Tribute to Ronnie Cummins

Tribute to Ronnie Cummins
Tribute to Ronnie Cummins

This week is the one 12 months anniversary of Ronnie’s loss of life. We’re marking this present day by sending a little bit of his life story to the community of people that embrace those that got here to know him personally, and people who, by way of his life’s work, supported him, beloved him and adopted his efforts during the last twenty-six years as Worldwide Director of Natural Shoppers Affiliation, authoring articles, books, enhancing the OCA e-newsletter and earlier than that BioDemocracy Information.

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Ronnie grew up in Port Arthur, Texas, with a loving household in a city with oil refineries and chemical crops the place his father and each one in every of his associates’ fathers labored. He all the time knew he needed to depart the place he grew up, a spot often known as “most cancers alley”. He earned a scholarship to each Rice College and Trinity Faculty of Cambridge College in England. As he discovered himself in Europe, in 1968, his world view was blown aside as he noticed college students rising up in Paris towards the Vietnam warfare. He was impressed and when he returned house he joined the anti-war motion right here within the US. The truth that 3 million folks died in that warfare remained unfathomable to him for the remainder of his life; he felt that younger folks actually wanted to know extra about what occurred throughout that point and the way the protest motion helped to cease that tragic warfare. He was pleased with being a part of the counterculture, he beloved sporting a rasta hat within the airport as a result of he stated folks smiled at him. He performed guitar had an exquisite singing voice and beloved Dylan, John Prine, Van Morrison, and Lennon.

He was a scholar foremost, he devoured books and I suppose was a information junkie in his areas of examine, a few of which he coined in our OCA byline “Campaigning for Well being, Justice, Regeneration, Democracy and Peace”.  He researched a variety of points, however made it his mission to work with others to interrupt down silos between our particular person heartfelt causes, urging us all to attach the dots and unite the motion. He usually reiterated the significance of working with folks we could not agree with on all points, to say our energy and do what we are able to to make a change in a world we’re at odds with on so many fronts.

He had a present in each his talking and writing to take sophisticated subjects and make them simple to know, by no means utilizing a pocket book or powerpoint, the info and figures would roll off his tongue and he was like a preacher on the pulpit passionately sharing the excellent news and unhealthy amidst typically scary eventualities. Whether or not on stage or along with his written phrases all the time emphasizing, we’ve got the ability to show issues round!

Most individuals know Ronnie as a robust, passionate strategist and fighter who would by no means again down within the quest for reality and justice in our work. His legacy will dwell on in his intensive physique of written work, and for all he has accomplished to combat towards the companies and authorities that’s profiting off the struggling of individuals. I’m honored to have labored facet by facet with him serving to to construct the OCA along with our group of activists. I’m proud to tackle the position of Nationwide Director of the OCA and work with our devoted staff to proceed our mission and work. I assumed it could be good to share a little bit of the story on the private facet of his life many individuals by no means noticed.

As a lifelong companion in each our work and household life Ronnie impressed me, took care of me, inspired me to be one of the best particular person I could possibly be. I bear in mind telling my associates that I knew in 1981, that he was the one I’d spend the remainder of my life with as a result of he had probably the most infectious chortle ever and he made me extra joyful than I might have imagined. Over time I found the depth of real love and thanked my fortunate stars for a way lucky I used to be to spend my life with somebody so loving, beneficiant, compassionate, accountable, curious, devoted, grateful, enjoyable, sentimental, fiery, romantic and humorous! He was an exquisite father and infrequently stated it was the best pleasure of his life to boost our son Adrian who modified our world in so some ways, as youngsters do.

He beloved the custom of household gatherings and any form of celebration, and in all of our years collectively, I don’t bear in mind as soon as the place he stated, “I’m not up for it, go forward with out me.” He all the time needed to be within the full stream of life, whether or not it’s our after work every day summer season swims within the Baptism River in Minnesota or our lengthy every day hikes on the farm faculty in Mexico or a gathering of group, household or associates. For him, apart from his ardour for studying, what fed his core was being near nature and he made it a precedence to spend as a lot time as potential within the northern woods, desert or within the water of untamed locations. He all the time got here again from the various conferences he attended brimming with information of how nice it was to attach with and study from different activists and associates stuffed with inspiration for the following steps in campaigning.

I by no means stopped being struck along with his manners and consideration, nearly all the time coming house with a cheery greeting, good story, bearing flowers or solutions for an outing and when pulling out the guitar to sing, he would begin with a love track directed to me earlier than launching into the protest and folks music for me or folks gathered.

Ronnie was all the time assured in my talents and respectful of my perspective. Our private lives and work had been interdependent by selection as a result of we beloved our work. There was all the time a lot to debate and study, usually extra motion than what we actually needed, given the ups and downs of working non-profit organizations, however we frequently stated, “No less than it’s by no means boring!” Whether or not engaged on messaging of controversial points, struggles with fundraising, errors made, victories to have fun, constructing friendships with our staff and superb activists within the motion, all of it saved our lives very important and fulfilling.

One factor he usually stated to me once I would get involved about how we had been going to handle funds, censorship, criticism or battle on this planet of working a company like OCA, he would say, “sweetie, we’re doing one of the best we are able to and that’s all we are able to do”.

Shortly earlier than Ronnie died, he informed some shut associates “I did good”. I do know he had religion in himself and that he knew he had accomplished all he might on this lifetime to make this world a more healthy, extra peaceable place for generations to come back. I suppose that’s as a lot as we are able to ask for once we go away this earthly aircraft; to know in our hearts we’ve got accomplished all we are able to on this life with the time we’re given.

So, signing off with a want for all studying this, to have the ability to know you might be doing the “greatest you’ll be able to and that you’re doing good”. Ronnie’s spirit is true there beside you in your journey to do good on this lifetime.

Thanks for all of your assist and I’ll carry on preventing the nice combat as Nationwide Director of the OCA with the assistance of our proficient and devoted employees and all of you!

With appreciation and solidarity,

Rose Welch

OCA Co-founder and Nationwide Director

Take a look at Ronnie’s collected works web page to find out about his imaginative and prescient

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