Ron Irwin Travel & Entertainment

Boketto-san in Love











A GREAT story based on a real life as first presented in his autobiography "Live Die Live Again." 

After an amazing wild ride and finally finding the woman of his dreams Irwin dropped dead in his home from Congestive Heart Failure in December 2012.  

While in ICU a doctor told his family that IF he survived they would have to put him in a home because he would never walk again.

Then for the very first time he discovered true deep love.  Today he walks a half marathon every day .

The TV series is coming but you can read about it now.  Just click on the book.  

Stay in touch with the constant progress of this fascinating project.

Just click on IMDB above


Following are a few scenes from the show. 

Ronnie, such a beautiful little girl 

It seems that Ron's mother really wanted a baby girl.  In fact mom wanted a baby girl so much she actually believed that she had given birth to a girl on April 30th even though it seemed the baby had a penis and was named Ronald Roger irwin.  None of that stopped mom so at about age 4 mom bleached Ronnie's hair blonde, curled it burning his scalp with the curling iron in the process, put him in a beautiful blue dress and took him to Bunnygraph Studios for a portrait.  To his absolute horror another kid Ronnie's age saw him as he was going into the studio and said "Hi Ronnie" to which Ronnie replied in a falsetto "No my name is Sally" causing his mom to shout "Don't lie Ronnie or you will go to hell."  Well actually at that moment Ronnie was sure he was already in hell.  

It Ain't Paint Mommy.  CLICK on PIC for music

Five year old Ronnie is sitting on the back stairs to his home. He

is weak - almost unconcious and he is very scared.

His once white tee shirt is now totally red, covered in his blood

after being hit on his head with a brick.  His mother comes home 

from work and upon seeing him angrily shouts: 

"You're going to be in big trouble with your father Ronnie for playing

with his paint."

"It ain't paint mommy" he softly replies.  "It is my blood."  

Knife ATTACK!  CLICK on PIC for music

Nine year old Ronnie hears a sudden burst of loud shouting filled with hatred and cursing.  He looks towards the kitchen and sees his mother chasing after his father.  Mom is flailing a very large butcher's knife; dad is running feversihly trying to avoid mom's attack.  In pure terror and panic Ronnie runs upstairs and crawls under his bed all the way up against the wall.  After what seems like a very long time he hears footsteps climbing up stairs.  The shouting has stopped and mom arrives at the bedroom looking for Ronnie.  "It's OK now Ronnie, your father is gone.  Come on out."  Very unsure but with no other real choice he crawls out from under the bed.  The final chapter in his families life is about to slam shut,  

Kewpie Doll. It was a nice spring day and Ron was sitting on the back stairway to his home.  Mom had left early that day and dad, well dad han't been around since mom attacked him with a knife.  Then Ron looked out to the sidewalk that ran along Ridgeland Avenue and saw something he had never seem before.  His mom was coming towards the house actually skipping and smiling broadly.  When she saw Ron she ran up to him and entusiastically said : "Oh Ronnie your mine!  The Court awarded you to me!"  Ron immediately felt severe panic.  He thought. "Court, WHAT Court who is this Court, what is this Court?  How the heck can they AWARD me - what am I a Kewpie doll?  No one ever asked me what I thought about all this.  Holy cow I Am DOOMED."  Funny how many years later after Ron had become a lawyer he went to the courthouse and inspected his parents divorce file.  He was shocked to see that his mother had a witness testify that his dad had repeatedly physically assaulted his mom.  Fact is that NEVER EVER happened.  

Drawing on his experiences in Asia in general

and the Philippines in particular Ron has written 

a witty and compelling novel focusing on a Filipina

mother and her super talented boy who come to

America and discover two extremely nice 

neighbors and another who wants them 

deported.  Sounds a lot like modern times but

this story has a beautiful ending.  CLICK ON BOOK

COVER and get yours now.  

Gotta Go  -  CLICK PIC  

The world was crashing.  Home life with mom and Donald was pure hell.  At school Ron had managed to team up with the son of a top Mafia boss and that was leading him down a very dark path.  He needed OUT so he went to his dad.  Dad got a hold of his sister Aunt Merle who was a big shot in the Chicago school system,  She knew of a place on the North Shore called Arden Shore.  It was for boys from troubled families but with high IQ's.  Soon dad and Ron drove up to Arden Shore and met with the Stroud sisters who ran the place.  Ron took an IQ test and apparently did ok because he was invited to become an Arden Shore boy.  YES!  It was a great relief but filled with massive uncertainty.  Thus began a wild ride of another kind as he joined his band of very smart juvenile deliquents.  

Ron Hanging with the Rich and Powerful

True, being an "Arden Shore boy" in Lake Forest made Ron and the others feel about as welcome as a black man at a KKK convention but there were perks.  One summer Ron along with five other Arden Shore boys got the deluxe visit to Washington, DC.  Since Arden Shore was sponsored by the mega rich they were connected.  So on this visit they visited the White House - inside the White House.  They also met with Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen.  The good Senator took the boys on the train that runs underneath the Capitol building to the Senate dining room where Senator Dirskson treated the boys to the best hamburgers they had ever eaten.  After lunch they went back to the main door to the Senate chamber and as they were thanking Senator Dirksen another Senator came out of the door and said Hi! to Senator Dirksen and the boys.  He was Senator John Kennedy not too long before he became President John Kennedy.  

