In Memoriam for Ronald F. Sauer (1950-2019)
–a tribute by Jerry Ferraz
On Sunday, July 28th, San Francisco lost one of its greats, an artist, poet & translator and also promoter of the arts, especially in North Beach where the Beat legacy hangs by a thread, but a golden thread. And Ron was a great part of that work to keep bohemia alive sans politics, sans “career,” and sans celebrity. He will be remembered not only for his masterful painting and collage work, but also for his surreal but deeply human writing and laser-sharp criticism of everything from lame liberalism to fascist communism, and especially as far and away the best and funkiest translator of Baudelaire, bar none; also for his unmerciful humorous family portraits, inventing new forms of modern disfunction for the professional psychologist and lay reader alike.
Together with his partner Rebecca Peters, another master collagist in her own right, worker of magic champaign cork wiring and editor of Off the Cuff Press. At least three or four times a year, they produced group exhibits of local artists by their Fly By Night Productions at Live Worms Gallery, and once a year just before Christmas they put on their fabulous Optigon Show, showing more than 70 artists for one night only — a Herculean task and joyous celebration of the whole community.
Ron was a world traveler, but like so many dissatisfied searching souls settled in San Francisco with its lively enclave of seminal arts to flourish, as Ron would say, like perfect weather despite the government. Originally from New York, he never quite lost that edge of sarcastic criminal disposition and sharp humor. His conversation was like setting out on an expedition to get deliberately lost in literature, history and classic dirty jokes.
He had been ill for more than a year and produced his greatest creations during that time. He will be dearly missed in North Beach but his true legacy lives on in our hearts, his fearless and ceaseless curiosity about human nature and the world, for he was a man searching for the truth in everyone and sometimes he was difficult, for all genius is difficult. But he was a deeply compassionate soul and demanded from himself as well as others complete honesty and love. Rest in peace. See you soon.\
Our events are put on under the umbrella of the nonprofit Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project (the "BBCLP"). That's how we fund our ambitious schedule of 300 or so concerts and literary events every year.
The BBCLP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit...
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