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In Memory of Rita

The gutter has lost one of our own to the great beyond. She dwells now in a land where no shadows fall.

Rita, also known as the wonderful ‘dittypiddler,’ joined the gutter girls in 2003 and we bless that day. Her gift of phrases kept us all in stitches. Her ‘Yee Haw’ when something pleased her to no end. Her sense of humor had no bounds. The tales of the Great Horned Spoon and Elmo, the pink pervert, stories of life in a small town in Kentucky, her love of animals, the little cabin in the woods where she would go to escape the real world and the antics of her husband, ‘the man,’ entertained us all and we would forget our problems and laugh.

Rita never called herself an author or a writer. She piddled ditties and from that created her alias ‘dittypiddler.’ Those ditties we call masterpieces and are her legacy to the world of fanfic.

Then one day her muse, Elmo, the pink pervert, ran off into the woods to make moonshine at his still leaving her with no desire to write. To this day he’s still somewhere out there making his ‘shine.’ Sightings of pink fur have been seen all over the countryside of Kentucky.

She kept her hand in the world of writing by being a beta to several authors who learned valuable lessons from her alter ego, Miss Edna Peabody. Miss Edna had a deep love for dandelion wine that muses would send to her in payment of services rendered. The perfect grammarian continued her beta duties until her typist developed severe problems with her knees and shoulder, forcing her into retirement.

Her voice lives on in her stories and our memories.

Rest in peace Rita.

We miss you.

We love you.

Our Memories of Rita

(Cheryl) When Rita offered me the services of Miss Edna as beta, I jumped at the chance. My grammar left a lot to be desired and Miss Edna would always be bopping me for either using too many commas or not enough. More than a beta, Rita was my friend. We never met in real life, a regret that will always be with me. We’d email each other constantly talking about life or send jokes. I miss her. She’s left a lasting legacy in my heart.

(Jan) When I first started reading SMK fanfiction, Dittypiddler was one of the first authors that I read. Back in 2006 when I joined Wicky I was awe-struck that she was one of the active members. Even though in later years she didn't write as much, her proofreading skills made many a story better for us other lesser writers.

(Jennifer) I loved so many of her stories that it's hard to pick just one--she was a fantastic writer. I also used to the love the stories she'd tell about THE MAN. I think my favorite was the one where he thought something was wrong with his car and didn't realize that it was just out of gas-lol :) But we know that she loved him so much--and we loved her--I'm really going to miss her.

I think the main thing I'll always remember about Rita was that her anecdotes could always make me smile, no matter what :)

(Charlie) So many things to remember about her: her dry wit and sharp comebacks, her love for 'proper' grammar and writing rules, her Miss Edna Peabody character with her dandelion wine...

I remember back in the summer of 2009 we had about a week of very fun conversation about disembodied body parts and playing 'find the typo.' She sentenced me to several years of hard writing labor for some of my mistakes. And then when I found one she missed... LOL - it was all Miss Peabody's fault!

(Alley) I am so shocked. I can just hear her typing on this list, "I always thought I'd outlive the man."

(Lynda) Ms. Edna and the sherry and the "typist" and the "grammar" and the pink pervert and I loved her stories with the puppy.

(Patti) I think that Rita had lots of unconditional love for us. She always showed me kindness and respect. Gutter Girls who were members longer than me knew where her sense of humor was rooted. But I appreciated it and will miss her outlook on life.

(Kathy) I'm still in the middle of writing a story she inspired calling herself the bionic grandma. I'm sorry I never got it done, I think she would have gotten a kick out of it.

One of my favorite stories in the world was written by Rita and when I emailed her to thank her for it she said ah its just a diddy. I'm crying and smiling at the memory.

(Ermintrude) I think the thing that strikes me most about Rita was her ascerbic wit, self-deprecating humor and great unflagging spirit. I loved her stories before I even 'met' her, and her stuff is distinctive. Well-written, humorous, great smut, and lighthearted yet sincere. She helped keep perspective at Wicky. Nothing was so bad or difficult, that it couldn't elicit some sort of a laugh, and laughter is the best medicine.

She was the same age as Kate Jackson, and we all are getting up there in years, but she went too young. Still, 'taint the years, it's the mileage, and she had lots more mileage than most. She's out of pain and past the disability now. That has to be a relief.

Bless her, she's in heaven cracking jokes with Beverly Garland. She was a good friend to all of us.

(Annette) I logged in to check my messages and saw one from Rita. I thought "yay, Rita is back it's been a long time". Then I read about her death. I am so shocked and saddened. She was a wonderful person, and she will be
greatly missed. My condolences to Gary and the rest of her family.

When I think of Rita, I think of her SMK stories, crappy, the spoon, the MAN, Miss Edna and her wine, and most of all her amazing humor. Even through all her pain, she always maintained that wonderful spirit and would always bring a smile to my face when I read her posts.

RIP dear friend. We will miss you, we love you, and you will always be with us.

(Izzy) What always made me laugh was when she was mad...namely when the MAN had done something.....she had such a funny way of telling it...

(Angie) I didn't get the chance to get to know Rita, but I greatly enjoyed her stories. My condolences go out to everyone that knew and loved her. It sounds like I missed out on knowing a truly wonderful person.

(Angela) I was looking back at all the great jokes Rita sent us and how many great stories she wrote. She was always helpful when you needed anything. She was a
great person and she will be missed.

(Kris) Still too in shock to say much else just realising a reference to one of our many jokes together about how Australia is ahead in the international time line. Much back and forth would flow, ie, "If my today is your yesterday what does it make next week?"

All I can say is that in both the past and near future, Sparky will be greatly missed and the world feels a hell of a lot more emptier.

(Julie) It is such a shame to loose such a dear person. My heart goes out to her memory.

(Tera) Miss Rita was the second person to welcome me to the gutter, not a whole lot of minutes behind Cheryl. And then, when I posted my very first story, this is the review that she gave me:

“YEOWWWW!!! I just came in from the cold. Literally. It's snowing and cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey, but—hot dam!--I'm warmed up now! And I agree with you 100%. I don't believe Amanda could keep her hands off that hunka hunka burnin' love until they were married either. Now how about another story? Huh? Pweeeeessseeeeee?”

May sound corny, but this is the kind of stuff that I want to remember about her.

(Taya) So sorry to hear of her passing. She sure was a pistol! I remember when she would proof my stories . . . she sure loved her commas! ;-) Rest in peace, DiddyPiddler! You will be missed!

(Sue) I think it was my second story that Rita beta'd for me. She punished me for my lack of commas by taking away my Bruce clone for a week. I had to bribe
Miss Edna with a case of calf foot's jelly.

Rest in peace, Rita.
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