TOW's Avatar
      TOW -
      That man was cool and good to me.
    1. greentick's Avatar
      greentick -
      May God bless your next adventure Old Fhart
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