Although I put out a couple videos out in October last year, I never got close to editing all the footage I took. There was a lot going on. Voting lines were so long that there was live entertainment. IMPD was fighting for control of it’s force. The Socialist Liberation Party was on the move. Bikers, skateboarders, and one wheelers were out and about along with anyone else refusing to stay hunkered down at home.
Life was seemingly getting back to normal in-between the Covid19 surges of July 4th and Thanksgiving. Plumber Joe was riding big on a pink BMX. Indy jazz musician Rob Dixon was on the drums. I even caught a wedding with lots of guests beginning to arrive on the circle, something forbidden during the early months of the pandemic.
While going through footage, I realized there was more than I wanted to put in just one video and divided it up based on sunny days vs. cloudy days. The sunny day footage had a dark spot. It was the last clip I took of my buddy Ron before he allegedly passed away. Ronald had been one of my favorite people to interview. I had been trying to help him out, but he disappeared from the streets at the onset of Covid19.
One evening on my way to meet my wife and son for dinner, I spotted him walking down the street near where he used to hang out. I had been by that spot multiple times weekly since I last saw him and was surprised to see him finally show back up
Unfortunately, he wasn’t acting anything like the Ron I knew and had interviewed in the past. He was angry and out of sorts, desperate for money.
He also accused me of setting up a GoFund me page under his name, getting rich, and then running off with all the money. I tried to explain to him that I had never done any such thing, but it did nothing to deter his anger and he eventually told me to quit filming him.
Off camera, we agreed to meet the next day, but just like after we had planned months earlier in March, he never showed. It wasn’t until December that I heard from a couple guys on the street that he had passed away from a stroke. I was hoping this wasn’t true, but Ronald never reappeared and my sources insisted that he had indeed passed away.
Out of all the guys who sat on corners in that area, Ron was the last one I thought would go first. He had always been pretty happy and laid back. It didn’t seem fitting that he would be the one to vanish permanently any more than it did that the last video of him would be so hostile.
Life doesn’t always play out the way we think, and people aren’t always who we perceive them to be. I struggled to find a way to help, but couldn’t come up with a fix. Instead, all I could muster in the end was narrowly avoiding a fight. RIP Ron, wherever you are. Hopefully it’s somewhere better than the corner of Georgia & Meridian.