My buddy Dan said “Let’s park at Ron’s house.” We were surfing at Silver Strand in Oxnard, California a few years ago. It's a very localized spot; great place to get your tires slashed or your ass beat if you weren't from there. Luckily, Dan was childhood friends with Ron, played t-ball and the likes with him as kids. Ron and Dan surfed there together, so I sorta got grandfathered in without the violent initiations.
Ron is a great guy so it didn’t take much for us to become fast friends. I quickly learned that Ron was a bit of a celebrity, or should I say - Tillman was the celebrity. Remember that skateboarding dog from the late 2000’s? Tillman was Ron’s best friend. I would shoot photos of Ron, Tillman and his other bulldogs at the beach, skimboarding, surfing, skateboarding, you name it.
Sadly, the time came that all pet owners dread, his bulldogs passed away. With the closing of that chapter, Ron made the decision to move to Mexico. It didn’t take long for him to make friends there either. He adopted some street dogs and would send messages every now and again telling me about his escapades. His stories from his new home sounded like he was living the dream, but maybe a bit exaggerated. Then I visited him...
I don’t really know what I was expecting when I called him and asked if I could pay a visit. I mean, I knew he would say yes–we were longtime pals. The part that I wasn’t expecting was that everything was the exact mix of fun and crazy that Ron described.