Thursday, April 24, 2008

Roger Rodoni

Photo of Rodger Rodoni, taken by Matt Knowles, copied from the Rodoni website.

Roger Rodoni died in car accident by Eel River Sawmills in Fortuna. I’m sorry, but I have no further details. I heard it on Channel 3 after tonight’s news. There should be more details soon.

There are times in a person’s life that a person has to analyze who they are, and how they conduct themselves. When I heard the shocking news that Roger Rodoni was killed in a car accident. My first thought was that a man that I greatly admired had died. My second thought was guilt, because I did not support him in his most recent bid for the position of Humboldt Co Supervisor.

I remember deciding, at the time that I chose who I was going to support, that I would not be disparaging or disrespectful toward Roger at any time or in anyway. I knew that when I chose to support someone else that I could no longer qualify to call myself his friend. Life gives a person choices, and you have to chose your path. Sometimes that means that you have to take a different path from someone that you greatly admire and respect. The paths that Rodger and I took were divergent. I’ve said many times that I liked and respected Roger, and that he would be welcome in my home at anytime. I never changed that opinion of him.

The things that I greatly admired about Roger was his ability to convey his thoughts to someone else, clearly and concisely, and he gave no room for misunderstanding. You always knew where you stood with Roger, because he didn’t mince words. I strongly believe that he loved this county and was trying to do what he thought was best for it. He was a great advocate for the rural way of life and I appreciate him for that. He will be greatly missed by me and many others.
My condolences to those that loved him.

From Times-Standard:
Supervisor Roger Rodoni was killed in a car accident at approximately 5 p.m. today, according to Humboldt County Coroner Frank Jager. The accident involved four cars just north of the Rio Dell Bridge on U.S. Highway 101.
Jager said a California Highway Patrol lieutenant on the scene said Rodoni was not at fault. Another car had crossed over the center line and hit Rodoni's car. After that, two other cars were involved, Jager said.

From Eureka Reporter:

Humboldt County Second District Supervisor Roger Rodoni died in a car crash just after 5 p.m. today, the Coroner’s Office reported.
Rodoni, who was serving his third four-year term on the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, was declared dead at the scene, County Coroner Frank Jäger said. Three cars were involved in the accident that occurred just past the Rio Dell Bridge on northbound U.S. Highway 101.
It was unclear whether anyone was in the vehicle with Rodoni, Jäger said. The California Highway Patrol will provide further details later.


Carol said...

It is very sad and shoking news.

Ernie Branscomb said...

One’s political differences pale into trivial insignificance in comparison to someone being killed or even injured. It’s a good time to analyze who we are, and how we treat people, and what another day might bring us.

I am so glad that I always treated Rodger with the respect that he so rightfully deserved. It gives me shudders to think how I would be feeling about myself if I had ever disrespected Roger. Every day should be a lesson to us all. Treat people like you would hope they treat you.

Anonymous said...

Damn I was going to vote for him, his leadership, or "lack of leadership" as some would say should be a guide for all who enter public life. He really knew the difference between simply a good idea and one which needed his attention. I will miss him representing my interests.

Kym said...

I came on the accident not 20 minutes after it happened. It was horrible. I feel so sorry for his wife seeing that happen.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts and condolences go out to Johanna and the rest of their family.

One small correction, the photo credit should go to Matt Knowles. Roger made it one of the most fun portrait sessions I've done lately. His warmth and humor were evident through out the session.

Ernie Branscomb said...

My oppologies to Matt Knowles and Johanna Rodoni for getting the photo credit confused.

It is a poor time for me to be making mistakes.

The photo credit stands corrected, thank-you Matt.

Eel River Ernie said...

I have just not been able to bring myself to comment over the past two days as the sadness and grief over losing Roger has kind of overwhelmed me. Roger was special in many ways, not only his straightforward manner but in his common sense and grasp of what was and is right. I have shared many a fishing, camping, hunting and travel stories with him over the years. Once or twice (a month) we even had a cocktail or two together at Parlato’s or other unseemly places, i.e.; Native Sons, Fortuna Chamber Mixer or Rotary gathering. Roger and Johanna are special people, down to earth, realistic folks with deep roots in our rural Southern Humboldt culture.

I worked with Roger as part of his campaign committee three times over and as a fellow member of several boards and commissions including HCAOG, HTA and the Fish and Game Commission. His reserved manner, no nonsense approach to problem solving along with his ability to weave an appropriate analogy into a debate added a great deal of humor to quasi serious discussions and settled many a dispute before their start.

Roger was a man of many talents and interests, and some of my favorite conversations with him dealt with his and Johanna’s summer trips to Montana and Wyoming. Most recently, at Roger and Johanna’s recommendation, the wife and I visited the Lewis and Clark exhibition and Charles Russell museum in Great Falls Montana which gave me a lot of insight into Roger’s being and beliefs.

I could go on and on about shared experiences in Canada, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada and elsewhere but one phrase comes to mind that I think kind of sums up folks of Roger’s ilk that I recall from a tour of duty in the our capitol city of Sacramento. Over State Office Building Number 1, across from the State Library and just west of the Capitol, inscribed in granite is the saying from a Samuel Foss poem “Bring Me Men To Match The Mountains” the rest of the poem, stated elsewhere, goes on to say “Bring me men to match my plains: Men with empires in their purpose and new eras in their brains.” To me, Roger was of one of those of whom Samuel Foss spoke.

My heart goes out to Johanna and the family.

Eel River Ernie