He first visited Fire Island in 1956, when his uncle took him to Cherry Grove , where he owned a house on Doctors Walk with his partner since 1948. His uncles partner who was Spanish returned to his family as the couple grew older. When his uncle grew older and could not travel to the Island anymore Ron offered to take care of the house. Thus began a love affair with a barrier beach known as Fire Island. Soon like many he discovered the Pines. With larger lots, and a larger amount of beautiful men, he knew this was home. Years later he would leave his sunny apartment in Miami beach on February 28th so he could arrive in the Pines on March first to be here on the first day of garbage pick up. He cared and loved the community so he wanted everything to go smoothly, and that all the garbage bins in the harbor were removed so when people started arriving they would see what they had left. Ron watched over every light bulb in the harbor. He was the liaison with the Police, Fire Department , and every organization in the Pines. He never said no to anyone. That was Ron. Saying he was helpful was an understatement. He made the wheels turn for every aspect of the community while always keeping his cool, and tan.
As Democratic Chairman he organized the voting and made sure everyone in the Pines had transportation on Election Day. He supervised both the garbage and Ferry contract negotiations. He implemented getting a liquor license for the Pines Party. In fact he over saw construction of every party. Whether it be on the beach or Community Center. He personally packed up the old Community Center into trailers while the new one was being built. He did this twice having done it when the community house was renovated over 30 years before.
He became FIPPOA President in the 1983-84 season. He attended every meeting in Brookhaven concerning the Pines. He worked hard establishing a harmonious relationship between the Pines and Brookhaven. He counted the chairs for the Jewish High Holidays every fall. He would literally open the community in March and close it in November. His work in the community inspired me to begin this project. Early on I got in touch with his niece Donna Shubert who donated many items that are now scanned in our archives. His dedication and commitment lives on in our mission to archive the History of the Pines.
I was given a full interview of my Uncle Ronnie which was suppose to be in the movie ocean meets sky. For some reason which didn't bother him because he was a man that didn't need fame or notoriety was cut from the movie! Here is an 11 minute piece from the interview. He passed away10 years ago this Saturday (tomorrow) & sorely missed by everyone in this community and for me well the pain is overwhelming! Please enjoy this small clip in honor of the beloved Ron McKenna. I wanted to try & ask Pj McAteer if he would allow us to have a night to show the full interview at Sip & twirl one night for all to see but maybe that would not be appropriate. So if anyone is interested in seeing the entire interview which is no more 30 minutes please contact and I would be honored and so touched to show you!I miss you so much Uncle Ronnie it hurts and there are times I need your strength advise to deal with personal issues that arise but your niece has McKenna in her and I am standing with my values, common sense, manners, morals, ethics and respect that you and grandpa McKenna instilled in me! Tomorrow I will be celebrating your your memory and most of all your love!
Posted by Donna M. Schubert on Friday, July 14, 2017