One of my guilty pleasures was watching the uninitiated experience full-frontal Ronnie for the first time. You never knew exactly what Ronnie would do, but you knew the victim’s reaction would be one of shock, disbelief and finally the realization that he just met someone he’d never forget.
Everyone knew Ronnie as the perennial class clown possessing a complete distaste for convention. But no one saw just that side of him. If you knew him you knew he was not only the hardest working man you ever met, but the most generous as well. His backyard was always open and a favorite hangout for family and friends, a pool full of kids and lots of laughter completed the picture. We toasted my late wife with uncounted bottles of wine at his house the evening after her funeral. We anxiously awaited the annual and hard fought Fourth of July Family Volleyball Game, rain or shine, until our rheumatic joints begged us to relegate that sport to history.
The consumate salesman, the luckiest man I ever knew, the guy who always went 100 mph in life had the perfect foil in Marilyn, my sister-in-law. You either have to be as crazy as him or rooted solidly in place to endure Ronnie. She was anything but crazy. His brawn, her brains mixed with a lot of love spelled success in their many ventures.
We are forced to speak in the past tense about our court jester, our best friend. We said goodbye to him yesterday, and the loss while still unreal is yet to be fully felt.
When the evening was still early and we would cap off a hard’s day work with harder play, he would quote his father-in-law saying, “I’m glad you got to see me,” and then he would head off to bed.
Ronnie, we’re glad we got to see you, but you left too soon.
Categories: What was I thinking?