Barb and I are still stunned by the news of Ron’s passing on Wednesday morning.
I was just up in Illinois for the recent Burlington Route Historical Society Meet and I enjoyed spending the entire Monday afternoon prior to the meet kibitzing with Ron at Des Plaines Hobbies.
He always referred to me as “Charlie buy-a-vowel” and reminded me he was younger (by a year).
He not only ran one of the best Model Railroad Hobby Shops (more of an Institution than a mere store!) in the country (if not the best!) but was responsible for the creation of O, S, and N products under Des Plaines Hobbies, S Scale America and Centralia brands. He was very generous with his knowledge and expertise and cooperated with many well-known manufacturer / importers in supplying prototype information for their products.
I appreciate reading everyone’s memories of Ron…..learning things about a great friend that I did not know about.
Ron worked back in the day when he still had hair at the famed All Nations Hobby Shop in Chicago….prior to the time I worked there in the mid-1960s. I believe he also had a career as a FAA Crash Investigator besides his military helicopter service both in the Army and National Guard.
He had a brief stint working in train service on the Chicago & North Western. He would never reveal his railroad nickname and none of his shop employees ever found anyone who had worked with him that would reveal it…..a sign that there was a really good story attached to the moniker!!!
Barb and I extend our deepest sympathies to Sue and his family and we have Ron and all of the Des Plaines Hobbies fraternity in our thoughts and prayers!
Mt. Juliet, TN