Saturday, November 14, 2015

Ron Baskin, The Regal Lion

The sad call came from my buddy Brett Miles.

He was crying over the loss of a fellow pal and Heidelberg High Lion for the ages:

Ron Baskin.

If Billy Joel sings it right, that only the good die young, Ron fits the ONLY tag. He was good and young at 60.

Good man.

Good dad.

Good athlete.

Make that great sportsman.

Brett recalled how Ron quarterbacked the Patrick Henry Village Browns to dominance in youth football.

And how once they pulled on the Lion blue & gold, Ron shifted to halfback, with Brett calling signals.

And so it continued with the Gold Dust Twins, as Ben Abrams cheered in Stars & Stripes, the GI newspaper covering the American military community in Europe.

Baskin and Miles turned HHS' varsity into a football juggernaut from 1970 to 1972, with Ron returning and rushing the Lions to a Hall of Fame triumph over Frankfurt in their sophomore season.

Baskin-Miles trumped Baskin-Robbins with ice-cold precision on the basketball court.

Ron & Brett made the Defense Department school system's cinder their personal track.

The memories overwhelmed Brett at his home in Santa Monica, Calif., a marathon from Ron's Dallas but steps from the mental picture of glory days.

Others from Heidelberg High weighed in. Karen Kalina, down the road from Ron in Austin, wept over her dear friend. Debra Ford-Robertson wrote endearing thoughts from California.

Also by the Pacific, I'm reminiscing about a wonderful day in our wonderland - Heidelberg, Germany - where Ron married HHS sweetheart Clivia. The couple killed it on that wedding afternoon in the Holy Ghost Church three decades ago - groom snappy in Army officer dress blues, bride in a gown straight out of Vogue.

You knew they would produce gorgeous children, and they did: Margeaux and Tai.

Now Lions hither and yon are flooding Facebook with their tears upon Ron sister Monica's shocking news.

It came on Friday the 13th, when Paris also died.

Not an easy time.

The least we can do is salute the Rock that was Ron.

Bucky Fox is a Heidelberg American High School loyalist, class of 1973, who writes, edits and suns in Southern California.