Remembering Ron Smith WBAL Baltimore
It was around this time of the year back in 2011 that Ron Smith, the WBAL radio personality in Baltimore announced on his show that he had stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer.
It was a shock to all of his listeners as there was no indication that Ron was suffering from anything of that nature as he had been performing his shows like clockwork right up to that time. Ron succumbed to cancer just a couple of months later. Ron was known as the ‘Voice of Reason’ and for me and many others he informed and entertained us for many years as we went about our activities. Since I have spent the better part of 30 years with a large part of my work life consisting of driving, I was able to listen to Ron in the afternoons for many years, and I can say with certainty that Ron played a part in shaping my perspectives and political opinions. Although he could be very passionate and serious about subjects he discussed, Ron also had a great sense of humor.
Ron’s insistence on sticking to his principle beliefs nearly cost him his job back in 2003 with his stance against the invasion of Iraq. As he tells it, if not for the backing of people in management, he would have been fired as there were many calls for his firing from irate listeners. That’s one thing I liked about Ron, as he didn’t take the popular or convenient view but stuck to his principles regardless of the cost to his career and livelihood. You don’t find many people in the media who have the gonads to do the same today, as most in the so called ‘mass media’ are like lapdogs who do and say what they must to advance their careers.
They have some video of Ron’s service on Youtube and one is very touching but also humorous as Stan Stovell talks about the time he and Ron engaged a bit with Lou Ferrigno at the ‘Body Shop’ in Dundalk….it’s worth a watch.
Many people don’t know that Ron started off in Baltimore on WBAL T.V. back in the 70’s, and did the anchor thing for a few years. Ron used to say that he had the ‘perfect face’ for radio but really he found his niche with Talk Radio. I know that I enjoyed his commentary as I went about my work day and feel fortunate to have been able to partake of his wisdom and knowledge for all those years. There’s no doubt that Ron could have taken his act nationally but he seemed quite content and comfortable imparting his knowledge to the peoples of Baltimore. I just wish that Ron was around to comment on the crazy happenings in the world today, he could break it down like no one else that I’ve listened to and that includes the Rush’s and Hannity’s of the world. Ron was indeed a rare individual and we could use someone like that today in our upside down political and cultural landscape.
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