My former neighbor and long-time friend Ron Stewart died last Friday. He had a stroke about 2 months ago and was trying to recuperate when he had another massive stroke that got him.
He lived two doors down from my parents. I have known him for over 30 years. I used to mow his grass for him when I was a kid.
Stewart always had nice things. He had a bad-ass El Camino when I was a kid. And most importantly, he always had a motorcycle. After a brief stint with a couple of Gold Wings in the early 80's he came back to the Harley crowd (a place he had been since the 1950's).
He was a policeman for more than 30 years. He wasn't the kind of guy who had to put a uniform on to get respect from people. He was a natural born leader who commanded respect with this presence.
After he retired he became Mayor of Independence and brought our town into the modern times in many ways. He took it past the good ol' boy network that had a stranglehold on our city for generations. I didn't agree with all his policies, but at least he moved us forward and he did what he said he was going to do.
He was a colorful character. The world needs more of them.