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SoLost: Ronzo! Oxford's Peripatetic Pied Piper of Good Times

Anyone who's spent more than 15 minutes in Oxford, Mississippi, has probably heard of local legend Ron Shapiro. Now known simply as "Ronzo," this ever-upbeat and unpredictable local icon has, to say the least, a colorful history.

Start with the fact that he was fraternity brothers with "Animal House" co-writer Harold Ramis and may or may not have provided the inspiration for one of the film's more iconic characters. Then observe his subsequent move to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where he became a theater-operating ski bum. Then note how he fell under the spell of a Southern girl and quickly left ski country behind in order to follow her down to Oxford. Jobless on arrival, he did the natural thing and began to farm Marijuana. Legally.

Then he opened and operated the now-legendary Hoka Cinema for 20 years. (That's where Barton and Jamo come in...you can meet them in the video.) Along the way he ran for office multiple times (and lost multiple times) and had a t-shirt business. His most recent venture has been to open a juice bar and restaurant in Oxford called "The Main Squeeze." Put one foot in the place and you kind of already know what kind of guy Ron Shapiro is.

And that's what he does now. Except when he's running his literary escort service. Or chasing the ladies. (Some things never change....)

Admit it, you're intrigued. Meet Ron Shapiro.

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