Tuesday, my kids and I and whoever wishes to join us, will strew some of Ronnie's ashes at Rosemont Cemetery where his headstone marks his time here on earth. Then we will drive to the top of Mt. Scott in the Wichitas and release the rest. He didn't want his remains to be kept in a box and although I know he is past caring about all that, I feel bound to keep my promises.
Mt. Scott is not the Redwood Forest, but we had many good times at the Wildlife Refuge, Medicine Park and Meers. Thinking back on all our trips there, I realized that at some point, we were accompanied, at one time or another, by every member of our family and most of our friends. We often went alone.
I remember going up one day, just the two of us. We stopped in at that souvenir shop with the live rattlesnakes, before driving up onto Mt. Scott. We stayed a while looking out at the line of new wind turbines in the distance and wondering how wind power will change our world. We watched the soaring eagles and hawkes below us. Afterwards, we went down to Medicine Park and had a delicious meal at The Old Plantation. We strolled along the new lighted river walk holding hands. We talked about how much improved Medicine Park is now, compared to when we came years ago. We returned many times after that day. We both felt a connection to Medicine Park.
I have many wonderful memories of Ronnie everywhere I go. He's in every room of our house, in every corner of our yard. I can't go within a 400 mile radius of Wichita Falls without having an onslaught of memories of having been there with Ronnie.
I see his influence in Seth, in the boy's absolute fascination with all things that have a motor, his love of being outside regardless of what the weather is.
It is interesting to me, and it makes me feel good to know how others remember Ronnie. Several months after Ronnie passed on, Danny McShan brought me an unopened can of Bud Light, and he told me this story: Danny said it was awful hot the last day Ronnie came out to his house to work on that 1957 Ford they had bought together. David Stepp, was there, too. Danny went across the street, bought a six pack of beer and they all three drank one. Danny put the other three in a cooler and forgot all about them. The cooler eventually got covered up, then one day, Danny noticed it and opened it -- and there were the other three beers, one for Ronnie, one for David and one for Danny. Dan keeps his as a memory of that last day of camaraderie, and I assume David will too. Mine sits high up on the book shelf so no one will open it, and everytime I see it, I think of Ronnie and Danny and David, and the tales of laughter and friendship Ronnie related to me when he returned that day.
Lowell Tate was Ronnie's shadow for many years. They didn't miss many car shows. Even after Ronnie retired, he'd go get Lowell to ride with him when Ronnie had headlights to clear. Lowell rode along the week that Ronnie delivered flowers for me at Bonnie's Bouquets. Lowell told me he would never delete Ronnie's number from his phone.
Glen McShan bought Ronnie's last rebuild project, a 1954 Chevy pickup. Glenn Cobb got an unfinished Coca Cola box. Ronnie's youngest brother, John, has his white Chevy pickup. Bruce wants some of Ronnie's ashes.
He's remembered by most who knew him, as a good man, a fun guy, a reliable co-worker, a knowledgeable streetrodder, a lover of old things that reminded him of his childhood, a lawn manicurist, a collector of old signs.
Ronnie and I had a few rough years. In fact, all our years were bumpy in places, but I prefer to remember the good times, the best times. Hopefully rather than "resting in peace", he's in the hereafter building the perfect streetrod, raising "lavender" colored Rollers, guiding Seth from his new, all knowing perspective and having a riproaring good time. We miss you, Bruno!