By Allen David
Ron O. Loveridge has given 36 years of political service to Riverside—18 as a member of its city council, 18 as its mayor . . . that adds up to 36, right? Anyway, it’s a lot of time—and OK, we’ll ratchet up and conjoin the modifier to a helluvalot of time. Happy? Wonderful! But no matter how all those years are described, whatever they add up to—and I’m pretty sure it’s 36—is still a finite number. Nonetheless, that apparently does nothing to constrain the number of fawning things people feel compelled to say about Loveridge as he prepares to retire from local political life. It’s infinite! Likewise, there apparently is no limit to the pages of news space The Press-Enterprise will budget in its strange determination to publish every sycophantic word that could possibly be interpreted as tribute to Loveridge, no matter what suckup may have uttered it. Well, not me. Not that I don’t like Loveridge . . . or love Likeridge, for that matter. I’m sure I probably like Loveridge—there’s no doubt I love his name . . . Ron, that is—as much as the next guy who struggles with intimacy issues. But I have boundaries, and I know them—for example I know that my boundaries are often just empty and arbitrary claims I make, strategies I use to escape from situations that threaten to open channels of honest communication with other people. So there, I said it! Just like that! The breakthrough! After all these years! Goddamn you, Ron O. Loveridge! How do you do it! God bless you, Ron O. Loveridge! Please, forget I asked.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29
Permit me to humbly announce The Rundown’s Tribute to Ron O. Loveridge. It’s the least I can do. No, really. I’ve got this thing figured out so that it won’t require anything beyond the bare minimum of effort. I’m actually getting close to the limit now. Allocating such negligible space works out well, though, because I’m also allocating a correspondingly trifling amount of to gather tributes to The Loveridged One . . . and whaddya know, here’s yet another batch in The Press-Enterprise! As usual, they are long and unfocused and infinite in number—perfect for lifting out and paring down to some point where they might actually make one . . . a point, that is, even if it isn’t exactly the point whoever said or wrote them was trying to make. Jeez, now I’m getting boring. Call it the Ron O. Loveridge Effect.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 30
After skimming The Press-Enterprise’s long list of various things that various people I have never heard of have to say about Ron O. Loveridge as he prepares to step down as chief executive of Riverside so that he can devote the rest of his life to doing . . . various things . . . it is obvious that Ron O. Loveridge has signified various things to various people—especially people I have never heard of . . . and can now pray that never varies.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1
Today’s Tribute to Ron O. Loveridge comes from Kathy Allavie, a member of the Riverside School Board (via The Press-Enterprise). To her, Ron O. Loveridge, was life’s great cartographer. I mean, I’m assuming that’s why she told The Press-Enterprise that the Loveman “really has put Riverside on the map.”
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2
Today’s Tribute to Ron O. Loveridge comes from Dell Roberts, an Eastside Community leader (via The Press-Enterprise). Roberts who found in Ron O. Loveridge the open-minded grasp that is key to encountering the puzzle that paralyzes, which is to say all puzzles, which is to say the path to Truth, which is to say Time, which is to say Time-And-A-Half, if you’re lucky enough to belong to a union. That’s got to be why he told The Press-Enterprise that “He has always been willing to listen to a problem, even when we both knew he could not fix it.”
MONDAY, DECEMBER 3
Today’s Tribute to Ron O. Loveridge comes from Chuck Beaty (via The Press-Enterprise), a Riverside politician, who thus still has to watch what he says—about Ron O. Loveridge, about anybody or anything, for that matter—so that he doesn’t say anything that won’t somehow be self-servingly helpful—or at least not hurtful—to his next campaign. That’s the only conceivable explanation for Beaty telling The Press-Enterprise, “Most unforgettable was finding ourselves under a table, side by side, on October 6, 1998 with bullets flying everywhere. The fact that we all survived was reflected in the headline of The Press-Enterprise’s special edition: ‘A Miracle on Main Street.’”
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 4
Today’s Tribute to Ron O. Loveridge comes from Lawrence T. Geraty, who is compelled by an unquenchable craving for status to always write this below his name: “president emeritus, executive director, LSU Foundation, La Sierra University.” Guy’s gotta be a load, right? Anyway, Loveridge tolerantly helped poor Larry maintain the illusion that he was significant. Otherwise, why, why, why this? “Ron Loveridge was running for mayor and I heard him give a campaign speech in the Mission Inn where he commented on Riverside’s higher ed treasures in UCR and RCC. I went up to him, introduced myself, and told him that La Sierra University and California Baptist College (at that time) were also treasures that he needed to brag about. For the last 20 years whenever he’s talked about Riverside’s higher ed assets, he’s never failed to mention all four institutions!”