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Gary Graham – ROAD TREKKER

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Tackle Talk
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
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Adios mi amigo, Tony Marrón (Oct. 4, 1948 – Jan. 14, 2018)
News of Tony Marrón’s unexpected death on Jan. 14 ricocheted through East Cape like a carelessly fired shotgun, prompting an outpouring of emotional expressions from the community as well as from the many guests who had met him during his 44-year career at Rancho Buena Vista Hotel (RBV).

tonymarron

Marrón’s arrival at RBV followed the fire that had destroyed the kitchen in the early 1970s, coinciding with the completion of the new bar, swimming pool, dining room and kitchen. With the new facilities — plus a fleet of 20 cruisers — the hotel added a staff of 100-plus employees.


With his youthful enthusiasm and willingness to do whatever the assignment required of him, Marrón earned the reputation of being the “go-to-guy” by owners, guests and the ever-expanding group of residents who ultimately flocked to the area; his “can do” attitude to requests, combined with his easy smile and quick solutions to problems served him well.


Marrón was born in Rancho El Cajon, close to Caduano, on Oct. 4, 1948. He married Maria de la Cruz Garcia, and had three sons, Tomas Eduardo, Marco Antonio, Caesar Aaron, and one daughter, Flor.


hehadprobably
Tony Marrón had
probably seen that same sunrise over the Sea of Cortez thousands of times, but that didn’t stop him from leaning against his well-loved beetle and taking a picture of the moment. Adios, Tony. Vaya con Dios.


As his family flourished, so did his job; whatever position he filled at RBV, it was never “just a job” and it evolved into a way of life for him.


Marrón earned the friendship and respect of other families in the area developing their own properties. The Van Wormers, Valdez’s and John Ireland were all part of his growing circle of friends in the community and beyond.


Ray Cannon, who was credited with the early promotion of the area and RBV, spoke of Tony Marrón, admiring the man, his quiet personality and his performance in the hectic ’70s. He praised Marrón as the Walter family’s secret weapon, giving him credit for often keeping the fleet of boats — and sometimes the rancho — running smoothly.


Marrón was there throughout the changes in the management of the hotel. First, the Walters family: the Colonel, son Chuck, to grandson, Mark, 33, the third generation Baja entrepreneur who returned to the hotel in 1979 when his father, Chuck, was stricken with cancer (he subsequently died on May 4, 1981) to assist acting managers Ted Bonney and Mauricio Hermosillo.


During this time, Marrón was one of the familiar faces present to greet the longtime guests as they returned year after year, ensuring their visit remain a family-style event.


During the ’80s, after the frantic growth of the preceding decade, the number of guests leveled out, and into the ’90s, competition increased as the number of hotels and sportfishing fleets grew.


All the while, Marrón’s legion of admirers continued to grow, even as the number of guests declined. In 2007, La Capilla Trailer park was sold and the hotel itself put into escrow with a multi-year purchase option, which ultimately expired in 2011 and Rancho Buena Vista closed abruptly.


Springing back to life with fewer rooms and no dining room/kitchen under the watchful eye of Mark Walters, along with Marrón and his son, Tomas who worked the front desk, plus a few additional employees, the re-born hotel was an instant hit with families from La Paz and Los Cabos who were looking for an inexpensive weekend getaway. Barbeque grills had been strategically placed for the guests to use around the swimming pool.


I looked forward to seeing Tony. He was one of the faces that were “family” to me when I arrived at East Cape. I intended to find time to sit and visit with him -- to listen to his stories of his early years, of the East Cape, of Rancho Buena Vista, of the Ray Cannon/Chuck Connors days. He was on my list of people to interview. I really thought I had more time …


Farewell from Friends:


“So very sorry to hear of Tony’s passing. Part of Baja leaves with him that is for sure. Rest in peace my old friend. My sincere condolences to his family.” ...Richard Shears


“So sad to lose such a good and longtime friend. We went through a lot together. A kinder, more loyal person one could not find.” … Mark Walters


