I got the sad news just this morning. Ralph was a long-time friend of mine. I was hoping to see him again next month.
We spent many a fun night at "the Boo" (the now-gone Big Bamboo bar in Kissimmee) where Ralph was a fixture and given his own barstool at the bar.
About 8 years ago he made a visit out to Anaheim and I had the pleasure of spending the day with him at Disneyland...just him and I. We walked all over the Park...went on attractions...he shared stories...and we had dinner at Club 33 and that just thrilled him to no end. It was one of the most enjoyable days I've had in my life.
He suffered from diabetes, and a few years ago he lost a leg to it. But that didn't slow him down! What a great, great man (and great artist) that I will miss very much. I imagine him up there at the big Boo in the sky...yapping away with his best bar buddie, Van France...about the "old days."