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Peanut Gallery (Ron Rankin, RIP)

(This e-mail from John Rook re: his friend Ron Rankin is very, very long and it's very, very worth reading.)

Dave,

I have nothing but fond memories of the 20 plus years I counted Ron Rankin as my friend. When the CDA power structure headed by the "haga-droids" (as Ron would call them) attacked him in print, I was delighted to give him a daily stage on KCDA to make the truth known. That "Ron Rankin commentary" would do much to get him elected county commissioner and he never forgot it. When the downtown association, controlled by Duane Hagadone, tried to silence him with a
lawsuit, the KCDA insurance paid for Ron and the stations legal fee's in silencing them. He
continued with his views on the air and was so appreciative of my unwavering support.

Almost daily when he would arrive at the KCDA Sherman Avenue studio's to deliver his noon time
address to the citizens, Haga-droid Sandy Bloom would call the police to have Ron's car either ticketed or towed away for parking longer than the 15 minutes allowed in front of the station and across the street from her hardware store. Rankin actually took delight in waving to her and she tried to pretend she wasn't looking in his direction.

Telephoning me at home from the courthouse on the night of his election to the county commission, he said "we did it Pal...thanks to you my friend"....he never forgot his friends and never seemed overly bothered by those who attempted to make life miserable for him.

When the "Haga-press" (another Rankin term) attack me and my radio station on the front page,
Rankin simply reminded me..."No big deal, they have another edition to replace that one tomorrow".

He visited my home on Mica Flats regularly over the years, always sitting on my front porch discussing the world view. Three weeks before he left us, he proudly showed Canyon County Commissioner Robert Vasquez and me the memorial he had spearheaded at the county courthouse. During lunch with Vasquez and me, he offered advise to our friend Robert on how to "frame" the campaign to lessen taxpayer dollars spent on illegal aliens.

Prior to entering the hospital this last time he told me how concerned he was with what lay ahead and from out of nowhere said...."you know I love you don't you John?" "Yes" I replied..."and I love you too".

We talked several times during his two weeks in the hospital...if I didn't call him, he telephoned me. He was delighted when Sheriff Rocky Watrson visited him at least twice. He telephoned me on my 68th birthday last Saturday and actually sang Happy Birthday to me....and finally, with Alice at his bedside, he telephoned for the last time Monday night saying "I feel terrible, just terrible"....
"But I want you to know I love you John"...."I love you too Ron", I replied...."I'll talk to you in the morning".....

I'll miss him greatly.....he was a wonderful friend. Anyone who has a negative view of Ron Rankin, just never knew the man. I'm so glad I did.

John Rook




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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.