Easton, PA: July 11, 2000
Ron is not one to take his campaigning lightly. Recently, as shown in this rare photograph above, Ron made an under cover visit to a factory in rural Easton, Pennsylvania to find out for himself the working conditions and lifestyles of the average American. Disguised without his mustache and under the guise of "Ron the traveling lathe machinist", he slipped seamlessly into the working class of rural America.
"Those guys were a bunch of nutbags," Ron explained, "but I really felt a deep sense of love and comradery.. like as if I was an integral part of some greater machine. Could somebody please get me another Scotch?" While fulfilling his duties at the plant, he accidentally left the chuck key in the lathe which caused many explosions and a few serious injuries. Fully expecting expulsion from the factory, Ron was surprised to find that the other workers did not shun him for his mishaps, but rather invited him to "boogie down".
"There was this guy Lucien in there (he's the guy with the green helmet) who really got to me. He just kept screaming to me how cool I was and that it was about time somebody livened up the place. Tony (on the right) was throwing trash on the lathe fires, dancing around, and doing strip teases while Mike (on the left) jumped around like a monkey and spat lug wrenches and drill bits at people around the shop."
"Now I know what its like out there working out in the real world. These people work hard, and they play hard. I've really been inspired to go out and do more of this. Hell, they didn't even notice that I was wearing an auto mechanic smock which was obviously in violation of the factory's strict dress code."
Ron: a real candidate for a real people. He needs your support and your vote in the upcoming election. Do it for yourself and for your country; as the saying goes, "enough jibba jabba, vote for Ron, crazy fool!"
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: July 7, 2000
"Why should I care/If I have to cut my hair?" Those were the first words out of Pete Townshend's mouth at the Philadelphia stop on the Who's summer tour, and they hammered home the incongruity of the event.
"Why should America care about its public transportation?" queried Ron to the press corps before the legendary rockers took the stage at Fidelity Hall. "I took the bus here," said Ron. "How did you come?"
Unfortunately, the answer was obvious. The surrounding parking lots were overflowing with the cars that brought the fans, their alcohol, their food, and their canisters of nitrous.
Ron continued, "We have to make public transport more appealing to the youth of today...so they will be more apt to utilize its services. That's why I like what Philadelphia is doing so much."
In 1997, The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) -- which serves greater Philadelphia -- started a unique program to involve youth and other members of the community in designing and painting buses. SEPTA contributes the buses and paint, and members of the community donate their artistic talent to create the designs. The program is called Magic Bus and having The Who's music as the backdrop was no accident for this savvy politician.
The Who song "Magic Bus" was released in 1968 and placed well in both the U.K. (#26) and U.S. (#25 Billboard) charts. It is the story of a lad who takes the public bus to and from his girlfriend's house.
Although from England, The Who take a great interest in American politics. Ron had a chance to sit down with two of the seminal rock group's core members -- Pete Townshend (guitar) and Roger Daltry (tambourine & vocals) -- before the gig.
"Pete and Roger were great," beamed Ron. "They really understood my passion for this. They even gave me some 'roofies' to clear my head."
Since its inception, Magic Bus has covered over 175 buses with works of art by volunteers of all ages: students, scout troops, senior citizens, community groups, and individual artists. Their paintings have become a source of community pride, all the while helping to deter graffiti and improving the appearance of the buses. With Ron's urging, the Hall of Fame rock 'n' roll band decorated another bus for SEPTA.
After the sound check, Townshend, Daltry, bassist John Entwistle, and the stage musicians and roadies all came out to paint a bus. "It was bloody phenomenal," gushed Daltry. "A real cob-knocker."
Added Townshend, "The boys really took a liking to the painting and all the fumes. I think we did a real smash-up job on the yank bus."
Ron agreed, "Look at what they did...it's amazing."
Ron got the photo opportunity he desired and the band proudly posed in front of their masterpiece. Playing heavily on the double Magic Bus theme, The Who returned to their '60s roots -- psychedelia was the dominant genre.
"I couldn't be happier," smiled Ron. "I hope this promotes awareness not only of this marvelous program, but of the service SEPTA can provide with its extensive bus routes. America could take a lesson."
Today the Magic Bus program is one of the largest, ongoing community-based public art programs of its kind. It is truly a unique folk art collection with a wide variety of styles and themes.