Remembering and Paying Tribute To A Special Man - Ronald D. Dixson

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

 A life that touches others goes on forever.

-Author Unknown

Next month my blog will be nine years old.  I've been thinking about that fact for the past few days, the circumstances surrounding its inception, the 557 posts I've written since April of 2014, and mostly the people I've met through the stories I've written.  I've been feeling particularly blessed this week as I remembered that group of people, people whose paths I'd never have crossed had it not been for the exact purpose of sharing their business, their farms, their history here on the blog.  Along with the joy and privilege it is to make these friendships comes the deep sense of loss I experience when I lose them.  I experienced that heart-piercing pain today when I learned of the passing of Ron Dixson.

I met Ron back in December of 2022.  I wrote about him on the blog back then: "Through the years I've met several of Easton's fine residents and this trip was no exception.  Our last task on this particular ride was to find a barn that we discovered for the first time last summer.  After three 'wrong roads', we finally found the 'right road'.  As we turned the car around to put me on the right side of the road to capture the back of the barn, we noticed a gentleman standing at his mailbox.  Embarrassed to be caught red-handed photographing his barn, we pulled up the hill and stopped alongside him to say hello and express how beautiful his barn is, something I wish we were able to do more often when out taking photos.  Well, despite the leftover snow and slush covering the road in the shade where the mailbox stood, Mr. Barn Owner, cane in hand, came across the road and with the warmest and friendliest demeanor leaned against our car as we humbly shared how much we loved his barn.  Not bothered by the winter chill or precarious conditions underfoot, this wonderful man, Mr. Dixson, chatted for about 15 minutes sharing history - his and his barn's.  It didn't matter that we were total strangers.  Maybe it was our mutual love for the majestic red structure that was at this moment cast in the most glorious golden sunlight, but the friendly conversation offered by this perfect stranger was a reminder that there is still so much good in this otherwise crazy world."

I couldn't get Ron Dixson out of my mind after that brief encounter.  Something about his demeanor, his gentle disposition, his hospitality, just drew me in and over the next several days he crossed my mind over and over again.  I decided to make him an Easton calendar, one that included a few photos of his barns along with other Easton locations.  I thought that being an Easton native, he'd enjoy having his family farm featured in print.  It was a few days after Christmas when John and I drove to Easton to deliver Ron's calendar.  I stayed in the car and sent John to the door, hoping Ron would be home willing to open the door to accept this small token of our friendship.  Sure enough, Ron was home but he insisted John fetch me from the car and come in for a visit.  

Of course I couldn't say 'no'.  Well, that visit lasted about an hour and during that time we learned so much about Ron.  He was one of 12 children raised on a dairy farm in Easton - the same farm I was photographing.  That farm that has been in his family for 200 years.  We learned about his beloved wife, Helen who he was married to for 63 years, his two daughters and so much more.  It was evident that his love for his wife was as strong as it was when they were high school sweethearts.  In fact, he was going to bring the calendar to her in the nursing home so she could enjoy seeing her hometown through the year.  There was just something about this man....his trusting hospitality to welcome strangers into his home, his generosity in sharing Easton history with us, his humble pride in sharing the story of his life.....I was just drawn to him and couldn't help but feel a strong admiration and respect, as well as regret fearing that our friendship may be short.

Today I got the sad news that Ron passed away yesterday.  So many emotions came over me when I heard the news.  Tears flowed and sadness rushed through me, so much grief over a man I barely knew.  But during that overwhelming grief, I was filled with gratitude for having had the privilege of our brief acquaintance.  However brief that time was, Mr. Dixson left a lasting impression on both John and I, especially for his open heart and hospitality.  I'm sure he touched many lives, especially in his tax and finance business, many who have had the pleasure of long friendships and relationships over the years, but I'll never forget the moments when our paths crossed and will always be grateful for that.  

We never know when life-changing events may happen in our lives, or when someone may step into our path and we might be forever changed. It's important that we take the time to savor and appreciate those magic moments and special people like Ron Dixson. He was one in a million - I could tell that in our short time together - and heaven is a little bit better for having him there.
To read more blog stories about special people I've shared here on the blog, check out my Directory under the category - Intriguing People


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