The next summer the same small group of Arden Shore boys spent two weeks as the guest of then singing sensation Jane Morgan at her summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine.  It was FANTASTIC in every way including a day long journay on the yacht of then Senator Edmund Muskie.  They also enjoyed really fresh - caught that day - Maine lobsters prepared by Jane's live in French chef.  But Ron being Ron took one bite and asked if he could have a hamburger.  He wasn't ready for the prime life just yet.  Ron was also not interested in acting. Too bad, because Jane was doing summer stock theatre and she invited Ron to join the cast.  That could easily have been his ticket to Hollywood but Ron declined.  

Click on the photo of Jane Morgan and enjoy her beautiful voice.  

Bad Play - Awesome Results  CLICK PIC

Ron was a Junior at Lake Forest High School in 1961, an "upper classman" and so he felt it his duty to mildly harrass freshman.  One day during study hall in the school library he placed a large book in the exact center of the bottom shelf so that it could hold the shelf up when he removed all of the pins holding all of the other shelves.  That of course meant that should one remove the large book Ron placed there the entire book shelf would collapse with a thunderous roar.  Then he walked over to a freshman boy and whispered "There is a nude photo of a beautiful woman in that book" pointing to the book.  The freshman took the bait, walked over and pulled out the book and indeed there was a thunderous roar which caused the library to fill with laughter.  Everyone laughed except the librarian who had seen the whole thing.  He shouted at Ron to "Get over here now!"  Ron complied knowing that punishment was certain.  Then the librarian told Ron that because of his bad behavior Ron would spend the rest of the school year during study hall in the library office.  Ron was ECSTATIC! Huh?  You see there was only one other person in that office and she too would be there for the rest of that school year.  Ron was thrilled at the notion of spending several months mostly alone in a small office with Diane, in his mind the most beautfiful girl alive. Yeah, okay, sure there was little chance of a "relationship" developing between Ron and Diane for two reasons - one he was an Arden Shore boy and therefore presumed scum and two Diane was a senior and senior girls focus on college boys not high school juniors.  But in time their friendship did grow such that Ron actually got to dance with Diane one night. Naughty prank yields nirvana.  Oh yeah!   

A Most Important Lesson  -  Just CLICK PIC for Music

It was the last class on the very last day of High School and everyone had left the room except for Ron and a beautiful blue eyed blonde named Cindy.  Ron had oggled Cindy since their freshman year but never had the nerve to ask her out because as an Arden Shore boy he knew that he was pretty much a leper.  But why did she stay behind this one day?  So Ron turned, looked her straight in her beautful eyes and confessed that for four years he had wanted to ask her out.  Then Cindy said:  "Wow! For four years I wanted you to ask me out and was very sad that you never did."  Ron was utterly stunned, his jaw dropped as he sunk into sadness.  Too late.  He would be leaving very soon for the Marine Corps.  It was then he realized that he had just learned a most important lesson.  Never be afraid to ask.  Even a no is no worse than where you are and it could also be a yes.  Damn!  

Drop and Give Me 50 Maggot!!! - CLICK PIC

Well the day arrived when Ron departed O'Hara Field in Chicago and began working his way south through Atlanta and Charleston, South Carolina.  He and other recruits were met by a bus and driven to MCRD Parris Island.  The tension just kept getting stronger with each passing minute.  They were kept awake all night and early the next morning the doors slammed open and three Drill Instructors began shouting "GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT - FALL IN ON THE COMPANY STREET.  What the F is a "company street?' and how does one fall in"  Those and many more question were very quickly raised and answered.  Oh boy!  It was game on.  

FINALLY Japan  - just CLICK PIC for Music

Ron had for a very long time felt that he needed to be in Asia.  At age 13 he discovered and loved the Japanese poetry known as Haiku.  At age 17 he joined the United States Marine Corps the minute the recruiter told him that yes he could go to Asia as a Marine.  Then early in his 18th year Ron sailed into Yokohama Harbor to begin his first year of life as a Marine in Asia.  As all of the other young Marines on the ship got tense Ron felt a warm magic glow as if he was returning to where he had always belonged.  

Party with a Movie Star

One of Ron's happiest nights EVER, at least as a Marine.  His ship, the USS Valley Forge had sailed into Hong Kong Harbor and everyone in his group had 3 days to play.  Ron got a room at the Hong Kong Hilton with money he had left over from his civilian days.  Then he started walking around and met Wendy, a very pretty British girl.  That night he and Wendy went to the Opium Den Bar at the HIlton.  Several other Marines showed up and those who had dates had working girls from Wan Chai.  Ron had Wendy.  BOOM! But then in walks William Holden, Oscar winner William Holden and upon seeing a happy bunch of jar heads tells the bar tender the drinks for the Marines were on his tab that night.  They partied until just before dawn.  It was WILD it was CRAZY it was unbelievably FUN!  He and Wendy became very good friends but Ron fell deeply in love with Hong Kong.  

Share Ron's love of Hong Kong

with this beautiful Fu Dog image

availabe in many forms of art work

available on line now.  Just click

on the image and shop.  

