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Old 12-26-2011, 10:15 AM
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Rivercat09 Rivercat09 is offline
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Angry Ron Smith 1941-2011 - RIP

For those of you who have not heard, Ron Smith, long-time talk show host at WBAL 1090, succumbed to advanced pancreatic cancer on December 19th, days after his 70th birthday and surrounded by family. Ron had a huge following on his show, and was respected by all regardless of their personal viewpoints. Ron was a class act in the true sense of the word, and his intellect was staggering. He is irreplaceable, and he will be sorely missed.

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Unlike many of his contemporaries, Ron allowed his callers and guests have their say, and would never interrupt and cut them off. Ron respected others, and did not resort to name calling, as so often happens on many other talk shows. Ron was an avid reader. He absorbed knowledge like a sponge and would impart that knowledge gracefully and with passion onto his audience. Ron was a passionate defender of the Bill of Rights and of the country’s founding principals, and would fiercely defend his beliefs, backed up by facts and with grace. Ron would sometimes mix in a little Ravens, Orioles, or golf talk along with the topicality, which was a breath of fresh air.

Ron was true to his libertarian and conservative principles, but he would often have guests on his show that espoused other beliefs. Some of the most enjoyable show segments for me were when Ron would discuss the issues of the day with left-leaning folks such as Frank “Flip” DeFilippo and Maryland Senator Ben Cardin. The exchanges between Ron and his guests were always cordial and thought-provoking, but were never adversarial or confrontational. Senator Cardin spoke glowingly of Ron recently both in radio interviews and in print, and considered Ron a good friend.

Every time Ron spoke out in defense of the Second Amendment, it would infuriate many liberals, and those same people would get frustrated when Ron would point out that gun control disarms only the law-abiding and has no effect on the criminal element. Ron was truly an independent thinker, but was anything but a water carrier for the Republicans or anyone else. When the US invaded Iraq, Ron publicly opposed the war, and he took a lot of heat from some of his listeners because of it.

Ron believed that the US had become an empire. He did not support preemptive military strikes and he lost some of his listeners in the early to mid 2000’s because of this. Every time Ron criticized US foreign policy, it would infuriate many Republicans, and those same people would get frustrated when Ron pointed out that the Saddam Hussein regime, as evil as it was, was secular and had nothing to do with the attacks on the World Trade Center. Ron proudly served in the US Marine Corps and loved his country, but was not one of those ideologues that staunchly believe “my country, right or wrong”. Ron is a true American hero, and was a profile in courage.

Ron hosted his show for about 27 years, but I was a relative newcomer. I started listening to Ron in 1999, and was treated to only a scant 12 years of Ron’s intellect. Every day starting a 3 pm, I eagerly looked forward to another lesson from the professor, and Ron would regularly ride shotgun with me as I ran afternoon errands.

When Ron’s slot moved to the mornings, I could no longer get my daily lesson. AM radio cannot be picked up at my workplace, and our company blocks streaming audio. I was only able to catch small bits of Ron’s show the last few months, but I always thought that the opportunity would arise for me to resume listening regularly. This is a little selfish, but I once took Ron for granted, and I now feel a little cheated. Life is truly short, and learning to savor every experience is a work in progress for me. I cannot listen to any of the nationally syndicated talk shows any more. Those other shows are too predictable, the hosts are often rude and condescending, and I cannot learn anything from them. In short, Ron spoiled me.

Ron set the standard for talk show hosts, and he influenced some of my beliefs. In the end, Ron faced death as courageously as he faced life, head-on and unflinching. My heart goes out to Ron’s widow June, and to the rest of Ron’s family. Ron, “Voice of Reason”, “Talk Show Man”, old friend: Semper Fi, farewell, and rest in peace.
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:18 PM
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Spot77 Spot77 is offline
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I saw pictures of him near the end and he looked nothing like the man I had met a year becore.

To me, he was the Bob Lopez of am radio. Bob Lopez was the "L"in the famous 98 rock KML morning show. Lopez was an avowed liberal who loved guns and often spoke out against the typical left party line.

Sad to keep losing independent thinkers like these men.
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spot77 View Post
I saw pictures of him near the end and he looked nothing like the man I had met a year becore.

To me, he was the Bob Lopez of am radio. Bob Lopez was the "L"in the famous 98 rock KML morning show. Lopez was an avowed liberal who loved guns and often spoke out against the typical left party line.

Sad to keep losing independent thinkers like these men.
Funny that you mention Lopez. Ron spoke several times about Lopez (please excuse me if I am mistaken). about how he became pro Second Amendment after he was mugged. Ron would refer to Lopez as a living example of a conservative (at least on Second Amendment issues) as being defined as a liberal who had been mugged...
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