Sunday, November 21, 2004
from Liz Hogan
A policy advisor to MCI, I was able to engage Ron to help me on some serious issues on Capitol Hill several years ago that could adversely impact our company at the time. I knew he was smart. I knew he knew the legal history behind all and any technology issues. The majority of the issues concerned the emerging Internet. The Internet was almost an unknown issue at the time. A bill to regulate it, sponsored in the Senate, was primed to be included in the '96 Telecom Act. It's inclusion would make Internet service providers completely liable for transmitting all and any information over the Internet. Ron's knowledge, reputation, and expertise, helped to make significant changes to the bill after a long, long process that included unending hours of negotiations. I begged the company to maintain his service for us as other Internet as well as privacy issues began to unfold in the forthcoming Congresses. Ron sat at the table throughout all these negotiations, and managed, expertly, to negotiate reasonable and feasible legislation in a time that many legislators were lacking in technical knowledge.
The "voice" would often call in the office and at my home. My then teenage daughters knew the "voice" and would quickly pass along the phone to me. Ron, still in his office, or wherever, would want a final ok. on something, or pass along new intelligence, or, sometimes, just to chat about a previous meeting we had, or catch up on my family life, or you-name-it. I loved that voice. I loved it while working with him on the Hill. I loved it when we'd go to football games. I loved it when he showed up for conferences I asked him to participate in, and I loved it when he called to wish me well on my retirement. I regret now that I don't have a recording of the "voice." It was a masterful, all-consuming voice filled with spirit, intensity and love.
A few years back, very late in the day, I'd often be in Ron's office with him signing off on letters, bill language, etc., and though the paperwork had been all around the world and back, Ron still needed a last good look. He often made changes. Unbelievable. He was such a perfectionist. Such a good lawyer. So very bright and shining. He is still shining, I believe.
I wept, like so many, when I heard Ron passed away. Truthfully, I dreamed that night that Ron and I attended his memorial service. He wanted so much to know who was attending, because he so much wanted all and every person he worked with to be part of his "family." I believe late in my dream, he was happy. He loved being loved and loved loving.
I feel so honored that I knew this "voice" and that I learned so much from this exceptional expert and friend.
There are so few who have touched and made a definitive mark in my life as to its meaning and greatness. Ron is on top of the list.