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Columnist: Great men make lasting changes

Funerals. Yes, I go to them, but I do not like them.

Last week I went to Mr. Ron Snider’s funeral. He was a good friend and a good man.

Ron and I went quail and dove hunting a lot of years ago and we loved to watch the dogs work. Yes sir, we were both living the good life, enjoying the outdoors with great dogs and good friends. He was a man that saved thousands of lives.

How did he do that? He told me the story how on a country road there was a bad wreck and they picked the man up in the ambulance, a hearse — yes, you haul dead people in them.

They started an IV for the person because he had lost a lot of blood and he held the bottle IV out the window as high as he could get it with his left arm so gravity would do its job on the way to the hospital.

After that day he said there must be a better way and he bought a van, cut the roof off, raised it 18 inches and put it back on so that in the future the person in the back had a place to hang the IV and work on that person.

Yes, he was one of the leaders in making the ambulance look like it does today. He was a wonderful business man and was partners with a very smart man, Mr. Gene Bunion, who was his vice president. He had the ability to listen to Mr. Snider and make it happen in the shop.

Together they were a great team. Both men enjoyed their families, eating catfish with their friends and spending time in Troup County. Southern Ambulance was the leader and pioneer in what we think of as the ambulance today.

Ron was funny. He said he could always tell when a little country was going to start a war. I asked him how, and he said when they call you up to place an order for 100 ambulances with four-wheel drive it is a sure sign.

Sure enough, two months later I saw his ambulance on TV. You guessed it, a war was breaking out — true story.

Great men!

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Jerry Johnson

Contributing columnist

Jerry Johnson is president of First Realty of LaGrange.