Richard Yamarone

Author: David R. Kotok, Post Date: November 30, 2017
Richard Yamarone sings Folsom Prison Blues
Richard Yamarone sings Folsom Prison Blues

By now many know that Richard Yamarone passed away on November 28th, 2017 at age 55. There are many of us who enjoyed his company in Montana and in Maine as part of annual gatherings of fishing, discussions, and camaraderie. We mourn his loss.

I can picture in my mind when he picked up the guitar and sang Folsom Prison Blues. I can picture him standing on the deck at Leen’s Lodge, and in the dining room at Hubbard’s Yellowstone Lodge. We plied him with a glass, or maybe two, of wine. Rich loosened up and he allowed himself the freedom to be himself. Then he had the courage to sing to us.

I can remember how loudly we applauded, how we cheered his effort.  And he had a really good voice.  He grinned a mile wide and beamed with delight.  It was a warm and tender moment for all who were there.  It is a warm and tender memory now.

Richard Yamarone, a friend, a colleague, an economist, a commentator and Camp Kotok attendee.

May he rest in peace.

Video of Richard playing guitar at Camp Kotok:

(Picture and video courtesy of Sharon Prizant.)

Philippa Dunne shares her thoughts below.

Dear Friends,

Many of you already have the heart-breaking news that the wonderful Richard Yamarone stopped breathing yesterday afternoon; he had a heart attack on Thursday morning while playing hockey with his team, his Thanksgiving tradition. A tremendous man, a tremendous friend, and a tremendous economist.

In 2009, Captain Chesley Sullenberger safely landed his crippled plane on the Hudson River. So accomplished was he that he planned to hit the river where he thought there would be no boats, telling passengers to, “Prepare for a hard landing.” I remember thinking at the time it would have been admirable if the monetary officials could have been so blunt in 2007.

Rich was. Back in the early days of the recovery he wrote, “The recent depression—ask any real economist.” He never confused the height of the markets with the state of the economy. He thought about workers and wages, inequities, rigged systems, and he worked incredibly hard. He was incisive, deep, an awesome singer, and truly hilarious. His humor made it easier to take some of his darker observations. Once he was outlining a dreadful eventuality when suddenly he noted it was odd that we were both laughing. (I’ll leave it to those in his league to cover his fly-fishing abilities.)

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