I just became aware of the recent passing of Bob "Cosmo" Hicks. I knew him while working at Amy's Cafe in Madison from 1989-1991. Of the 500-plus shifts I worked I think there were only a few during which I did not see him. He occasionally worked there as well, doing the morning cleaning in exchange for food and coffee. I heard all the stories and talked to him during highs and lows and everything in between. I went to his place once, which was right across Gilman Street, and was amazed at how peaceful and tidy it was, in complete contrast to some of his scattershot personality bursts. My favorite times to talk to him was when he was completely lucid because at those times he could listen without ranting and it was such a pleasure because he was brilliant.
I don't think I've ever not thought of Bob when hearing the words “iced coffee” because I gave him hundreds of cups of it.
"Iced coffee, honey, and make it strong . . . ya hear me? Ya hear me, dontcha?"
Yeah, Cos, I hear ya. Rest in peace, my friend.