Connecting Across the West Coast

Welcome back, everyone, and get ready for another Howard Rice story. I won’t keep you long with the details, but we’re excited to announce that we’ve made more progress and gotten more stories than we can publish. 

We’ll be checking these stories, following up with writers, and focusing on learning more about this mysterious figure. I feel like we’re closer than ever to figuring out why there are so many connections to a Howard Rice. 

Until then, enjoy another story, this time a Halloween story from less than a year ago. 

Howard Rice, Reanimator

So, first of all, I do a lot of traveling as an actor. I probably don’t look like the type, but we have this really great artsy thing going on, where we travel up and down the West Coast doing shows. It pays the bills, and we meet a lot of creative types along the way. 

That’s how I ended up meeting Howard Rice. So, to paint the scene, it’s mid-October, and we’re traveling up through California with a buddy of mine. She doesn’t want her name shared around, since she’s sort of shy, but we were having a great time traveling while we had some vacation days. 

Obviously, since it was October, a lot of the shows were kinda spooky, not really kid stuff. We did some adaptations of Poe’s “The Telltale Heart,” a production of Dracula, and all kinds of stuff. Then, we get a call that they’re in dire need of some performers out in some small city north of LA. It’s an adaptation of that movie Reanimator. Personally, not my thing, but my friend was super excited about it, so we went.

Her friend, who works for a big-name car accident lawyer in LA, that gave us the call, of course couldn’t make it as they were working to try to get justice served for their client. But, that’s how these things go, right? So, he sent us right on to the stage director, a stuffy old guy who talked about making “real art” and all that. We humored him, got into costume, and went over the script. We only had a day to learn it, but mostly, we just had to get all covered in green goo and say some scary stuff. 

On stage, we totally hammed it up, and the crowd loved it. Afterward, my friend said, “I chewed the scenery so hard, I’m going to be picking backdrops out of my teeth for a week.”

Of course, the director loved it, called us downright Shakespearean. He invited us over for dinner with his wife and son, a sweet guy home from college for the long weekend. Of course, the conversation turned to the performance. 

“Oh, I never watch the stuff.” The son wrinkled his nose. “I’m sure it’s fun, but it scares me to death. My boyfriend watches that sort of thing all the time, though. He’s seen that new one, the one with the girl that makes the clucking noise, three times in theaters. I told him, Howard P. Rice, if you put that movie on one more time, I’m tossing your stuff in the yard!’ He laughed at me.” 

He sighed and the family laughed, but for some reason, the name stuck with me. I guess that means it’s a spooky Halloween coincidence now.

More Howard Rice Stories to Come

We’d like to give a big thanks to our readers and to the people who have sent in their stories about the mysterious Howard Rice. We’re sure there are more of us out there, looking for him, so we’ll keep our readers updated as the new stories come in. 

Finding Howard Rice: The Artist’s Way

The responses to our Howard Rice stories are really pouring in! We’re excited to see that so many people are connecting to these stories and, of course, connecting to Howard Rice. This little project has really taken off, and who knows—maybe we’ll each find some answers to connect ourselves again to Howard, or at least to a Howard.

This week, though, we’re taking you all the way over to the East Coast. We have a message from a self-proclaimed “artsy type” who has had their own run-ins with our old friend.

A Portrait of the Artist as Howard Rice

As an artist in New York City, it’s basically required that I lead with the fact that I’m a starving artist in New York, right? Really, though, a lot of us find a little home here, just like I have since coming to the city a few decades ago all the way from Arkansas, a place most people can’t pronounce. The rest say, “Oh, like Dorothy, right?”

So, imagine my surprise when I find another artsy type from Texarkana, someone who became fast friends and bought a studio with me. Now, we do our work there, and sometimes, we even teach a few classes.

That’s where things really begin. My friend usually runs the classes, and most people find them a nice change of pace from the hustle and bustle of being high-level execs and Queens auto accident lawyers and three-star chefs. “Happy little trees” can do us all a little good, seems like.

