Man Climbs Tower, Won’t Come Down Until Family Leaves
By WBØRUR, on the scene
PETALUMA, Calif. – In a surprising move, a local man has taken his family feud to new heights – literally. Sunday, Ronnie Hawkins scaled his 75 foot amateur radio signal tower and vows he’ll stay there until his “get down into my business, never good enough for their daughter” in-laws and “no-good, no-job having, drink all my beer” brother leave his house.
Hawkins, a former production manager for Brach’s Candies, retired to Petaluma’s south side in 1986. He’s been a ham radio operator since 1988.
The feud erupted late Sunday afternoon as the family was planning the traditional Thanksgiving meals for the week. A debate over corn bread dressing versus traditional dressing and fried turkey versus oven-baked sparked the fireworks.
“It became apparent that they were here for the long-haul,” says a surprised Hawkins. “I just didn’t plan on it. When they leave, I’ll come back down to terra firma. Until then, I’m pulling my meals up with a rope tied to this basket.”
“It went downhill quickly,” says visiting mother-in-law Mildred Hayes of Manhattan, Kansas. “He seemed a little prickly at lunch, but later in the day he came totally unwound.”
The brother, Donnie Hawkins of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, sees the glass as half full.
“Until he comes down, I get to keep drinking his beer. And sitting in his recliner.”