Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ron Wortham - May You Shine On!

Ron Wortham will be missed in this world. For many years I had wondered what had happened to Ron, before I discovered him through the KCAC email group that evolved into this blog. Although I never had a chance to meet him -- I spoke with him many times on the phone. I think the best call with Ron was the one from the KCAC party at the Alwin house several years ago. Ron could not make the event, but his phone call made the rounds at the party for well over an hour. This was really cool -- so many people spoke to him that night. Ron always supported Radio Free Phoenix and his kind words echo on in his autobiography "Plant Your Seeds". RFP's Liz Boyle has posted a nice tribute to Ron on her blog "The Turquoise Transistor". Also, here is a link to my Tribute to Ron as heard on Radio Free Phoenix . Ron--we're gonna miss you!


Mariah Fleming said...

Your recollections about Ron brought a smile to my face and a lump in my throat. Ron loved what you were doing with Radio Free Phoenix. It was through my Radio Free Phoenix show in 2005 that Ron and I connected. I wasn't sure I met him back then, but we figured that we had crossed paths. And definitely on the radio. (o: Andy, Radio Free Phoenix has brought many people together from those legendary KCAC days. Thank you!!

Ron was my driving wheel in putting together the 2005 KCAC Lives Rebirth Reunion at Alwun House. He was # 1 Cheerleader hands down. I enjoyed long Texas to Phoenix conversations planning it and talking about the old days. Ron helped find the Rebirth family, some who flew out from all over the states. He is the heart and soul behind "The List" on the KCAC Lives Blog.

We so wanted him to be there for the reunion. He thought he might make it but in the end it didn't work out due to his health issues. But that didn't stop him from enjoying it just the same!
We talked late that afternoon before the event and arranged for him to call Alwun House to talk to his buddies. He was genuinely touched to "be with us" that evening. His spirit infused the night and was the highlight. Thank you for reminding
me of that night. It was one I won't ever forget.

I've talked to Kim Moody a few times since 2005 about another Alwun KCAC Lives Reunion. Kim
is on board as soon as a date can be arranged. Alwun House was so generous to us for that event. Liz and I were thinking how nice it would be to do a memorial for Ron in that setting.

Thank again Andy,

Liz Boyle said...

A few words will be said, in honor of Ron, at this Saturday's Radio Free Phoenix Company Picnic. Following The Parada del Sol Parade, at noon, at the NE Ramada, at Eldorado Park. All of you are invited. (The RFP gang will be announcing the parade at Scottsdale Road and Osborn, before the picnic, so join us at 10am if you can!)

Marty said...

I'm sitting in a studio at KEZ dubbing a cassette that somebody put together of clips from KCAC & KDKB. I've reached the end, and A Very Cellular Song is playing.."We bid you good night." It reminded me to check the blog, and reading your thoughts about Ron got me thinking about him.
I always loved Ron. He was one of the most unique people I've ever known. Occasionally running through these old tapes I stumble across his voice and remember how warm and wonderful it was. He really personified the "hippie radio" style. Bill was the complete pro and certainly nobody did it better, but Ron had a gentle smoothness and relaxed style that reminded you to not take things too seriously.
Later, he became the clearinghouse of information about Y2K on the internet, but always with the tone of "If the world comes crashing down around you you'll be ready .. and if not, well it won't hurt you to have some basic foods stored up and to know how to fend for yourself"
Ron was religious, but he always seemed more spiritual than religious to me .. he was comfortable with his vision of all of that .. ready to share whatever part of it felt right to you. He was the definition of a generous soul.

Andy mentioned Ron's book Plant Your Seeds. It's a wonderful recollection of the times that this blog is dedicated to, including the early days when Bill, Tommy, Hank, Peggy, Carole, and others made the migration from Texas to Arizona. It really is a history of KCAC and fun to read.

We'll certainly miss him, but aren't we luckier than most since we have recordings of so many of our good friends who have gone on.
This week I've been listening to Toad, Hank, Bill, and others .. but no voice was sweeter than Ron's.