His dad left resort work to run three gas stations- two Texaco’s and Chevron- one at Kimball Junction where the car wash is today, another across the street, and one in Park City across from the 7-11. Eventually, his dad added a fourth, in West Yellowstone. He ran that one mostly in the summers.

In non-snow times, Ron and his pals went to the ranch at High Ute. They would groom the horses and ride them up to the beaver ponds. 

Ron credits those early days with having authentic mining structures as friends, that he played on, swung on, and slid on the hooks on cables for the ore cars. This ultimately helped cement his love for, and understand the need for, historic preservation. He bonded with the town’s past in a kinetic way.

Ron’s mother was a nurse for 35 years at the Veterans Hospital in Salt Lake City. Both his parents supported their widowed mothers. His mother’s mother, Dora Lee, was in the Temperance Society in the Baptist Church in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. She divorced her “womanizing, hard drinking” husband and moved her family to Evanston, Wyoming where her brothers lived. 

In high school Ron was an apprentice for a jeweler. He won a jewelry design award at Skyline High. He graduated and attended Utah State majoring in art, interior design, architecture and French. He “red-shirted” in a Frat house for a year. And after four years, he had held all the offices in that fraternity.

Between his junior and senior year Ron went to France. Mom had said no, but dad said yes. Ron landed in Provence. He loved the light and life in Paris. He came back to Utah for his last year in college, because as Ron says, “as many reasons as you dislike the state, there are many reasons to love it.”

The Providence or “P Town” cherished vacations happened because Ron had a friend with a beach home there. Some of that beauty came with cultural variations walking through town, in twin sweater sets and high heels. Ron loved those beach years.

Back in Utah, Ron worked at the Salt Lake Design Center in the summers. There was a stint at Nordstroms in men furnishings and was a waiter in a restaurant next to the Capitol Theater. 

Jeweler Dick Doty was his mentor starting in 1984, teaching Ron skills which have lasted his long life in Park City. Ron became his apprentice and developed his own unique style. Think David Yurman meets mountain town chic. Dick moved his store to lower Main Street in Park City and named it The Family Jewels. In 1989 Ron bought Dick’s business and created RSB Designs.

In 1991 Ron did a full renovation on the tiny miner’s cabin his family owned in Old Town. Ron added golden oak, brass hardware and re-did everything, including the windows that had been painted shut.

When Sundance ramped up in Park City, Ron was ready. Ron has always loved this magical chapter in Park City, as the world came to us. He volunteered as a crowd liaison, driver, and ticket taker. One year, he even sat behind Glenn Close at the library theater for the film, Orlando, which is still one of Ron’s favorite movies today.

Queer Lounge happened in 2003. The festival created it with the help of former film executive, Ellen Huang. For Parkites, it was a chance to meet visiting talent and be supportive of film. A few days of compressed glamour, beautiful people, and vibrant conversations. Ron sighs remembering the fur coats of mink, beaver, coyote, and even rabbit!

The community conversation that happened after 9-11, fall of 2001, collided with Park City in planning to host the world in winter of 2002 for the Olympics. Police and city folks had to suddenly also be thinking of the possibility of a terrorist attack.

Ron belongs to the Historical Society, (and has been on the board since 1992) where he has helped raise money for the renovation of the museum. These projects have always been close to Ron’s heart. He cares passionately about paint colors and what siding belongs on a building. 

Sometimes he becomes a different character on behalf of the Historical Society. Ron dresses up as the real-life Mother Urban, proprietress of a house of ill repute in the late 1800’s. Mother Urban was a 300-pound woman-with one leg. Her establishment was where The White restaurant sits now on Heber Avenue. Ron’s mom and her elementary school friend, used to dress up and ride on the back of a convertible in the Miner’s Day parade.