[private] Who & Where From?: Captain Ron Ryan is a classic West End character. Born in New Jersey, he studied at University of Massachusetts graduating with BS Forestry and Masters in Civil Engineering. He moved to Colorado where he lived for 20some years, and worked as an appliance repair man. But Ron’s passion is caving. As a child he went with his grandfather to a commercial cave in central Pennsylvania and since then his fascination with underground never stopped. In 1992 he arrived on Roatan by accident – he got off the plane too soon, thinking he was in southern Belize. Hmmm.
What & Why: Captain Ron doesn’t wear a watch, but he always wear a bandana that is now his trademark. “Bandanas catch a lot of sweat when you are caving,” justifies his choice of headpiece Ron. “My head is bald so wearing a hat is way to hot.” He wears a green necklace around his neck, a gift from Joy Bethany, a once first mate at the Roatan based luxury yacht Aries. “Green is a good color for me and it was a gift,” says Ron who seems to be wearing exclusively green. His green and blue palm tree themed shirt was $3.25 at a Phoenix used clothes store. His green bandana was $2.50, another purchase at a Phoenix store. His only non-green clothing item are his blue shorts that have been purchased so long ago, Captain Ron doesn’t remember where, or how much he paid for them. His woven glass holders were a purchase in one of the islands ‘Guatemalan’ stores – $1.50. While Hawaiian shirts are almost a camouflage clothing for the green island foliage of Roatan, the shirts are more conspicuous at West End drinking establishments. “I like flowered shirts in the evening,” says Captain Ron whose Roatan closet has between 50 and 60 colored shirts. Captain Ron mostly picks them up at second hand stores for $2-$3 a piece. Florida, Phoenix, Houston, Vermont… are on Captain Ron’s shopping trail and all seem to have Hawaiian shirt aficionados willing to part with their flowery attire. Shorts and Teva sandals complete Captain Ron’s island look. “I get about two years everyday wear out of them,” he says.
In Conclusion: Captain Ron had a rough winter and is focusing on positive thinking and good diet. Doctors describe him as a man with a body of a thirty-five-year-old… except for one organ. While Captain Ron is not a sailor, his nickname originates from a West End bartender naming him Captain Ron after finding some similarities to Kurt Russell, the star of the 1992 “Captain Ron” movie. While Kurt Russell went on to do other movies, Ron kept the “captain” title permanently, expanded his shirt and bandana collection and… the rest is history. [/private]