The tributes have been pouring in from aficionados of hard rock music following the passing of Ronnie Montrose. Ronnie’s guitar-playing wizardry has been praised by his many fans, but there was a softer side of Ronnie that will always remain in my memories.
That’s because I wasn’t introduced to Ronnie by hearing him play at some headbanger hangout. I didn’t even know he was a famous rocker in the 70’s (I must admit that I was more into the disco scene during that time). Instead, I met Ronnie because of my relationship with Leighsa Montrose, his lovely wife who owns Branch Out Floral and Event Design. I have had the great pleasure of working with Leighsa on numerous occasions over the years.
I loved Ronnie, not the rocker, but the “regular guy” who would build props for the weddings that Leighsa and I worked on together. On the many occasions where we collaborated, Ronnie was there to help install the fabulous décor. He enjoyed fabricating items to use in weddings and events, because it gave him another creative outlet for his many talents. The photo below shows Ronnie working on the setup of an Asian food station at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco.
The end result was a spectacular sight:
Above Photos: Dennis Desilva, Studio Seven
For a photo shoot for Grace Ormonde Wedding Style Magazine, I worked with Leighsa at Branch Out and Napa Valley Linens to design a fun poolside table at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco. We wanted to have an out-of-the-ordinary table shape for this unique location. Ronnie created a hexagonal tabletop and installed copper cladding around the base to coordinate with the china, flatware & stemware that I had selected. It was way cool, and we could not have mastered it without Ronnie’s help!
Photos: Events of Distinction
On several other occasions, I also knew Ronnie as the supportive husband who would be sitting in the audience as Leighsa and I partnered on speaking engagements together at industry conferences.
For as long as I knew him, I never realized how famous Ronnie was in the music world, because he was such a humble, down-to-earth person. Instead, I had the pleasure of knowing Ronnie in the world of weddings, and giving him a big hug whenever I worked with Leighsa. For that, I will always be grateful, but my heart is very sad at this time. Ronnie, may you rest in peace and enjoy God’s love forever and ever.