Super Stupid Earns an Oscar During Ron's first tour in Asia [1964/65] he made several visits to Subic Bay and the adjacent town of Olongapo, Philippines well known for its many bars all packed with beautiful young Filipina women whose main purpose was to keep the fleet happy.  The Commanding Officers were not the moral police but they did caution everyone to NEVER EVER go out of the main area for several sailors and Marines had been killed when they strayed.  So, of course, the minute Ron's feet touched the soil of Olongapo and a jeeney driver said to him "Hey Joe want a beautiful young woman?" he instantly jumped into the jeepney.  They travelled through a dark dingy shanty town before the jeepney pulled over and he got out.  He was taken into a bedroon where a lovely young women beckoned.  Ron instantly began to undress and just as he was about to jump in bed with the girl two Filipino men came in flipping their butterfly knives.  Ron instantly jumped straight up and staring them each in their eyes while pointing to his uniform and began shouting. "WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE MESSING WITH?  SEE THAT UNIFORM?  I'M A MARINE NOT SOME DUMB ASS SAILOR.  WHICH ONE OF YOU WANTS TO DIE FIRST?"  They both folder their knives and one meekly said "You go joe."  Ron instantly ran back to jeepney and he was taken straight back to town where he immediately swallowed three San Miguel beers to calm his severely rattled nerves before returning to the ship.

Now that was really stupid but Ron's performance that night was truly Oscar level.  


What Ron Wanted

Ron the Fly Boy

Ron had always loved flying ever since he scored a ride in someone's Piper Cub at age 11.  After joining the Marines he was picked three times to become a Marine Aviation Cadet and go to flight school in Pensacola, Florida. But three times a Navy Flight Surgeon nixed him for having inadequate vision.  So while stationed at MCAS Cherry Point, NC he went out got his civilian pilot's license.  The very next weekend he took one of his jet jockey buddies - a Marine Captain - for a ride in his Piper Tri Pacer.  The Captain was the passenger, Ron, the Marine PFC was Pilot in Command.  They shot an approach to MCAS Cherry Point going so slow at one point the controller asked:  "What are you flying - a kite?  

What Ron Got

2nd Asian Tour OH F**K!

Ron really didn't much enjoy his stateside life so when he learned of a group forming up to deploy to Asia he instantly volunteered.  They trained and they went.  This time yes the plane stopped in Okinawa but after a short rest they got on another plane and this time it landed in Da Nang, Vietnam.  Oh shit!  They handed him 80 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition for his M-14, six hand grenades and assorted other stuff including a flak jacket.  Then he was put on a C-130 with 8 other guys and they flew off to Chu Lai 50 clicks south.  Ron had finally found hell.  He was in it.  After a quick shower on the beach he talked with a fellow Marine who had been there awhile.  As they talked Ron observed tracer rounds about a mile away and asked the other Marine what they should do.  That Marine shrugged and said: "Ain't our problem." Ron went to his cot to sleep but soon felt something on his chest.  He opened his eyes and saw a huge rat nose to nose.  Ron reached over and grabbed his bayonet and started to thrust it towards the rat when it occured to him that he was about to stab the rat right through to his chest and heart,  He stopped just in time so that his mother would not receive a letter that read:  "Dear Mrs. Culp we regret to inform you that your son Ron died on his first day in Vietnam due to a self inflicted stab wound while fighting a Viet Cong rat."  

If the North Vietnamese didn't get you the U.S. Navy Bureaucrats sure will. CLICK PIC for Music.  Someone had invented a little piece of avionics gear that could detect when an aircraft was been targeted by missile radar.  That warning could and did save many lives and billions in aircraft that could now escape unhurt.  Ron had the right rank, experience and security clearance to show the traininjg film that taught the pilots how to use this great new gear BUT he did NOT have a Navy Projectionist license so the Navy would not give him the projector.  The ONLY solution was to send Ron to Navy Projectionist school in Tokyo, Japan.  The first day of the week long school a salty Navy Chief said:  "I heard two of yous guys are from nam.  Who are you?  Ron and a sailor raised their hands where upon the Chief said:  "Yous guys get outta here.  Graduation is Friday, be here for that."  So after a fabulous week of outrageous fun in Tokyo Ron got his license and started to head back to Vietnam.  At the first stop in Iwakuni Ron was told that he was extremely low priority so he should just check back in about 4 days at which point he headed out for the nearby city of Hiroshima where, after visitng the Peace Memorial he befriended a local band which led to his being given a new name.  

Hiroshima Where he Becomes Boketto-san. 

The year is 1966. only 21 years after the United States dropped a nuclear

bomb on the City of Hiroshima, Japan.  Ron is enroute from Tokyo back to Chu Lai,

Vietnam when he gets a couple of days lay over near Hiroshima.  He makes friends

with a local band and they invite him to join in their singing competiton.  He is

scared  but he can't say no to his friends or they lose face.  So Ron, undeniably

American military by his age and hair cut goes up on stage, stares back at the 200

Japanese citizens of Hiroshima staring at him. He sings "Home of the Range" and

miracuolusdy wins second place.  One of the band members smiles and calls him

Boketto-san as he hands Ron his trophy.  

