Saturday, July 28, 2007

Saying good-bye to Ronda Thompson

Many of you have already heard about Ronda Thompson’s passing on July 11 of this year. I’ve seen several posts about her. As usual, I’m late chiming in, but I couldn’t let her passing go unmentioned, because she was a special, talented woman who died way too young (age 51). But she didn’t pass without leaving her mark, both as an author whose quirky paranormal romances were beloved by many readers, and as a person with a heart as big as Texas.

Ronda was as quirky as her books, with a wicked sense of humor, an infectious laugh, a very feminine appreciation for hunky men, and a general nuttiness and sense of fun that just drew people to her. She often wore outrageous “hippy-style” clothing and big colorful jewelry that fitted her tall frame and flamboyant style. Ronda was . . . well . . . she was Ronda!

One of my favorite stories is the “Ronda Steals a Purse” saga. I believe it was the first time I met Ronda, and her friend and fellow author, Jennifer Archer, and it was 1999. They had come to Dallas for a mini conference and a large group of authors were attending a Waldenbooks book signing at Northeast Mall. We were all seated outside the bookstore, and gabbing and having a great time. Ronda and I had been corresponding online for months, and with this first personal meeting, we were old friends. At one point, Ronda announced to me, “I’m going inside to buy your book.” I was all in favor of that! She stood and went in.

A few minutes later, Jennifer Archer decided to go inside, too, only to discover her purse was gone! Panicked, we looked everywhere. Yep, the purse was gone, probably taken by a sneaky, devious passer by. Jennifer was very distraught, as you might imagine, and security was alerted. Soon we were talking the mall security personnel. Just as they were writing up a report, out walks Ronda with an adorable confused expression. “This isn’t my purse!” she holds up Jennifer’s purse. Well, duh. We hadn’t noticed Ronda’s purse beneath the table—only that Jennifer’s purse was missing. We had a good laugh over that, and I often teased Ronda through the years about being a purse thief.

That’s only one of many wonderful memories I have of her. Over the years, we met at conferences many times, and we’d have a drink and discuss our books, our publishers, our lives. She was always funny, yet sincere and concerned about others. She was warm and had that special vibe that made everyone around her feel good. Being with Ronda was like savoring an ice cream cone on July 4th in the Texas heat.

The lady was special. She’ll live on her entertaining books, and in the warm and fun memories she bequeathed to everyone who knew her.

Ronda, we love you and we miss you.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Hi Cathy,

Unable to sleep tonight and thinking about Ronda. I remember that purse snatching story as if it happened yesterday! She always was a sneaky little thing. I miss her. We need to get together, you, Linda and I.

Hugs,
Jenny Archer