Ron the Writer
I have been creating verse for over thirty years: first as a songwriter and later as a poet. I graduated from Sycamore High School, Cincinnati, Ohio, in June of 1967. After a stateside tour in the Marines, I became a musician and a songwriter. Though Iíve obtained the majority of my livelihood in the automotive trades, I continued to expand my knowledge and broaden my experience with the written word. I attended English classes at Miami University and began an extensive personal study of the styles and techniques employed in quality poetry; and in Away With Words, I apply what Iíve learned. My poetic influences draw as much from Shakespeare, Keats, Shelly, Frost and Poe as they do from John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, and Jim Morrison. Mix in some Hemingway, Hunter S. Thompson, Bukowski, and Harlan Ellison and youíve got a pretty good idea of my style of writing.
Away With Words is my first book but not the first time Iíve been published. Besides Away With Words, I have written many freelance news articles, interviews, letters, and humor items (farces, sarcasm) that have appeared in several local publications including Cincinnati CityBeat, Everybodyís News, and The Community Press. A number of my photographs have appeared in those publications as well. From 1997 to 1999, I was the editor, chief contributor, and publisher of the WAIF Alert which is the newsletter for radio station WAIF-FM in Cincinnati. A poem that I wrote about JFK Jr. (ďSaluteĒ) was included in the anthology ďShades of GreyĒ and can still be found on the poetry.com website along with ďSonnet 27Ē (included in Away With Words) which is on the page of poems about the 9/11/01 tragedies. As a musician, I wrote and copyrighted more than 40 songs. In 1983, I published an eight song cassette release titled ďLiving Proof;Ē and in 1986, I released one of my songs, ďReal Mean Woman,Ē as a 45rpm vinyl record.
I am also responsible for this website's content and design.
Ron the runner
I completed the first of four marathons May 5, 2002
Much of Away With Words was formed in my mind during runs. I run (or as many would call it, jog) on a regular basis. It took more than a year to be able to run for miles, but let me explain:
Back in the day, I was a Marine, and we ran everywhere. The D.I.s controlled and steadied our pace so that we could run for miles without wearing out; but as Iíve said, we were Marines. Thirty one years after the Marines, I began to run again for entirely different reasons, and Iím really happy with the success that Iíve enjoyed so far.
My wife and I decided that we were tired of being overweight and out of condition. I had a medical scare (allergic reaction thought to be hypertension) in March of 2001, but we had long since begun exercising on a regular basis. Bike riding and walking were our primary forms of recreation, but one day Gale suggested that we run for a short distance. Weíve been running ever since. Galeís interest hasnít been as keen as mine, but her work schedule interferes with her personal activities to a great extent. My hypertension turned out to be a missed diagnosis. I was suffering from what many doctors refer to as "white coat syndrome" in that doctor's office but another serious problem emerged. As it turns out, I cannot exert myself too soon after eating because it causes an allergic reaction which has landed me in the hospital with anaphylactic shock once. This has been remedied by simple avoidance of the circumstances.
Iím fairly hooked on running at this point. Iíve even entered some races. To date, Iíve run several dozen 5k, 10k, and 15k races, plus four half marathons, and on May 5th, 2002, and May, 4th , 2003 I ran and finished the Flying Pig Marathon here in Cincinnati. October 17th, 2004 I completed the Columbus (Ohio) Marathon. In November 2005, I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C.
Iím a ďplodderĒ that is to say that Iíve been finishing in the back of the pack, but Iím finishing. I havenít gone overboard with it like hiring a coach or anything. My running has been a purely personal endeavor. Iíd recalled how the D.I.s had gradually built us up to the mileage, and I try to follow their example by pushing myself to keep going. My times aren't why I run races. I've run several races with Gale and our grandson Drew. It's very satisfying to see others that I love undertaking the sport I've grown to enjoy so much, and all of us drinking in the experience and satisfaction of running in these races.
To me, exercise should be fun. For years, Iíve been involved in many organized sports that are accessible to a person in my station in life. Iíve played softball in a league. Iíve bowled in a league. Iíve gotten my golf scores into double figures. Iím fairly competitive anyway, but running has given me the greatest challenge and purest opposition that Iíve ever facedómy own physical fitness.
I read this page this morning (8/25/07) and knew it had been awhile since I had updated it. Of late, I haven't taken the time to keep running or even walking. I'm doing a lot of work to care for our horses, and my commute to my job has increased by about 30 minutes each way so time has been an issue lately, but I want to get back to running again. The horses have worn paths in the field and I might begin to run those paths on a daily basis just to get back in the groove. I love running and I really need to make it part of my daily routine again.
Ron the Musician