He Didn't Care - War or No War Ron Just Had to Fly

So he just kept bugging his Commanding Officer for every imaginable opportunity to fly.  He asked to be a door gunner.  It wasn't exactly flying but it would get him the air.  Odds were it would also most likely get him killed so the Colonel who was much like Colonel Potter on M*A*S*H said NO.  Then after teaching the pilots how use missle avoidance technology he told his Colonel that he should fly back seat in an F-4 heading north.  Again NO!  And so it went.  Then one day Ron spotted a couple of O1E Cessna birddog aircraft with Korean markings sitting on the flight line.  So he ventured over to the area and met Major Park the CO of the Korean unit.  He asked the Major if he could fly with him in one of the birddogs.  He even showed the Major Park his pilot's license which, of course, meant nothing to the Korean Major.  Yet the Major said "Sure tomorrow at 10."  Thrilled Ron immediately ran back to his command area and requested to speak to his Colonel.  Ron excitedly told the Colonel of his plan as the Colonel just kept mildly shaking his head in disbelief. Finaly the Colonel said:  "I am not going to order not to do this Irwin, but if you get shot down I WILL court marshall your sorry dead ass."  Understanding that being court marshalled didn't mean much if you were dead he became thrilled, said "Thank you sir" and practically ran out of the office.

Ron got in the back seat of the birddog, which also had flight controls he got to use.  He was packing a small machine gun called a gease gun and a 45 caliber sidearm just in case.  They took off and soon they were over a small village when suddenly Ron heard 3 loud pings just to his right.  Looking over he immediately saw three bullet holes in the wing root about 2 inches from his head. F**K!  Major Park instantly rolled the plane sharply left, took aim on the muzzle flashes below and fired one rocket to mark the spot with smoke as he called in the two Phantom jets circling far above them to "Hit my smoke."  Almost instantly 2 F4 Phantom jets swooped down on the village below releasing several nalpalm bombs which immediately caused vast deadly fire.  

Ron loved to fly, but he wasn't ready for what he saw.  That vision remained with him forever and he began to seriously contemplate the whole point of the Vietnam War ultimately concluding that there really wasn't much of a point.  

Stupid is as Stupid Does -or- What Happens When You Get Short.    Click the Pic.

ONE:  The General.  Three days before Ron was to leave Vietnam he was dispatched to pick up a Marine Corps General at the flight line and bring him to Headquarters.  As he began driving the general Ron had an irrepressible urge to ask the general just one question.  What the hell, he thought, I have just 3 days left in this shit so why not ask.  "General, could I ask you just one question?"  "Sure son, what is it?" the general replied. "Sir with all due respect what the hell are we doing here in Vietnam?"  The general thought for a moment and then responded:  "In all truth I don't know."  Ron was utterly STUNNED.  The rest of the trip was in complete silence.  

TWO:  Cold Beer + Hot Woman.  Having about 18 months earlier while in the Philippines proven that he could be a spectacular idiot Ron found yet an even more wildly dangerous thing to do just for fun.  With but two days left in Vietnam Ron had been sent from Chu Lai to Da nang to deliver some classified documents which he did.  But he had more than 8 hours until his return flight so he decided to go for a walk.  Ron had no idea where he was or why other than he was by then thoroughly fed up with all things military especially in Vietnam.  So carrying his M14 rifle, a 45 caliber sidearm, 80 rounds of ammunition, six handgrenades and wearing a flack jacket Ron walked right off of the base and started down a bunch of paddy dikes.  In about an hour Ron was totally away from all things military and surrounded only by rice paddies and a few trees.  Ahead he saw a hooch and as he approached he saw painted on it the words: "Cold Beer."  UBELIEVABLE!  He went and soon learned tha the cold beer and a hot woman were both available for a modest price.  NIRVANA. After Ron and his temporary wife had consumated their "marriage" they  both moved to the front of the hooch to enjoy a cold beer.  Soon they saw two F 4 Phantom jets less than a mile away swooping down and dropping napalm close enough that they could feel the heat. What that meant Ron understood was that people he was taught to call the bad guys had to be very close.  Sure enough moments later two North Vietnamese soldiers came walking towards the hooch. no doubt also interested in cold beer and a hot woman.  Ron picked up his rifle and chambered a round and told his girlfriend to to tell the soldiers to put down their rifles and come in and he would buy them a beer.  But if they did not do it NOW he would shoot them.She began screaming in Vietnamese.  Happily they complied and when one of the men took his temporary wife to the same little room in the hooch Ron left walking backwards down the paddy dikes for about a mile.  Later Ron realized how utterly insane that had been.  The girls father could easily have just picked up Ron's rifle and shot him; or the naplam could have been dropped just a wee bit closer killing them all; or the two soldiers could have chosen to fight and maybe there were others close behind.  But seeing first hand how pretty much all military men would choose cold beer and hot women over war Ron concluded that instead of dropping bombs we should have been dropping beer and hookers.  

THREE:  Let's Party.  It was Ron's very last night in the Republic of Vietnam and he wanted a small party.  There being no Seven Eleven nearby and wanting some beer for the party he borrowed the colonel's jeep and headed off in the direction of the Korean Marine's area for he knew they had beer.   No roads, no street lights Ron headed off in the dark night in the general direction to the Korean Marine area.  Suddenly six obviously Asian men each with a rifle pointed at him jumped up.  In that tiny fraction of a second Ron thought "Ah SHIT 13 months and now I die."  Then he realized they were Korean Marines and not NVA or VC.  Phew!  He proceded in, bought his beer went back to his hooch and partied before forever leaving Chu Lai, Vietnam the next morning.

Yep!  Stupid is as stupid does.  

