Ron Sullivan Memorial Held in Panorama City
PANORAMA CITY, Calif. –
Posted Oct 04th, 2008 08:15 PM by Mark Kernes
It was a rare thing in porn: A day of true names.
But perhaps that was only fitting, since the gathering was a memorial to a man who most in the industry knew by his true name – Ron Sullivan – but who most of the outside world knew only as acclaimed director Henri Pachard.
But nearly 150 people, more than half from the adult industry, came to the SGI Community Center, a Buddhist enclave, at 2 o'clock this afternoon to honor a man who had touched their lives and made a lasting impression, most through their work with him, but many on a personal level as well, including one who had known Sullivan for upwards of 40 years.
So when a severely laryngitic Herschel Savage took the podium to hoarsely begin his remembrance of Sullivan, he did so using his real name – which, of course, won't be revealed here.
"Buddhism is a philosophy [where] all people have the potential to attain enlightenment, or Buddhahood," Savage announced, noting that Ron and his wife Deloras had embraced the religion several years ago. "So by coming here and offering prayers for Ron, we embrace his life from now to the future."
What followed was a traditional Nichiren Buddhist ceremony, including chanting of "Nam myoho renge kyo," the burning of incense, and the ringing of the temple bell.
Several speakers embraced the idea that Sullivan had passed to a higher plane of existence. Deloras Sullivan said she believed her husband was now "free of his body; he's not suffering, he's not hurting; he's enjoying where he's at."
Retired performer and longtime friend Bionca Seven recalled how her late husband Bruce Seven shared the same birthday as Ron; the directors used to celebrate the occasion together. Bionca said she and Deloras had tried to comfort Ron during his illness by giving him foot massages "to bring as much pleasure as we possibly could to him in those last few days... But now he is in a better place. He is very powerful with his energy there, and I truly believe that coming from the place he is now, he will still continue being with Deloras and give her strength."
But it was Sullivan's longtime friend Randy Spears – "I've known him as long as the earth has been cooling" – who suggested, "If we could hear his voice right now, I know Ron and he would say this: 'Ha-HA! What are you crying about? You should see this place! I feel sorry for you!'"
In all, more than 20 of Ron's friends and relatives spoke at the two-hour service. Among the speakers were the director's son Jason, his sister Sheila, and longtime collaborators Raven Touchstone and Paul Thomas (who proclaimed, "I was Ron's penis long before Randy Spears knew him.") Other speakers included performers TT Boy, Valentino, Sharon Mitchell, Nina Hartley, Skye Blue, Joey Silvera and Guy DiSilva, directors Ernest Greene and Fred Lincoln, and "script-girl" Jane Waters, who recalled meeting Ron in 1965 in Williamsburg, Va., when they'd been hired to make a "huge, 20-year epic story about an indentured servant."
Also in attendance: Veronica Hart (who brought remembrances also from Gloria Leonard, Veronica Vera and Candida Royalle), Jerry Tanner and wife Helen, David Christopher, Christian Mann, David Aaron Clark, Jack Remy, Bud Lee, Roy Karch, Wesley Emerson, Jake Jacobs, Gino Colbert, Rob Spallone, Ben Fisher, Wit Maverick, Shylar Cobi, Ron Miller, Debi Diamond, Shanna McCullough, Aiden Starr, Phyllisha Anne, Kyle Stone, Dirty Harry, Ben English, Harry Weiss, AVN's Dan Miller, and several other familiar faces. Even the much-missed Eric Edwards attended briefly.
The service was a fitting farewell to a man who helped make the adult industry what it is today.