Margaret Kelch née Ruth was one of four young singers who performed, as the “Glow Girls,” on a double bill with Richard at Blaine Sumner elementary school. As Margaret recalled in this May 1985 Journal Star article, their friendship deepened when they transferred together to Trewyn Junior High School. As the only black child in his class, Richard was even more isolated than he was at Blaine Sumner. He often fought with other boys in the schoolyard; his teacher Miss Costigan didn’t grasp his pain.

Margaret became his confidant, listening as Richard expressed the frustrations and fears that attended his isolation. The two would often walk home together after school — a sign of their affection for each other.

This intimacy did not last, however. The two went their separate ways at high school, and the next time Margaret saw Richard, he was on TV.