To all who could not attend Ron’s recent memorial service, here are the remarks of the three speakers who were asked to reminisce about Ron.
Susan Campbell and Joe Nunes are longtime Courant colleagues, as all or nearly all of you know, and Ira Williams is Ron’s oldest friend, dating back to their years in college together in Kansas. Ira told us things few of us knew about him.
I knew Ron was the national editor of the Hartford Courant, but I became better acquainted with him when he moved back to the Land of Broken Toys, the features department. No small amount of the staff members had been moved back there as punishment. They’d displeased or angered the gods, but who cares? What the gods didn’t know was that by sequestering all us ne’er-do-wells in one room, they were creating a potent mix of creativity, volatility, and fun.
In a weird way, the features department was a healing place for some of us, a place we could go to lick our wounds, get into some great arguments and basically, act in ways that might make us rotten as people, but fabulous as journalists.
I quickly learned that you could argue with Ron, but he was mostly right. I also learned that Ron could provide a unique perspective on just about any topic. If I wanted to argue perspectives, I could feel free to do so, but again, Ron was mostly right. His perspective on any topic was always deeper and more-thought-out than mine. About 30 percent of the columns I wrote were Ron’s idea. You could get into a conversation with him that would veer rather quickly into medieval music –