Just One Itsy Bitsy Request  - Click Pic

Ron was OUT of Vietnam and the Marine Corps and heading home so he called his mother with just one small request beyond a ride.  PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE mom he implored you and ONLY you at the airport - PLEASE.  Mom had hooked him up with a girl named Janet and they exchanged letters while he was in Vietnam but that one night straight out of hell was NOT the time to meet that woman.  Mom agreed so when he stepped off of the airplane in Chicago there stood mom with Donald and Janet.  Pretty good looking was Janet, so they went out to eat and then home.  Mom practically forced Ron and Janet into the same bedroom together.  Janet had no complaint and seemed actually eager.  So there was Ron fresh out of 13 months in Vietnam standing with a good looking and eager young woman - WHAT DO THINK MIGHT HAPPEN.  Thanks mom.  Yep the sex was GREAT and it stayed great and regular and then OF COURSE - the RABBIT DIED.  

Let No Man Cast Asunder - CLICK PIC for music

I mean seriously she could cook really well and she was excellent in bed so what could possibly go wrong - right?  Ron even for probably the first time ever I asked his dad a serious question.  "Dad, I think I am going to marry her, what do you think?"  "Well she has nice legs." Dad said.  GREAT!  Good food, good sex, great legs and oh yeah she was pregnant so what could possibly go wrong?  

June 8th 1968 Ron was kneeling before the alter feeling a hundred of eyeballs stabbing him in his back.  All he could think of was how the hell could he get out of there and run far far away?  But then the six foot tall priest standing on a platformand wearing his tall head piece  as they kneeled before him said in a deep and strong voice: "What God has joined together let no man cast asunder." I AM DOOMED! thought Ron.   Three years later Ron learned that that very same priest had left his wife and ran off with another man's wife thereby creating multiple asunders.  

And so it began.

Stick 'em Up!  -  Click Pic

Going to school in Chicago can be tough.  For instance one night Ron was heading home from the downtown Chicago campus of Northwestern University.  He had taken the "El" train enroute to the Northwestern train station.  There is a covered walk way from the "El" station connecting to the Northwestern station about two stories above street level.  As Ron got up to leave the "El" so did two other young men who looked nothing like your typical suburban commuter.  Ron's antenna was on high alert.  Shortly after entering the walk way one of the young men shouted:  "Hey!  This is a stick up."  Ron turned slowly around and saw each man had their hand in their jacket pocket as if holding a gun.  Ron then looking in their eyes and calmly said" "What did you say?"  As they began to repeat themselves Ron reached into his pocket and pulled out his very real polica badge.  You see to help pay for school Ron had in addition to his full time job a part time job as police officer in the suburbs. Upon displayin his badge Ron said:  "Nope sorry guys but this is an arrest" where upon both guys took off running.  Ron grabbed one and threw him to the ground.  The other guy ran into the door which was now locked.  All it was being watched by railroad security who quickly arrived on scene caputring the second guy.  They marched them both to the basement area, put them in hand cuffs on their kness facing the wall as they called Chicago P.D.  When the cops arrived they asked "Where is the victim?" Ron raised his hand.  Then they asked where were the perps and Ron pointed to the two guys in handcuffs facing the wall.  Then the Chicago cops starting laughing as they stood up the bad guys, switched out the handcuffs and took them away.  A few weeks later Ron went to court as a witness and learned that one of the guys had been killed prior to trial.  The other guy got 7 years.  Oh and Ron had legal authoruity to carry a gun but all he had that night was a badge. Seems that when pressured to do so Ron can be a pretty good actor.  

In writing the outline for Boketto-san in Love tremendous emphasis has been placed on finding the often dark yet abundant humor in the life experiences of Ron a/k/a Boketto-san.  But what follows mostly lacks all but  the darkest of humor.  Yet it does tell an essential part of the whole story and leads us into the next and ultimately far better phase of the tale.  

Three and Out.  The sad story of the final transition.  Any rational person would have immediately known that the union of Ron and Janet was doomed from the beginning.  But having endured the pains of divorce in his own family Ron was dogged about hanging in there and making it right.  First born was Tommy and he truly was the joy of both parents, at least at first.  Next came Ronnie and finally their first daughter Karen.  That each parent in their own way loved their children is an honest statement, but the relationship between the parents was spiraliing down quickly.  Perhaps the one thing that kept it together a few years more than was reasonable was when Ron decided he wanted to be a lawyer.  That meant going first to undergrad and then to law school.  That took time and kept him out of the house pretty much constantly.  It was work, school, study keeping him and Janet essentially apart.  But then Ron graduated and passed the bar exam and there was no more ducking the issue.  But the complete and absolute deal breaker was in their violent opposite positions with respect to Tom.  You see Tom had been diagnosed with a severe issue - he was extremely mentally gifted.  Now you say, how can that be a problem?  Simply our society just isn't set up to deal effectively with extremely bright people.  Every single psychologist they consulted told them unequivocally that what their son needed was an enriched education NOT available in the public school system.  One day Ron visited the Superintendent of the school district that his son was in.  The conversation ended by the Superintendent telling Ron: "It's a good thing you are a lawyer mister because a law suit is the ONLY way this district will ever give your child what he needs."  So Ron sued.  The problem was clear and profound.  A gifted child denied proper education will do three very predictable things fairly quickly.  One he or she will become a behavior problem.  Two he or she will begin to abuse drugs.  Finally if corrective action is not taken they are almost certain to eventually be placed in a mental institution.  Desparately wanting to spare his son such dire consequences Ron tried extremely hard to provide his son with the tools and environment he needed. But with every move Janet would do her best to stop it telling Tom that it was just his father's ego.  The constant stress was also having a terrible impact on all three children but Janet was relentless and Tom was sinking further into a personal hell.  The pain and destruction became unbearbale so one day he packed up some clothes went to his office and told his secretary to prepare a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage which he then took the courthouse and filed.  It was game on. 

