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Ronald Lucien "Jr." Poynter, Sr
Birth: ???. 17, 1935
Harlan County
Kentucky, USA
Death: Sep. 5, 1997, USA

Note: Someone just asked me again why my father's month of birth is blank...it basically comes down to my father never had a birth certificate, and he was only 'registered' with a birthday when he was incarcerated at a young age. He told me that he had never been sure of his actual birth information, and that when he was asked for legal purposes, he said "December" only because he was a fifteen year old kid that thought December was a good month to choose because of Christmas. The 17th was 'pretty solid', according to Dad, but I don't know why he thought this...but that's why the date itself is listed. Like everything about him, though - there are still questions, and he'd love that! =)

Also, a big THANK YOU to site friends Jennifer and Jimmy Fry for the restoration of the photo of Dad and Ron on the road, taken in late 1961 or early 1962. I have literally hundreds of photos that need repair or restoration, and I truly appreciate Jennifer taking the time to do this for me, and in Dad and Ron's memories.


Now:

Jr. Poynter knew who Lenny Bruce, Bobby Kennedy and Jack Kerouac were, and what all three individuals meant to Freedom - whether freedom of speech, freedom of political choice or freedom of the road. His life was completely what he wanted and chose it to be, from day to day, and this fact worked both for and against him; as his daughter, I am grateful for how he lived, and what he was not afraid to try, during his years on this earth. He was one of the most loyal friends you could ever have, and he'd give a stranger his last five dollars; when he realized that I would make a career from writing about his life, his exploits and what it taught his children, he expressed doubt about some of the times we went through with him. To quote Dorothy from "Wizard of Oz", when telling of her trip over the rainbow - and I truly believe this - "...and what I remember is that some of it wasn't very nice, but - some of it was beautiful."

My father loved Hank Williams Sr., Johnny Cash (whom he drove all night to meet, loading us kids and Mom into the car, never thinking that Johnny might not want to meet US...and Johnny and June DID meet us, and welcome us into their home), George Jones, Merle Haggard, Vern Gosdin and Jimmie Rodgers ('The Singing Brakeman'), and every year on the anniversary, we play all those singers, closing with Jimmie Rodgers' words, "...I haven't got a nickel, not a penny to my name, I'm a thousand miles away from Home...but I'm waitin' for a train."

From a recently discovered manuscript, written by my mother, Jeannie: "Jr. told me from the moment we met that we were meant to be together; I skipped work the next day in hope that he would go away. Instead, he got my home address from my boss and showed up on my doorstep; I tried to fake the flu and coughed and wretched as this handsome-as-Hollywood man watched with amusement. When I realized that it wasn't working, I sighed and asked, "Now what?" Jr. looked me in the eye and said, "Now we're together, forever." Being a writer myself, that paragraph rings completely true, and Mom did a wonderful job summing up the next 40 years of life with Jr. Poynter.

I have a folder of my father's letters and thoughts, written immediately after my brother Ron's death; Dad was on 'borrowed time' at that point and literally months from ending up in a waking coma following a brain hemorrhage, something that he would not recover from. The six months between Ron's death and Dad becoming a complete invalid were spent scribbling thoughts down, words, bits of memories - and Dad would ask me, "Will you keep this stuff? Maybe some good will come out of it."

I have kept it all, and much of it would be too private and painful to share on a public site, but I am very proud of my father for realizing, even at a somewhat late point in his life, where his choices had led him, us, anybody fated to get close to us. One brief recollection that I did not have to edit in any way - the truest words are the first ones, in my opinion - is the following piece, that my dad simply titled "Georgia called today":
Georgia called/and I couldn't think about/anything else/for the rest of the day/I walked around and/tried to shake it off/went downtown and talked to Tommy/and the others/told them all about/Georgia calling/Tommy said/ooheee man/you know you're gonna go/and Tucker said/now Jr. why you even hanging round/and we all tried to remember whether/last time if it was/Michigan or St. Louis/but in the end/none of that really/mattered/by nightfall with the moon high over my shoulder/I was on that train to/Macon.
(by Ronald Lucien Poynter, Sr. - all rights reserved)

I feel that this thought specifically addressed that Dad knew who he was, what he was going to do, and that he was both grateful, and weary, of his fate. A small collection of his thoughts that I privately printed in 1997 in his memory was sent free of charge to juvenile delinquency programs and prisons.

A good man with character, and who loved his children, Jr. was cremated, his ashes scattered at his son Ron's grave, in Rochester, Minnesota.

LIGHTING A CANDLE FOR MY FATHER, ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF HIS DEATH

This is not a sure bet on a
Pony, nor a call back to the
Boys in Chicago:
This isn't thunder rolling over
New Orleans,
Where we got in with an empty
Tank, and a couple of names.
This is not what you turned to,
Although that's all you wanted
Once you buried your
Youngest:
It's just me with one foot on
Beelzebub's wing so that,
Even now, you can pack up and
Run, Daddy, run.

--Rhonda C. Poynter (Previously published, all rights reserved)

'Show me a hero, and I'll write you a tragedy." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

NOTE: Many of these images are presently being restored, after my own copies were damaged in a fire; restored images will be published as soon as they are available...I actually have left a couple up as is (even after getting repaired copies for my own albums), because I'm a poet, and really believe that the pictures tell the story - 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Lucien P Poynter (1896 - 1971)
 
 Spouse:
  Anna Jean Ricks Poynter (1935 - 2013)
 
 Children:
  Ronald Lucien Poynter (1960 - 1981)*
 
 Sibling:
  Hubert F Poynter (1921 - 2011)*
  Ronald Lucien Poynter (1935 - 1997)
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Cremated, Ashes scattered.
 
Created by: Rhonda C. Poynter
Record added: Jun 26, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 92648941
Ronald Lucien Jr. Poynter, Sr
Added by: Rhonda C. Poynter
 
Ronald Lucien Jr. Poynter, Sr
Added by: Rhonda C. Poynter
 
Ronald Lucien Jr. Poynter, Sr
Added by: Rhonda C. Poynter
 
 
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- Marilyn H.
 Added: Apr. 19, 2014

- AR
 Added: Apr. 19, 2014

- Allison Ford
 Added: Apr. 19, 2014
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This page is sponsored by: Rhonda C. Poynter

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