Tuesday, January 08, 2008

January 8, 2008
Woke up to a jolting headline over the breakfast table. One of those where you blurt out, "Oh, no!" when no one else is even in the room: Ron Bergamo, of KSAZ TV was killed in a head-on traffic accident coming home from Prescott yesterday. Happened east of Prescott Valley, when a car going the other way veered across the center stripe and struck his car. Ron's wife, Jane, is in critical but stable condition after being flown to Good Sam in Phoenix. Ron ran Channel 10 when our radio station, KSLX was bought by the same chain that owned them. We shared many a laugh together. He attended U of A, so we had the Cats in common and every time I saw him we dissected the problems in all sports. I had lunch with him about six months ago to talk about doing a True West show for KSAZ. He was 64.

This morning, I got this from Pierre O'Rourke, who knew Ron well: "When I introduced him to Willie Nelson on the famed bus, as soon as they shook hands, the legendary singer offered a ‘smoke’ to Ron who politely thanked him and declined. What some did not hear was, that after shaking hands, Willie hugged me and whispered in my ear, 'It’s in his eyes and hands. There’s a man you can trust. Keep him around you.' I did my best, and regret we didn’t get to that lunch in last December."

I was just on that stretch of highway in November when the Top Secret Writer and I were in Prescott, so I know it well. The road between Dewey and Cordes Junction has always made me nervous, because you have highway speeds going through small towns where people pull out from side roads.

It certainly does give one cause for pause. Gee, I wonder what Nikita has to say about this?

"Life is short. Live it up."
—Nikita Krushchev

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