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People of NKY: Ron Padgett finds his place in Covington, and he’s totally immersed in community

By Ginger Dawson
NKyTribune contributor

Ron Padgett leads an interesting life. This is an understatement.

After having grown up in Norwood, Ohio he took off as a young adult to the glitz and glamour of New York City in the late 1980s. Club kids were all the rage and Susanne Bartsch, queen of the nightlife of that era, was holding court at clubs all over town.

Ron Padgett with his friend and companion, Jackie Collins.

It was a heady era in New York, and Ron, with a drive to get out and be a part of it and not in anyone’s description a wallflower, was in the thick of it. He picked up networking skills, connected with people, and had one of the times of his life.

It was during this time, that Ron began a 20-year career in event planning. Weddings, birthdays, engagement parties… you name it. He spent 13 years in NYC, and then, when change beckoned, he decided to strike out for new territory and climate. He took his event planning skills to Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was after this run of roughly four years that he turned his attentions back to his home town of Cincinnati. It was time to come home.

Looking for a neighborhood to settle in, one day in his search, he was driving on I75 and missed his Cincinnati exit. He took the next one and it put him right off into the middle of the Mainstrasse Village. This was new turf. He wasn’t familiar with Covington. He looked around and fell in love. The intimate character of the neighborhood reminded him of some of the same types of places in New York City. That was it for him. He has been here for 14 years.

Ron loves Covington. He loves the architecture, the abundance of colorful characters, and the fact that he can walk to some of the Greater Cincinnati area’s finest restaurants.

One of Ron’s still life paintings.

Over the past few years, Ron has pursued a successful career as a Realtor, a perfect transition for him professionally. He finds it satisfying. He states that the secret to his success is his consideration and care for his clients.

Once, when he was showing some clients a dark, creepy old house, he came upon a dark room that he had to use his cell phone light to navigate. Upon scanning the room in search of a switch, he spotlit an eight-foot Komodo Dragon!! Everyone screamed! Upon further investigation (the dragon didn’t move a muscle), they discovered it was taxidermy! A few hearts stopped, and needless to say, the house didn’t sell.

When Ron is not showing and selling houses, he enjoys designing and sewing costumes. This talent, combined with his past career in event planning has led him to spearhead and manage Covington’s annual Halloween Event, which, this year, was the “All Hallows Ball” at Commonwealth Bistro. He wants Halloween to become the reason for one of Covington’s signature holiday events.

Genealogy is an ongoing interest for him, and he cites one ancestor of a particularly noteworthy pedigree: His 12th great-grandfather, William Paget, was the English Royal Court advisor to Henry VIII, Edward VI and Elizabeth I. This must provide the inspiration for some of Ron’s costume ideas.

Ron in one of his costumes with his portrait, painted by Alex Ziegler.

He also enjoys painting. Portraiture, still life’s and abstracts are his subjects; he is currently exploring acrylics.

He shares his beautifully decorated historic home in the Mainstrasse with his pooch, and companion, Jackie Collins. Daily, he posts a photo of Jackie on Facebook with the caption “Good Morning Jackie Collins.”

Ron is a committed member of the community and volunteers a lot of his time to participate on several boards and commissions. He is a member of the Kenton County Planning and Zoning Commission and is on various task forces for Kenton County and the City of Covington, to reference a few.

He has chaired fundraisers for the Cincinnati Symphony, the Cincinnati Opera, and “Twilight in the Gardens” for the Baker Hunt Art & Cultural Center.

He is on the board of the Covington Lady’s Home and chairs the annual gala.

He confesses a secret talent: He can disco roller skate! Which surprises no one.

Over the course of his life, one of the important lessons Ron has learned is to “not sweat the small stuff.” He stresses the importance of learning the art of letting go. He did offer, however, one small regret that still rankles—he wishes he would have done something better with his hair in the eighties.

When asked for a quote that would represent his philosophy for living, he offered this: “Life is hilarious, don’t be afraid to laugh at it.”

Good advice!

Ginger Dawson will be writing about the People of NKY — the neighbors you need to know and people you need to meet and understand. The feature will appear periodically at the NKyTribune. If you have ideas for subjects, please share them with Ginger at ginger@fuse.net.

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