Except, she had this one student who was pretty good, if a little bold. He wanted to get in the business of painting portraits for people, like they’re kings and queens or something. Anyway, point is, he starts focusing his class time on these commissions, which would be fine if he wasn’t driving my friend crazy with questions about lighting and dynamic shading and things that were a little over his head.

She was getting close to kicking him out, honestly. Sure, the guy had a decent sense of composition, but when he’s disrupting her business, it becomes an issue, you know?

Of course, that’s when he decided to finish up his very first picture. He was convinced he was the next Caravaggio, with his dramatic lighting and all, but honestly, the subject was just some guy staring out, so it came off more parody than homage. But, hey, what does some hick from the backwoods of Arkansas  know about art, right?

The kicker, though, is when she next sees this guy. He comes down the street, looking dejected, and carrying this massive, ornate frame. It’s really not doing his picture much good, either. My friend was outside on a smoke break, so she stopped him for a second.

“What, he didn’t like it?”

He huffed, holding the painting out to her. “Here, a gift for your help and all, since he can’t seem to appreciate true art. I’m thinking I’ll be trying something more Picasso, this time.” It wasn’t long before he was gone, moved off to who knows where, but the painting is still hanging in the studio as a little inside joke.

When I saw this site, though, I knew I had to submit my story. That’s because the little plaque I’ve been looking at for the past few years reads, “Howard Rice.”

Still Seeking Howard? Check Out Our Other Stories

We’re excited to see that every story gets us a little bit closer to our titular Howard Rice. While the connections started out as a little game among friends, we’re all excited to see other people talk about their own complex, funny, or even sad stories about how they connected Howard Rice.

If you’re interested in learning more about our project, read on here and keep updated on our stories. We’ll keep updating as we gather more connections to Mr. Rice.

Howard Rice: Making a Wrong Turn in Albuquerque?

To all our readers out there in New Mexico, it’s time to get excited for a brand-new story. Today, we’re casting our eyes all the way over to Albuquerque! Who knows, maybe we’ll even run into Bugs Bunny as we connect our dots to the inimitable Howard Rice.

But, on to our exciting new connection. Our latest helper is writing in all the way from Tupelo, Mississippi, where our story really begins. It sounds like we’re in for a real road trip, folks, so buckle in while we count the degrees to a Mr. Howard Rice.

My Aunt’s Desert Adventures

My family likes to travel a lot. I mean, I’ve been to nearly every state myself, and I’m going to be traveling abroad with my parents over the summer. Though, it seems like it was my aunt who started it, back in her college days.

She’s always been a wild child, and she’s got some pretty wild stories to match, but when I saw your site, I had to write in because my aunt totally met Howard Rice! Or, a Howard Rice, anyway.

So, back during her spring break in college, sometime in the late eighties, she and some friends decided they were going to have a road trip to the Southwest. They rented an old van, loaded up their stuff, and took off across the continental US. They didn’t even bring a map! They just went where the road took them, and they’d find their way back home when they were done.

Well, a broken-down van put a damper on things, and a bad fall at the repair shop left one of her friends really hurt. My aunt was the one stuck going back and forth between checking in at the hospital, talking to an ABQ personal injury lawyer about the poor shop conditions, and then another trip to a completely different auto body shop!

It turns out that she could have saved her time, too. The van was a total loss, and there was nothing they could do about it. Total bummer, right?

Sure, at least until my aunt started complaining about her tough spot to the local gas station attendant. He was super helpful, and eventually, he gave her his cousin’s phone number. He owned a rental agency just a few miles down the road, and he’d be happy to help them. Funny enough, she always remembered the rental owner’s name: Howard Rice.

We Want to Share Your Stories

Wacky stuff, right? You never know when a Howard Rice is going to show up next. Of course, you folks might already have made your own connections, putting together a few more pieces.

That’s why we want people like you to send in your connections to a Howard Rice. The stranger, the better—we want to hear stories that will keep us guessing about our mysterious subject. We want you to share your stories, so we can learn a little more about why this Howard Rice keeps popping up over and over again.