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A Better Man – Ron Bergamo

(2 of 3 Part Tribute)
May 1, 2008

Ron BergamoI knew Ron Bergamo first at KTSP TV-10, long before his days as General Manager at “Arizona’s Own” AZ-TV 27. I am a better man, far from perfect, but far better from knowing him. So thankful that on a few occasions I told him why I appreciated him. But, I’m still bugged we didn’t get to have that lunch at Pischke’s we’d slated for the week he and Jane were returning from Prescott.

When my mom, Esther, died prematurely twenty years ago, I was devastated. I felt empty and hollow, in a struggle to keep her presence alive. Maybe she somehow sent me the idea to make the commitment that whenever I lost someone close to me or that I felt close to – that I would strive to improve myself by instilling a new habit or a change, the week they left us. Author Og Mandino used to say, “Who we become is based upon who we know and what we read.” So I aim for something that will remind me of them, beginning as a conscious act with the intent to make them a part of me, and gain a new habit or learn a new skill.

For example, after Og had blessed us with nineteen world wide best sellers, I lost my mentor and surrogate father image. Returning from the funeral, I committed to read at least 15 minutes every day. That’s been about twelve years and is now ingrained in my being, and I am better for it. After Herb Drinkwater’s memorial, I committed to watch for snow-birds on foot and when I see one looking lost, I approach them to see what I can do to give them a little warmth other than just “a dry heat.” After Johnny Cash went to join his beloved June, I thought of discussions we had about prayer – and began to pray nightly rather than just when I wanted something; and I dress all in black once a month to remind myself how blessed and fortunate I am. Ron knew about that last one. I like to think I am helping in some small way; continue their impact upon the world.

Some of you may have read, the day I heard about Ron and Janie, I took a long walk in the rain. What you didn’t know until now was that as I told Ron goodbye in spirit, I asked for guidance on what to do in his honor to make me a better me.

As busy as Ron Bergamo always was, he knew the importance to make time to share the warm fuzzies of appreciation. I lost track of the times he told me all Janie added to his life, and I often heard him tell her – that he loved her. Often mention to her, some specific reason he appreciated her. And, on many occasions Ron told me that he was a far better being, a far better man because of his wife – and he thanked her for that. Said that she buoyed his persistence to succeed, that she made him feel appreciated. Then I had it!

I prefer to do my new habit with something kinetic like a note card or even an e-mail although I will settle for doing it verbally, on the phone if a last resort. And, thanks to Ron, I have done this for about four months now, every day. Might be someone in my life for years, might be a clerk at the grocery store – but every single day, thanks to Ron, I’ve made sure I let at least one person know I appreciate them, and why I appreciate them.

This brings us back to today. Today I thank Jane Bergamo for sharing Ron with us. Rather I will speak for myself and thank her for sharing her Ron, with me. All the times I had a professional question. All the times I needed an opinion from someone I could count on for honesty and directness. All the times I suspect she moved my message, to the top of the stack. You see Jane, you made Ron a better man, and Ron continues to make me be a better man. I also want you to know that after what happened; I so appreciate you for not giving up, and for pushing on. I know Ron is proud of you, and so am I. Thank you.

- End 2 of 3 parts -

Reprinted with Permission of

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