By Ralph Hipp
Many wild and crazy memories of Ron Paradis were shared last week, as our WIBW Family lost another Hall of Fame member last Monday. 13 News did a very fine job of paying tribute to the guy who was not only our main sportscaster, working his way up from his arrival in 1969 till he left the station in 1997. Kansas Sportscaster of the Year FIVE times. Voice of the K-State Wildcats for a while in that time, too. But we found at Ron's memorial service on New Year's Day we was even more than that.
Guest speakers were welcome to come up during the service and share some "Ron stories" with us. Ron showed even at Pauline Grade School that he was a natural athlete. In his junior high years, Ron suited up for football against a team called Boys Industrial School, which came loaded with huge guys. So here's Paradis in his leather football helmet, as described by Delvy Lewis.. when two of those big guys smashed Ron "but good" after he caught a pass. His leather helmet was turned sideways, with Ron's nose sticking out of the earhole! That's when he gave up football, showing he had a natural gift for long shots on the basketball court. His record of 1,609 points still stands at Washburn Rural High, and it would have been higher if three point shots were allowed back then.
Ron knew almost nothing about bowling, but did a very creditable job calling bowling matches on the radio (though how that could be interesting, I don't know!) He also wasn't a student of hockey, but in his later years came to his grandson Kyle's hockey games with the Mighty Mites right up till the end. Ron said to a woman who came along for the game, a woman who really didn't like hockey, that "it wasn't about the game, it's about THAT.. (pointing to his grandson on the team.) And of sharing an interest in something your grandson loves, as your very own interest, too. That young grandson, Kyle (whom we'll be featuring on Good Kids this week!) said his grandpa, who fans loved as "Shecky" had a tattoo of his grandson on his forearm, and would even move the mouth up and down to make him talk to Kyle. You know, I can see him doing that!
Well, there were many more stories about this sports fan, this Elvis fan, this grandfather Shecky who left our station, and left this life much too soon. I just had to share a few of these tales with you, and a week after his death.. please continue to share your Ron Paradis stories with us! Ralph (co-worker with Ron, 1990-1997)