Ronald Tammen was born on July 23, 1933, which means that, if he’s still alive, he’d be 84 today. In celebration, I thought we’d steer clear of our usual topics of why and how he disappeared, and share a few stories that his friends and family members have told me—stories that, if Ron were still here, seated at a table with his cake aglow, would elicit that winning grin of his. Many articles have been written about Ronald Tammen over the years, yet very little information has been revealed concerning who Ron was as a human being. I hope the following stories, as told by the people who were fortunate enough to know him personally, will help.
P.S. These tapes were originally created for my own use, and not with the intent of playing them for the public. As a result, I apologize for my less-than-stellar interview style accompanied by the occasional clattering dishes, background voices, country-western tunes, wind gusts, etc. Needless to say, broadcast journalism was never my calling.
For accessibility purposes, a transcript is provided below each audio clip.
Ron Tammen’s prom date
Ronald Tammen’s date to the senior prom, a woman by the name of Grace, describes the qualities she liked best in Ron. (1:00)
Prom date transcript
Ron Tammen’s fraternity brother
A fellow Delt describes two reminiscences he has of Ronald Tammen:
— a happy memory of Ron playing the bass in the Delt house while people sang along. (0:43)
Delt transcript 1
— a rather frightening memory of when Ron and he hitchhiked from Miami University to Akron/Cleveland. (0:44)
Delt transcript 2
Ron Tammen’s fellow bandmate
A former Campus Owl discusses how good the band was when he and Ronald Tammen were members as well as some of the perks they enjoyed by playing in one of the best campus bands in the country. (2:23)
Campus Owl transcript
Ron Tammen’s counselee in Fisher Hall
Former Fisher Hall resident Richard Titus tells how the dead fish wound up in Ron Tammen’s bed. (1:41)
Richard Titus transcript
Ronald Tammen’s older brother John talks about what a natural-born salesperson Ron was. (2:04)
Ronald Tammen’s sister Marcia discusses how much fun Ron was as a big brother. (0:46)
Ronald Tammen’s brother Robert, the youngest of the Tammen siblings, describes a distant memory of when the entire family was together. (0:44)
Happy birthday, Ronald Tammen! Here’s hoping we have a much clearer picture of what happened to you by the time you turn 85.
I noticed John called him “Ronald” twice when describing him in high school days, then “Ron” in the final mention of him in his college days/disappearance. Not sure what to make of that, but it jumps out at you if you read the transcript as you listen. It’s rather sad to hear him choke up before he can get the word “disappearance” out.
I know what you mean. John seemed more formal when referring to his brother. And that last part of the tape is especially moving. I guess that’s why I wanted to post a few of those tapes—when you can hear someone’s voice, the story becomes so much more real and relatable.