My name is Ronald Rowan and I'm a retired executive of a former Fortune Fifty (50) corporation and I’m presently working on my eighth novel. My father and mother were the original Rowan & Martin team. They didn’t do comedy, but their marriage must have been a joke. I guess that’s why I’m so screwed up. For example: I’m not religious myself; but I think it’s good, and I admire people who truly are…religious, that is. I believe in a lot of dumb things such as morality, honor, virtue honesty, integrity and that character really does matter; for without it you don’t even have a shot at any of the others.
You might say such dumb things are major themes in all my stories. Over the years I have been the following: A prolific reader (it changed my life); an airman in crash rescue; a 20th. Air Force all-star catcher, an honor that ended up landing me in Korea (see: “The Tender Leaves of Hope”); a defender of the freedom of others – like in a war, only mine was called a Policing Action; a college graduate with two children on the big day; a college Thespian – Uncle Desmond in, “The Happy Time,” Morris Townson in “The Heiress,” and Edward Rochester in, “Jane Eyre.” I happily played all the romantic leads and got to kiss all the pretty girls. My wife didn't particular like that. We were married at the beginning of our sophomore year. The roles rooted my sense of the dramatic and I like to think they honed my empathetic instincts. Both are helpful to an actor, but I believe they are essential to a writer. I was selected as a member of Alpha Psi Omega, the National Honorary Dramatic Fraternity in my freshman year, an event almost unheard of at the time, and I made Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities in my senior year and graduated near the top of my class on the GI Bill and a GED certificate.
My daughter Ronna is an outstanding Eng. Lit. teacher, born on my birthday by the way, and my son didn’t used to be able to spell engineer and now he are one. Go Penn State! Just kidding Rich.
I hired on for the summer as a welder for a major steel corporation, and 19 years later I was a corporate executive in the land of golden parachute, stock options, annual performance bonuses and country club memberships for that same corporation. My two clubs provided me 87 manicured holes of golf. I didn't want to take a vacation, I loved it so.
I am a two time heart bypass lottery winner at Johns Hopkins Hospital, 15 years apart. But well before the first bypass I had died on the operating table during a minor operation and a nurse, not the doctor, had the presence of mind to haul my butt back across the River Styx with CPR.
I had been paralyzed by an overdose of cocaine swabbed liberally into my nostrils by an inattentive doctor who had a tendency to blame everyone else for his own mistakes. I couldn't breathe, move or even make a sound to let them know that I was in trouble. And, of course, ivery one was away from the table at the time waiting for the drugs to take affect. It was like something out of Alfred Hitchcock. But you know, when I knew I was going die, my last conscious thought was that I wasn’t going to be able to kiss my wife and babies goodbye. talk about an event that ruins your deep concentration on your navel.
I was a retiree at the tender age of 53, giving up 12 of my best earning years just to save my life - and write great stories that everyone who reads them like; no one wants to publish. Stress, you know. Type A’s seldom learn to handle it when in its grasp.
Pop quiz! Just to see if you have been paying attention. What does my direction, vis-à-vis the River Styx, mean to you? Relax. As in many of our schools today there is no wrong answer̷