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Ron & the Rolling Stones

(3 of 3 Part Tribute)
May 2, 2008

Ron BergamoToday we did our Celebration for the Life of Ron Bergamo. I really wanted to get up and speak when the chance rolled around, though it’d be a tough act following the gifted entourage which included Pat McMahon and even The Rolling Stones. Guess you could say, I Can’t Get No Satisfaction – unless I share this.

Had I taken to the stage in front of the huge crowd, I was going to wonder aloud as to how many others were having the same challenges as me with something I have stumbled with since that fateful January.Virtually, A Beast of Burden. You see, I still have ‘Ron’’ and ‘Bergie‘ and even ‘B-Mo‘ programmed into my e-mail directory and cell phone. Still, four months later.

Today there were delightful pictures, amusing footage, verbal renderings, and a charming video of our hero, know for always smiling and as the up-lifter of underdogs, but that wasn’t the Ron-face that I was going to share. Ron had one, with me anyhow, that was for when he adamantly but politely wanted to signal – Negative….Not a good idea. Do you know the face?

Head to his left, slightly forward. His eye lids would purse and his lips protrude. Not Jagger-lips but in a thin pucker with only the wisp of a frown. And then in silence – a sudden side to side shake of his shimmering skull, signaling in a swift succession of three. Negative….Not a good idea.

Case in point; after we boarded the Honeysuckle II and Willie gestured toward the little table to offer, how do I say it in politically correct fashion? Share in his legally prescribed herbal healings. I remember thinking as I watched Ron do his little polite ‘thank-you-but-no’ shrug; I doubted that Prescott sees that much grass even during the monsoon season.

Now back to my directory dilemma. I went to….edit it after that fateful day – and couldn’t do it. I felt my head tilt, and do that lil’ Ron shrug. His listings seemed to haunt me but not in a woo-woo sense.You see, I serve as a specialized host to authors and celebrities when they come through Arizona – and AZ-TV in the Londen Center is a regular stop for The Pat McMahon Show.

This month is a perfect example. Laura Holka, blend of lovely lady and proficient producer, and I have been e-mailing about upcoming guest, Robert Tanenbaum. My computer automatically pops up Pat’s name and e-mail address – and Ron’s. In past years I have always sent a one-liner to Ron. Hug Janie for me. See you with a guest on Wednesday. You owe me a lunch. Can I borrow your car? Pick Grill or Pischke’s cuz I’ve missed you. Plus, when my phone rings from the station, bingo, it reads, RON. Or I scroll past his name when looking for other numbers.

So I guess I have been a big sissy for the past four months as, I still have RON in my e-mail and cell phone. I had decided that it was okay, that I could just wait to deal with it once his memorial celebration rolled around. That was today. And I flipped open my cell to do that this morning. Then again in the parking lot of Phoenix Baptist Church. Then in the Fellowship Hall. Then the parking lot again.And now, I am at home typing to you all realizing that as many of you that I do know personally – there are more of you that I do not know. But then again – I know Ron, so I am linked by Ron, by our Jane Ellen, to you all. I think of that great circle that links us together when we step away from linear thinking and do, what our rock ‘n roller Ron did so naturally – view things in a circular fashion. That was just part of the magic of his remarkable creativity, and his unguarded love which he surrounded us with.

Surround? Circle? As in – round like a disc? Like a CD maybe? Now, is that my idea – or is that Ron ginning as he whispers an image into my mind?

I shrug, this time with a grin as I recall the surprise the ushers handed out at the close of Ron’s memorial and go pop in, what in many homes will become a classic. “A Rough Guide to Ron Bergamo’s Favorite Music,” produced by The Bergamo Family – gifted to each of us as we left the celebration today.Maybe you have yours in now. As I proof-read I am reminded that Love is all you need, so I pull out my cell phone and open my e-mail directory – as the poster child for lip collagen asks, What’s the matter with you boy? I see Ron’s grin and this time…I fare better because I know – he ain’t really gone.

Now Ron, I admit I am sorry we won’t get to work on that project or even get your input as was slated for our upcoming luncheon. And, you are one of only ten people that I allow to read my manuscripts before the publisher as I learned I could always count on you to be honest. To sometimes purse them lips and gimme that shrug if necessary – and I knew you did it out of love and concern to help make this underdog author prepare to scale the best-selling lists.

You might not be there in person for times like when Pat finally has me on as his guest – yet, I know you are on my shoulder and that’s pretty darn special and powerful. My friend, I know God now has you up there in my corner of the sky so I am pretty blessed. You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find; you get what you need. God, with you as an angel on my shoulder. What more could I need?

- END -

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