Dr. Ronald Goldstein, a founding member of our club and an
enthusiastic participant in all club activities over the years, died
suddenly and unexpectedly on May 11, 2010. In keeping with our
tradition, the club has made a contribution in Ron's memory to the
charity chosen by his family, the American Heart Association. In the
remarks that follow, I am going to take off my Webmaster hat and speak
simply as a friend who knew Ron very well and loved him dearly.
I met Ron Goldstein for the first time shortly after I bought my 356 in 1998, and the friendship that ensued will always epitomize for me what is best about the hobby we shared. We did a lot of things together, including road trips to neighboring states to knock on doors for John Kerry and Barack Obama and to DC to pick up a rebuilt 356 engine. We caravaned our 356s all over, worked on the cars together and rescued each other when they broke down and stranded us. Through all of this, not just for me but everyone in our circle, Ron was always there with a smile, an offer to help, a story or an invitation to hop in and go for a ride.
No one who knew Ron could have any doubts about what the appeal of owning a 356 was for him. It was the driving. Whether it was on the track at Graatan in his Coupe or on a country road in his Cabriolet, driving a 356 was pure bliss for Ron. He loved the car's sound, its feel, the lightness of its controls, and the view over the hood—especially if that view included another 356, preferably one equipped with wide tires and a bit of negative camber. If you loved those things too, Ron made you feel like a brother.
For the last several years, Ron and I went out to lunch together every Tuesday. The last week of his life was an exception. Ron gave me a call from his dental office at noon on Monday and said, "I've finished up early for the day at work. What say we get some lunch? Why wait till tomorrow?" That was a lucky call for me, because the next morning Ron had his fatal heart attack. We drove up to Highwood and ate at a Mexican restaurant, and afterwards, as usual, we sat in his car in front of my house and shot the breeze. I couldn’t tell you how many hours we logged out there over the years. Our conversations covered every topic under the sun, from the news of the day to the progress the weeds were making in conquering my front yard. We talked about the books we lent each other, the trips all over the world that Ron and Anita took together, the accomplishments of their children, and Ron's other regular lunch dates, at Chuckie Cheese with his granddaughters. We made plans. Those hours are probably what I will miss the most. When I look out my front window, I'll see two old guys sitting in an old car, happily jabbering away the afternoon. I’m so lucky to have been one of them.