Ralph P. Zimmer : in Memoriam
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3 Eulogies Delivered at St. Joseph Church in Baltimore, MD on 2019.03.18.
1. by John D. Rockefeller V
I first met Ralph through a mutual friend, John Sprague, at the Maryland Open in 2010. John knew I had been giving my son, John, chess lessons ever since he turned 2; so, he said I had to meet this other Dad who was doing the same thing with his son, Kevin. When Ralph told me that he was a Fide Master and that his wife, Annett, had been the top Under 16 girl in the former East Germany, I joked that John would never be able to catch up because of Kevin’s insurmountable advantage: in-utero chess training. John and Kevin soon became friends, hanging out at tournaments and going to each other’s birthday parties. When Ralph first invited John to 1 of Kevin’s birthday parties, he made it very clear that I should understand what we were agreeing to. Ralph warned me that I wasn’t being invited to some typical American birthday party that lasts only 2 hours; no, we had been extended a European invitation—which meant we should count on being at the Zimmers’ all afternoon and most of the evening. The other thing I remember learning that day during my first visit to the Zimmers’ house, was that Ralph put hot sauce on everything. According to Ralph, there wasn’t anything that didn’t taste better with hot sauce.
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