Ron presented Janet a very good settlement offer which, of course, she harshly and stupidly declined.  So Ron then prepared for near absolute victory.  First he did the one thing he knew damn well he should never have done - he decided to represent himself.  Anyone who represents themselves it is said has a fool for a client - but not in this case.  He knew well the court system he was having practiced before all three of the family court judges.  He knew the one judge most likely give him the best results.  But he had to be certain to get that judge and that was, for him easy because the system allowed him to reject any one judge without cause.  That left him the remaining two. To guarantee getting the one judge he wanted he invited the remaining judge he didn't want to appear on his local TV show to discuss in general terms divorce.  There would never be one word mentioned about his own pending divorce but he made sure Janet knew about the TV show.  As anticpated the very next day her attorney raced into court on an emergency motion to remove the judge who had been on his TV show from the case - exactly what Ron wanted for now he had the clear advantage. Finally he had taken temporary posession of one of Janet's nursing school text books and here is why.

RON:  Now Janet earlier today you had a man testify who claimed to be your father. is that right?

JANET:  Yes.

RON:  But in fact he is not your biological father is that correct?


RON:  What happened to your biological father?

JANET:  He died from complications from his schizophenia.

RON:  In your opinion as a person trained in medicine that schizophenia is an extremely bad disease?

JANET:  Yes, of course.

RON:  Do you believe that a person with schizophenia could make a good parent? 

JANET:  No way I saw that for myself when I was young.

RON:  I am so sorry.  Now [holding up a book] do you recognize this book?  

JANET:  [Aggitated] Yes, that is one of my nursing school text books.  

RON:  Do you believe that the information in that text is medically and scientifically true and accurate?

JANET:  Yes, of course it is.

RON:  [Handing the book to Janet open to a particdular page].  Now looking at this page there is a sentence highlighted.  Did you highlight that sentence?  

JANET:  Yes I did.

RON:  And do you believe the information contained in that sentence to be true and accurate?

JANET:  Yes, of course.

RON:  Would you please read that sentence for the record.

JANET:  Modern medical science has determined that schizophenia is hereditary.

RON:  So then by medical science that you believe to be true and accurate if a child is born of a parent who has schizophenia the child is extremely likely to eventually also suffer from that disease - is that correct?

JANET:  [Meekly]  Yes.  

RON:  I have nothing further of this witness.

Ron then summed up the hearing by pointing out that the primary witeness - Janet - was by her own training, knowledge and belief most likely severely psychotic and that therefore her testimony could not be believed nor is it likely that she could ever function as a fit parent.  

In the end the court didn't completely buy it but the judge clearly found Janet to be far less than a perfect parent and ultimately awarded joint custody of the children to both parents but awarded Janet only $150 in alimony and ruled that she, Janet would have to pay her own attoney's fees - essentially a total defeat.  

In one sense Ron was pleased with the result,  But on the other hand he was very sad that it to come to that .  Not long after Ron and his son Ronnie departed Illinois to start a new life in California.  Eventaully Tom would follow.    Tragically his relationship with his daughter would be forever destroyed.  

Who Are YOU?  - CLICK pic for music.

Ron was leaving the very next day for his new home in California.  

He wanted to bid his mother a proper farewell.  He wanted to take her

out to lunch and say "goodbye." So he drove over to her appartment.

He went to her door and knocked. Nothing, so he knocked again.

Still nothing so he knocked one more time.  This time she opened the door 

looked him straight in his eyes and asked:  "Who are you?'

Deeply saddened he simply turned and walked away.  The very last Ron ever saw his


California Here We Come.  CLICK PIC  One fine day in 1983 Ron and his son Ronnie packed their stuff and began their journey west from their home in Schaumberg, Illinois eventually arriving in Woodland Hills, California.  But Ronnie had gotten a very bad cut in his foot and the doctor said he had to have the stitches removed by a certain date.  So as they headed west the day arrived and the next town along their route was Groom, Texas about 50 miles east of Amarillo.  Groom had a population of about 400 but they only needed one doctor so they stopped for a meal and asked where they could find a doctor. The man, apparently the owner of the restaurant, said: "Well we got no people doctor here in groom, but we have a veterinarian."  Then he pointed out the window and said:  "His office is just right over there."  Ron and Ronnie exchanged glances, shrugged their shoulders and went to see the vet.  "Heck removing stitches from your boy ain't no harder that taking 'em out of a bull so let's just get it done."   It went well and Ronnie was fine but how many folks do know who have had stitches removed by a veterinarian and how many folks have every even heard of Groom, Texas?  Just one more little adventure.  

