Richard Stratton was born in 1931 in Colorado. He spent three years in the military during the Korean War. Upon discharge, he attended the University of Colorado, getting married during that time. Upon graduation, he moved to California to accept a teaching job, and he later became a public-school administrator. He discovered aquarium fish and soon fell in love with cichlids. He was fortunate to have Guy Jordan as his sponsor to shepherd him through this addiction.
In the early sixties, he thought about starting a cichlid club modeled on the American Killifish Association. That was a reaction to Albert J. Klee’s deciding not to start a much-talked-about club of cichlid folk based on Scheel’s Round of killifish fame. The club was successful beyond expectations. That was surprising because cichlids were far from the popular fish family that they are now.
When he became a vice principal, he cajoled his old mentor, Guy Jordan, into taking over the group. Guy was the perfect person because he was organized, and he had such a large correspondence that he knew a lot of the aquarists across the country. In any case, the club really roared into life under his stewardship. It grew almost exponentially partly because of Guy’s good work and partly because of the new imports of Africa, from Lake Malawi in particular.
Dick has never recovered from his obsession, and one of his three sons has also succumbed, albeit a little late in life.
Old Time CIchlids!: Thursday @ 10am