by Louis Wang
Reading through these stories I was delighted to learn of all the accolades which Roy earned through his career. Being his oldest friend, you would think I would have known about them, but that was Roy's style. He was never one to toot his own horn. It was only when I saw his book on Central Park at the MOMA gift shop that I learned that he had undertaken such an immense project, as he never mentioned it to me. But that's the way he has been ever since childhood.
I first met Roy in Mrs. Brennan's first grade class at P.S. 162 in Bayside, Queens. We became fast friends, probably because of his love for Chinese food. We were often inseparable through grade school, junior high school at Marie Curie, and high school at Francis Lewis. Being in many of the same classes, we would spend hours studying together. He was bright and tenacious-if there was something he didn't know he would find out. I remember going off together on Saturdays to the 42nd street library in Manhattan, even in junior high, to research various topics. In retrospect, it was my very first study group, and who better to have in it than the boy leader of the national honor society!! And despite his excellence in all subjects, it was clear, even in grade school, what his penchant would be. It was the fifth grade current events bee. I'm sure they don't have these any more, but it was like a spelling bee only on current events. After eliminating some of the contestants, time was running out, and the moderator decided to make it a free for all for the remaining time. Within minutes, after answering just about every question put out, Roy was proclaimed the uncontested winner, as it was obvious he knew more than anyone else on the stage. It was also obvious to those who knew him that history and politics would be his future.
But it was not his intellect that made Roy such a good friend. It was his compassion, his loyalty, and his integrity that made him special. He was always there for you, and he was always sticking up for the "less-talented" kid, be it in the classroom or out in the schoolyard. He would always do the "right" thing, and most importantly, for the right reasons. Even in childhood, he was a role-model to those around him, and although I have not had as much contact with him in recent years, it is clear that he has maintained these characteristics throughout his life. It was an honor and a privilege to have Roy as my friend for most of my life, and he will be sorely missed. My deepest sympathy to his mom, sister Robin, and wife Deborah, and all who knew him.