The Courtship

After a few days Ron and son arrived in Southern Califonia.  They stayed briefly with a friend in Woodland Hills but soon moved to Burbank and began the process of rebuilding their lives.  Ron got a decent job but soon grew bored and then he discovered radio. Ron also began taking Karate lessons to rebuild his physical health.  His son started school and soon joined the Civil Air Patrol,  Slowly things were coming together.  Ron had a few dates - one time each - only because he was still healing and because he was looking for something exactly right and that for him became a return to Asia.  Eventually he began a correspondance with a young lady from the Philippines but working in Hong Kong.  Her name was Nenita and their exchange of letters became constant and then evolved into an exchange of voice tapes sprinkled with occasional telephone calls.  Was it possibly "love?"  Ron had grown very skeptical of that concept but damn it there clearly was a growing attraction building.  So one day he booked a flight to Hong Kong.

The night he arrived in Hong Kong he was met at the Park Hotel not by Nenita but rather by her friend Melinda no doubt sent to check him out.  Apparently he passed because Nenita agreed to meet Ron the next morning about 8:30 a.m.  Ron sat nervously in the lobby of the Park Hotel on Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong staring eagerly at the door.  Then she appeared.  A simply gorgeous young woman just shy of 5 feet tall with long shiney black hair.  She was wearing a double breasted black and white top and a box pleated skirt.  Her vision made Ron's heart skip three beats as she came to him and softly said: "Hello, I am Nenita."

They shared six absolutely glorious days together but as beautiful as the experience was Ron wanted to be absolutely certain, not of Nenita because she was clearly the most wonderful woman on earth but rather of himself.  So when he departed Hong Kong his flight made an over night stopover in Tokyo.  Ron went out to the closest girlie bar just to see what his reaction might be when once again surrounded by lovely young Asian women all available to him.  There were plenty of them at the bar and all were very attractive but Ron soon became bored and left.  He had passed the test he concluded.  

When his flight next stopped briefly in Honolulu Ron got off the plane and went directly to the nearest shop selling post cards.  He bought one and wrote on the back:  "My dearest Nenita, meeting you was the greatest joy of my life.  Would you marry me?" Then he mailed the postcard.  Shortly upon his arrival back in Burbank he had his answer and it was the one he had been praying for since departing Honolulu.  Now it was time to plan their wedding.  

Hong Kong Wedding - Click pic for music

October 30th 1984 Ron and Nenita get married at the City Hall, Hong Kong British

Crown Colony.  This came after more than a one year courtship and it has growing

stronger each and every day since. But the fullest expression of true love still

hadn'treached Ron just yet.  

Coming to America - Day One

After their wedding there was paperwork to process and that took a few months.  But finally Nenita Perez Irwin was granted her green card, she packed her belongings, said farewell and flew from Hong Kong to Los Angeles.  Her arrival was made extra exciting because her flight was routed over the twin towers in Century City which was in the openning scenes for the then popular TV show "Remington Steele" which Nenita watched in Hong Kong.  Once she cleared immigration she ran into Ron's arms and shout in glee:  "I saw Remington Steele's office."  Then Ron took her to lunch at his favorite Thai restaurant and as luck would have it they were shooting a few movie scenes right next to the restaurant.  You could see in Nenita's eyes the sheer joy and amazement of seeing movie making in action.  After lunch Ron then took her to a clothing store thinking that maybe she could use some nice new clothing to start her new life in America.  She picked up a couple modest items and then looked at Ron with that "Now what?" stare.  Ron handed her his credit card and said:  "Here, give this to the clerk" which she did and was utterly amazed.  The clerk pushed a few buttons and handed her the new clothes.  She didn't say it but you could see it in her eye.  "What a country," Remington Steeles' office, a movie, and a store where all you have to do is hand them a plastic card and walk out with new clothes."  Ron was very pleased to see his beautiful new bride so happy but then the next morning he was totally shocked.  

Ron woke up about 7:30 a.m. and noticed that Nenita was not in the apartment.  His son Ronnie was there getting ready for school so Ron asked him if knew where Nenita was and he said "She went out looking for a job."  OMG not even 24 hours in her new home in a strange land far far away and she went out looking for work.  Dang!  Awesome!  Wow!  

The Shortest "Career" in TV History

What better way to introduce a brand new beautiful immigrant bride to all of the great joys of America than to get her on a television game show?  Fame and fortune awaits - right?  Well.........  So The Newly Wed Game was popular back then and Ron and Nenita were certainly qualified so Ron got in touch with the show producers and sure enough they were invited down to the Sunset Gower Studios for a little audition.  Now how hard could that be?  They ask you a few embarrassing questions, you blush, answer and giggle and move on.  Well that was how it typically went but not this time.  The show host looked at Nenita and asked, "So Nenita what is the one thing about you physically that your husband would most like to change?"  Barely a heart beat later she said with pure innocence "My sloped head!"  The air froze and time stood still.  Nenita had just with total lack of awareness committed the gravest crime in Hollywood, she had completely disregarded political correctness.  But it was so utterly without fault.  You see shortly upon arriving in America Nenita had asked Ron what were some of the nasty ways American's might refer to an Asian.  He gave her a long list mostly learned from his years traveling Asia as a Marine and "Slop Head" was but one such derogatory term. Given her understanding of the question she simply felt that term fit the question.  They left the studio and went out for dinner.  

