Question from: Gail G—-
What did Ryan do for fun?
Answer from: Ira
Ryan did not have fun in a traditional sense. Initially we would walk together the few miles into the center of Mapleton when the air would begin to cool off in the evenings. This was a leisurely and fun event where we would share ideas while enjoying the physical surroundings and each others company. A book and record store that we often frequented provided entertainment for us and new thoughts to share. Many times afterwards we would wander over to a local ice cream parlor to get some “goodies” as he would call it. Then with our palates satisfied it was off to La Champagne bar and restaurant for an evening of socializing. Ryan smoked cigarettes, drank his ice tea, and interacting with an interesting variety of both men and women. He enjoyed talking and sharing with most people regardless of their social status. I would say that this was a type of fun for him. Finally, late in the evening as the night began to wind down we would walk back home together and share our thoughts again. Sometimes as a change of pace we would take in a movie together such as “An American Werewolf In London” when it first came out. Eventually, when he finally had his own place to live, he would watch television or a movie but this was not on a frequent basis except for the news. I recall that he enjoyed watching the TV series Moonlighting with Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd with his girlfriend at the time. The comedy and drama series was a fun way that they would share together. He very much liked the God Father movie and its sequel watching them when they came out on videos. He watched these films many times over and over as he did the film Patton. Perhaps this was not fun in a usual sense but he did get enjoyment by watching them. In a way I think that he saw part of his life in these movies especially his identifying with the hard decision making process. Maybe this put perspective on the decisions that he also had to make and provided a mental release for him. Also, without a doubt, watching the academy awards were a must on his list. This was because he knew so many people in the industry and enjoyed the humor of host Billy Crystal.
Driving his car or truck was a recreational form of fun for Ryan. He always had something to look into about town and the driving helped him to process his thoughts. It seemed therapeutic in reducing the stress that existed within his mind. For a short period he played some songs of the “old crooners” on the car radio or at his apartment. This further helped him to relax. Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. were a couple of his favorite singers. All together, this period of listening to music either in the car or apartment did not last long, maybe a couple of years at the most. Mostly there was silence where he seemed to have the most fun and enjoyment when he was driving in his car just “boogieing about” as he would say.
When we first met Ryan did not play any sports or go to the gym. He had no allegiance to any team and did not participate directly or indirectly through television in any team or individual sports. It was not until he married M—– his sixth wife that he started going to the gym. He did however talk quite a bit about enjoying the lake where his father lived when he was a younger man. These he said were his boating days when he liked to water ski and swim
Eventually Ryan married Jan and shortly afterwards they moved to Las Vegas, Nevada for a few years. He shared with me how he liked to do some light gambling. I remember one visit in Vegas when we went out to the casinos together. I asked him why he like to gamble and in a matter of fact manner he shared, “It is just like any other kind of investment except that it is a very high risk investment.” Eventually he stopped gambling because he kept track of their winnings and losses.Turns out, it was a bad investment. Finally he and Jan moved to North Carolina. Together they enjoyed camping trips in the nearby mountains and streams. It seems he was especially fond of befriending and feeding the wild animals especially the racoons.