I was shocked and saddened to learn that Ran McNeil had passed away last month.
He was a pillar of the community, legend in his own time. Back in the old days I knew him pretty good.
Over coffee one day, early 90′s, he explained to me the details of the hyper-nuanced real estate deal that he was working on.
He had been making news with his latest project. He had begun construction on a road through a state forest in Weston because he had taken possession of a property smack dab in the middle of such forest. A reporter from the Westport News approached us.
“Are you Ran McNeil?” the reporter asked.
“Yes,” he responded.
“How far are you going to take this battle with the town”, the reporter asked.
“All the way to Redding,” he responded.
“Can I quote you on that?” she asked.
“Yes, please do,” he confirmed.
Ran’s voice had it’s own tonal quality, rough. The look in his eyes was like steel. You could tell he was always thinking. He was smarter than smart. He had a unique way of telling you like it is.
But beyond his tough/smart exterior he was actually one of the nicest people. He had helped out more than a few of my friends. He even listened to my cockamamie ideas and helped me think things through on more than one occasion.
Westport/Weston won’t be the same without him. My heart goes out to his family.