Thursday, November 17, 2011

"My work here is done"

I can't express enough how sad I am at hearing the news that Ron Smith is stopping chemotherapy and opting for home palliative care

I am no longer on chemotherapy. After consultations it was determined that was a futile way to go. And therefore I have ceased, that there won’t be a second round of chemotherapy instead what we are doing is palliative care that that will result down the road in home hospice care.

So the idea of some miracle with a stage 4 pancreatic cancer, well there isn’t going to be any miracle. And this is a decision that was reached and agreed upon among everyone concerned

It is the best thing under the circumstances and I’m okay with it. There is no way of predicting how long I’m going to be functioning so we’re sort of playing it by ear from this time forward.

I’ll be on the air as long as I can.

I began listening to Ron when I first moved to Baltimore and I was immediately taken with his erudition and grasp of the topics he spoke about. The Ron Smith Show became a daily addiction for me. The links on the Ron Smith page became my daily reading, and the books he recommended ended up on my shelf, especially Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson.

My favorite segment of Ron's show had nothing to do with politics or policy, rather it was Ron taking our own colleague Rick Vatz to task for thinking Christiane Amanpour was somehow hotter than Lara Logan. I was driving on I-83 near Timonium and nearly had to pull over because I was laughing so hard. Ron's veering into other realms constantly reminded me that there is life outside politics and it is precious and funny, worth stopping to enjoy it.

After I started writing for Red Maryland, Ron gave me several opportunities join him on air to talk about things I had written. Ron always greeted me with a smile, hearty handshake, asked about my family. They were wonderful experiences and I will cherish them always.

In his farewell Baltimore Sun column Ron wrote:

The country is torn asunder between those who perceive a profound decline and those who believe passionately that there is no decline at all, but rather the beginnings of a march into a progressive utopia. That all previous utopian schemes have failed utterly is ignored.

What is a mere individual to do? Live as sane and decent a life as you can, love your family and friends and understand that everybody is in this together.

My work here is done.

That we as a nation are running out of road to which we can kick the can, is a lesson Ron always stressed to me. It is a lesson I keep in mind every time I write about what faces our state as well.

Ron Smith is a local treasure and to think that there will be a time when his voice and wisdom will no longer grace the airwaves is unfathomable.


Duane Keenan said...

Just when I think my day is rotten, I am reminded of this... and the perspective changes. I may need another job in radio soon, but his would be shoes not easily filled.

flashtrum said...

I was really crushed by the news. Let me caveat what I want to say with this: I know the guy is a talk show host. I'm not pretending to hold him in some higher realm - Ron is a man like the rest of us.

Like many things in life, I took for granted Ron's talk show, and took for granted that he would be doing what he's been doing for a long time to come. So sometimes I probably missed shows that I wished I had not. I would read some of the books he suggested, but not nearly as many as I probably should have. And there were times where my interests would go elsewhere - to other shows, or other forms of infotainment in general.
This is why the original diagnosis, and now Ron's reality, is hitting me like a brick wall. I realize how important he's been to shaping my political beliefs. How much his insight on other things as well -from sports to music - has touched me.
And with Ron, it was never "if you don't think EXACTLY THIS, then you are wrong". In fact, Ron challenged the listener to think for his or her self - but you had better bring logic to the table, or he would have none of it.
I'm still in denial, realize I am being selfish. but still wish I knew I had Ron to turn to during the upcoming elections and beyond. But that is selfish of me, as I said. I am sorry for that.
Ron Smith, God bless you, friend. And God bless your wife June and the rest of the Smith family. You're in my thoughts and prayers. Our town will NEVER be the same without you. We were blessed to have you. Thank you Ron, and peace.