The Fighter

I'd like to congratulate my friend Ralph Strangis on one of the most shocking, ballsy moves I've seen a guy of his stature make. When you have a chair like he has — one that comes with a great paycheck, an all-access pass to some of the world's greatest assets & a touch of celebrity — it's hard to not be handcuffed to it.

It takes massive guts to be in control of your destiny. It's no small thing to muster up the courage to walk away. And on your terms.

The Ralph we love on Dallas Star broadcasts, as we've heard many nights, is a poet and brilliant storyteller. 

Ralph reciting Ernest Thayer's  Casey at the Bat .

Ralph reciting Ernest Thayer's Casey at the Bat.

A couple years ago, we sat in my studio & he recited poems and told me hilarious stories while I shot photos of him. Good light & good company. What more does one need in life? 

Not much.

As we were wrapping up, he looks at me says, "Hey, I brought my gloves. You mind if we get a few of me boxing."

Ralph's a fighter. He's fought addiction. He's fought for a team that wasn't very good for a very long time. And he fights for his friends.

Last summer, I was in a pinch. I had an actor fall through at the last minute. I didn't know who to call or what to do. I called Ralph.

"I don't have second thoughts. Character defect. For you — I'll do it."

That's how he responded when I offered him an out.

Poet. Storyteller. Fighter.

But most of all: friend.

This is going to be one of those news stories that will have the Stars universe in tears. Literal tears. People love Ralph. He's been invited into the homes of Stars fans for 27 years, for Pete's sake. People feel like they know him, in part because he's done a remarkable job of telling the story we care about hearing. 

We — me included — will miss that voice.

But here's the deal. It takes guts to control your destiny. As Ralph said, this isn't "The End", it's intermission. Act two is around the corner. He's not done telling stories.