Welcome back to the Howard Rice Connection, where we’re intent on finding people with connections, within a few degrees, to a Howard Rice. We’ve found family friends, historical figures, and other exciting people, all of them various Howard Rices.
Today, we have an even more mysterious Howard—just when you thought it couldn’t get more exciting, right? Sit back, relax, and enjoy a seaside tale of a disappearing Howard and a lighthouse keeper with a big secret.
Working on the Lighthouse
Okay, so, quick disclaimer—this whole story happened before my time. I wasn’t even born yet, but it’s one of my dad’s favorite stories. So, there’s this super old lighthouse on the coast of Long Island; It’s been there forever, and it’s obviously had to have a lot of repairs. Not long after my parents got married, my dad got to work on it.
The lighthouse keeper seemed like a cool guy, all grizzled and sea-worn. He and my dad got along great, and my dad and his crew set out to repair some damage to one of the sides of the lighthouse. The keeper said he could have handled it in his younger years, but storm season was coming around, and it was a big project for one man.
The way my dad tells it, the lighthouse keeper had just left him at the very top floor of the lighthouse, where the light was, when he saw someone. The mysterious person had his back to him, and it was super sunny, so he could only make out a silhouette.
“Hey, man, the guard rail is down, be careful,” dad said, but the guy didn’t move. So, dad stepped forward to pull him back from the edge, since he wasn’t wearing a harness for work. That’s when Dad slipped.
Luckily, he was wearing his harness, or else I might not be telling this story. Still, he hurt his back in the fall, and he was off the job. His workers comp lawyer in Long Island got him a good settlement, but he was down for a while. To his surprise, though, he got an interesting visitor while he was stuck in the hospital.
The lighthouse keeper brought him flowers and everything, “courtesy of the wife,” he said. He wanted to apologize for the accident.
“That’s alright, it happens, but how did you get over there?”
It turned out, the lighthouse keeper didn’t.
“Oh, ol’ Howie’s been there long before my time. Fella I took over for said he was the first lighthouse keeper, even. Mean as a snake, but did he love that lighthouse. Protected it to the end, even when he was too old to be climbing those stairs and cleaning that lamp. He never does take kindly to strangers in his place. Good thing you’re off the job, or he might try to finish you off.”
He laughed, but Dad was still a little too sore to get a good laugh from the situation. Still, the name of the ghostly lighthouse keeper always stuck with him: Howard Rice.
Stay Tuned for More Stories
Spooky, right? This might be our very first story of a uncorporeal Howard Rice, which is quite a milestone for us.
There’s more to come, too. If you’re curious about what’s going on with the enigmatic Howard Rice, check out our other entries or keep an eye on this site. We’ll keep you updated with all our latest Howard Rice stories.