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    A Message From Ron

            Despite the weatherman’s forecast of doom and gloom for Saturday, here on Cape Code, the weather cleared about 1 PM. Suddenly, it looked like a beach day. I threw on my skivvies, strapped on my ipod, hopped on my bike, and headed for the sandy shore of Old Silver Beach, about three miles away.
            When I got there, I did something I never do; I headed for the seaside bar at the Seacrest Hotel, which is right on the beach, and I ordered a Jack Daniel's on the rocks. It was just past two in the afternoon, way too early to start drinking, but I just went with it. The combination of the exercise and the heat caused the drink to go right to my head. So I did the only sensible thing. I had another one.
            So here I am, at the beach in the middle of a beautiful Saturday afternoon, riding the crest of a healthy buzz. And really enjoying it. The novelty of being buzzed at the beach so early in the day contributed to the fun factor. So did the fact that getting buzzed at the beach, any time, is just
            Along with my ipod, I had with me a twenty dollar bill (because before I left, I sensed the inclusion of alcohol in my immediate future), a pair of sunglasses (which by the way, I lost at the beach), and a little notebook and a mechanical pencil. Being in a beautiful environment, like a beach on a sunny day, surrounded by people, stimulates me (so does looking at hundreds of women in bikinis). So lately, I’ve been bringing writing materials with me, and it’s served me well. Ideas can come to me fast and furious when I’m stimulated, and sometimes they leave me just as maniacally. Having something to capture them on, before they disappear into the ether of the once-felt-once-thought, has proven invaluable.
            Previously, my writing pad of choice had been those rectangular sticky note pads, because they were the only “notebooks” I had that would fit in my bum bag. This day, however, I scrounged through a box in my office and grabbed a colorful little notepad that I had not seen in years. It was the right size, about 5 inches by 5 inches square.
            When I got to the seaside bar and decided to pull it out and start writing, two things struck me immediately. Once was that I had not written in this particular book since 1993. The second was that, there, on page three, was a note and drawing done by my friend Ron. Ron was no longer alive. He died in a motorcycle accident in August of 2001.
            Ron was an artist of the highest caliber. He was a brilliant illustrator and a very intellectual individual with a deft wit, a sharp mind, and an even sharper tongue. Luckily, he was as prolific as he was talented, and he left behind hundreds of pieces of his work. He was always drawing, writing, and coming up with ideas. If you spent any time around him, you saw this. And you loved it about him.
            Ron would usually carry an illustration pad with him everywhere he went. Sometimes, he would sketch out ideas or concepts he had. Other times, he would do an impromptu illustration of a scene that was happening right in front of you, complete with dialogue, like a one panel comic strip.
            Ron was the biggest, most knowledgeable comic book aficionado and expert I ever knew, and this expertise on all things super hero permeated his artistic sensibility in the most beautiful of ways. Whenever he was messing around and drew you or anybody else, you looked like a super hero. This was especially true when he drew himself. It was magnificent, and the butt of many of our running jokes with him.
            I had completely forgotten about this little notebook that I was now holding in my hands at the beach. And I had completely forgotten that Ron had written and drawn in it. When I opened it up and saw his distinctive hand writing, and even more distinctive artwork, I gasped and smiled broadly. I have lots of stuff of Ron’s, but I honestly haven’t looked at any of it in a while. Now, out of nowhere, one of his forgotten gifts revealed itself to me.
            Not only was this gift a surprise, but it’s content was as poignant and beautiful as I could have possibly imagined. It was a beam of light and love shot right from his heart to mine; as personal as could possibly be, speaking directly to the journey I have been so diligently engaged in for the past thirteen months. Like he knew then what I needed to hear. I’m sure I heard it then. But I hear it now in a whole new way. On a whole new level. And what he wrote means something to me now that it couldn’t have meant to me then; because I was looking in the wrong places for something Ron could see that I already had in me. All I needed to do was rediscover it. All I needed to do was own it and embrace it in a way that I never had before. That’s what I’ve been doing. Ron knew it then. I know it now. So I’m closer to him than I ever have been.
            And next to what he wrote is another one of Ron’s infamous drawing’s of himself. And it looks just like him.

    ©2009 Clint Piatelli & Ron McArdle. All Rights (and a Marvel Universe full of Wrongs) Reserved. 

    Reader Comments (3)

    What can I say..... I LOVE THIS!! It is so incredible how those things happen, maybe to let us know that the person who passed is still with us. I believe that and have had some of my own Ron moments. I love the picture and note and am so glad that you posted it. If nothing else it puts a smile on my face... and it is timely as Ron's birthday is on the 27th. I love you dear friend...

    July 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDana DiTrani

    Great story, Clint. I occasionally come across a Ron artifact (or Ronifact, if you prefer) and am reminded of his all too short time among us.

    July 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMike Brennan

    Dana and Mike, thank you, thank you, thank you! Our hearts are warmed by your response.

    Love & Wet Ones,

    Ron and Clint

    July 21, 2009 | Registered CommenterClint Piatelli

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