“Tony was a great man who worked his whole life to provide for his family and make sure the guests to the East Cape had a good time. He was a great friend who was never afraid to say ‘I love you.’ I will miss his smile and laugh. The East Cape won't be the same without him.” … Matthew Clifton


“Rest in peace, great friend, Tony Marron, the town will always remember you as what you were — a great hardworking man and good friend!” … Barbara Albright


“Going down to The Ranch was so easy, fun, and what a great place to meet amazing people. Tony always made our stay pleasurable and memorable. His smile would light up the room, and when he'd enter the dining hall at meal time everyone would stop and say, "Tony!" like he was Norm from Cheers. That smile and little giggle he had was so authentic, and what made The Ranch what it was. He will be truly missed.” … Patti & Andy Moulds


Reader Comments

Oh no. This breaks my heart. Kerry and I love Tony and were so looking forward to seeing him in March. Rest in peace you lovely man
Janet


Thanks again, Gary; your knack for verbally encapsulating the characters, and experience, of the E. Cape is impeccable. Though a Spa Buena Vista devotee, my dear friend Matt Clifton introduced me to Rancho, and thusly, Tony. I was sold immediately. His care and heart were infectious. Like you, I regret not visiting more often, not making more of each moment. Saludos y gracias, Tony, and all who preserve Cabo Este.
J. David LeCompte


I visted the ranch about 6 times from 2000 thru 2012. Tony always made sure you were welcome and that you would have a good time. I miss the ranch but more over Tony. He will be missed. RIP my friend and THANK YOU for your contributation to your family and friends. You made the world a much better place
DANNY whiteleather


MY DEAR FRIEND IS MISSING FROM MY LIFE I MET TONY IN SEPT 1979 ON MY FIRST VISIT TO RBV I WAS SENT TO START PFLUEGER TAXIDERMY BUSINESS FROM FLORIDA TONY AND ME BECAME GREAT FRIENDS OVER THE YEARS MANY TIMES HE WOULD HITCH A RIDE WITH ME ON MY MONTHLY DRIVING TRIPS UP TO ENSENADA WHERE HIS MOTHER LIVED ONE TIME HE WAS VISITING ROSARITO PLANT AND SAID HE NEEDED TO GET TO ENSENADA IN A HURRY I OFFERED TO TAKE HIM ON MY MOTORCYCLE WELL AS I INCREASED THE SPEED ON THE TOLL ROAD TO 90 HE STARTED YELLING "I'M GOING TO DIE I'M GOING TO DIE"IT BECAME A GREAT TEASE BETWEEN HIM AND ME FOR YEARS TO COME THERE IS A MISSING PART OF MY HEART FOR SUCH A SPECIAL FRIEND GOD BLESS TONY MARRON RIP BOB MEHRER
BOB MEHRER


He was so awesome and so loved. Rancho will not be the same without him.
Becky & John


When my husband, Ray, and I travel up and down the Peninsula, we sometimes stop at the hotel in Colonet. The manager there is a friend of Tony’s. He always told us to,pass along the warmest greetings. He has been a wonderful host to us throughout the years. Hasty la Vista, amiga!
Karen Hunt


Tony, It is hard to imagine the Ranch without you.So many great visits over coffee in the morning. Your devotion to family, your hard work, your sincere interest in others, and THAT smile!...You are in our hearts forever. Sincere condolences to your family. What a difficult time for everyone who knew and loved you.
Anne Hinkey


While at RBV 4 years ago Tony asked my name to write it down to start a tab. Jay spelled in spanish makes no sense and he started to laugh. So, he points to my wife and says whats her name. I say Vickie and from then on I was senoir Vickie! I ask his name and he tells me Tony Boloney..!! We fly down there in 10 days and were looking forwrd to seeing him & Octovio and having more laughs in their beautiful place on the beach. RIP mi Amigo Tony Baloney...... Senoir Vickie and Vickie
Jay
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