'The Ron Irwin Show' on KFOX 93.5 FM

No doubt imspired by the arrival of his beautiful bride Ron soon found s line of work he deeply loved.  He became a radio talk show host on KFOX 93.5 FM at the time with studios located on the Redono Beach Pier.  Over time Ron had several time slots but his big break came when he landed the 5 to 6 p.m. slot Monday through Friday.  Yep evening drive time in Los Angeles, California.  Not bad for a schlep from Chicgao with severe stage fright.  I didn't take long before Ron was booking honest to gosh major celebs on gis shows.  Seems they all LOVED publicity.  His very first was a nice young guy recently back from Australia where he had made a movie called "Mad Max."  His name was and still is Mel Gibson.  Not long after he had Barry Levinson as a guest Barry would soon be heading off to Thailand with Robin Williams to film "Good morning Vietnam."  Loving Asia as he did Ron begged Barry to bring him along if for nothing else just to fetch coffee.  Barry, probably not beleiving Ron was sincere declined.

But there was once guest that Ron REALLY enjoyed because he was invited to please Ron's wife.  You see Nenita loved soap operas and one day she was watching "Santa Barbara" starring A. Martinez.  He could tell that Nenita was REALLY enjoying watching A, Martinez and so he asked her if she would like to meet him.  She instantly said "Yes!" Ron then picked up the phone and called a publicist he knew who hnadled most of the top soap stars.  Sure enough A. Martinez was one of his clients and "Yes, of course A. would love to be on your show next Wednesday" said the publicist.  So Ron then turned back to Nenita and said she would be meeting A. Martinez next Wednesday night.  She didn't believe him but she went to the studio with Ron that night and soon A. Martinez walked into the green room and said Hello even giving Nenita a nice little hug.  She just stopped breathing briefly.  It was glorious and the show went very well and best of all Ron had made nenita very very happy.  

9 1 1 What's Your Emergency  -  CLICK on Pic

Ron is sitting at his desk talking with his old friend George in Chicago.  It is about 5:30 p.m. when Ron says: "Gotta go now George.  I really look forward to seeing you in a few months."  Then he ends the  call,stands up and stops breathing, totally irreversibly stops breathing.  He is quickly getting weak and going dark but as he falls face forward to the floor he has just enough left in him to punch 9 1 1 and hit send. His last concious memeory was the 9 1 1 operator faintly saying "9 1 1 what's your emergency?"  He could not respond - he was out - flat lined .   Miraculously local paramedics find him and begin to work on getting him back to life and over to the hospital where he spends the next 26 days mostly in ICU.  

"IF he Survives he Will Never Walk Again."

Most of the 26 days Ron spent in the hospital were in the Intensive Care Unit and most of those days were in a coma.  On his third day, with his family gathered around Ron heard. coma or no coma Ron heard a physcian tell his family that IF he [Ron] survived they would to put him in a home because he would never walk again.  None of his family accepted that and neither did Ron. Buit with each passing day as the haze of coma began to slowly lift Ron kept having a steady series of wild delusions.  In one Ron was sitting somewhere in Boston with his son Ronnie begging him to go with him to the Holiday Inn two blocks away so he could have a Widmer beer.  Ron never drank a Widmer beer in his life and the only time he had been to Boston was long before his son was born  In another Ron was forced to sit tied to a chair looking through a large glass window as a steady stream of young people were being ushered into a room where they being told that they would become super stars by simply taking the acting courses being offered.  Ron new the school was totally bogus and despartely wanted to shout out and warn the students of the scam but he was kept silent.  But then things negan to change.

He saw his wife, two duaghters, two sons various grand children with him for at least a portion of every day.  Friends began to stop by and Ron could feel his heart heal more with each visit.  Long time friend Jill and her son Jason came by and gave Ron a green blanket he has to this day.  Another friend, a true movie and Broadway star Chick Vennera stop by laughed with Ron because Ron was extremely stoned with the he was being given.  

Thanks to this level of never before experienced love Ron slowly began to grow stronger.  First he made it from the bed to a wheel chair.  Soon tired of the whell chair Ron tried and eventually succeeded in standing up while holding the wheel chair.  That got him promoted to using a walker vut as fast as he could Ron left thatas well and staggered about like a drunken sailor on shore leave. But he was walking and now thinking back to the words of the doctor early on in has stay. 

One hilarious element in memory  was when Ron looked back to the time when the nurses decided Ron should show but with an assistant.  So they sent in a lovely Asian women - long Ron's greatest desire - and the two took a shower together for a few day.  But both comically and sadly Ron had no reaction to being naked together with an Asian woman.  

But the real joy was emerging as all of his family and many friends kept comine by to give him encouragement and support.  His most wonderful wife Nenita and his youngest daughter Kari never missed a day and even would spend the entire night sleeping in a chair in his hospital room.  How thoroughly this expression of love saturated Ron and gave him strength and courage at a level never before known to him was nothing short of a miracle.

FInally on the evening of his 25th day Ron walked to the nurses station and announced that he would be leaving the next morning.  Ealry in the morning of his 26th and final day a docotr came in and wrote him some presciptions and wished him well.  His beautiful wife Nenita was there to drive him home.  As she began to drive away from the hospital on theat beautiful day Ron looked at, smiled and said: "Please don't crash - I never want to go back there."  She chuckled and they drove home.  

Ron still had plenty of recovering to do but it got easier each day in large part because now for the very first time in his crazy life Ron fully felt the utter joy of true, deep family love.  

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