Little Ronny Howard

If you come around our house, plan on hearing about Evie’s old pal, Little Ronny Howard.

Yes, I’m talking about *that* Ron Howard. You didn’t realize he and Evie were friends? He probably doesn’t realize it either.

Her obsession with Lil’ Ronny began with his role as Winthrop Paroo (Evie’s love of The Music Man already being well documented), but soon took on a life of its own.

It’s amazing how often the phrase “Little Ronny Howard” can come up in a day. Never “Winthrop” or even “Ron Howard”, always “Little Ronny Howard”. It’s like her and Little Ronny are best friends; you might think he’s a boy who lives down the street. “Little Ronny Howard plays the cornet”, “Little Ronny Howard has a lisp”, or “I wonder what Little Ronny Howard is doing right now?”

The lisp adopted by Little Ronny Howard in the movie in particular captured Evie’s imagination. All these questions about lisps! Why does he talk like that? Do people really talk like that? How do you do a lisp? Could I have a lisp when I grow up? We seem to be through the lisp phase now, but she mostly alternated between practicing the lisp for herself, or forcing Sara and I to say, “Thomething Thpethal!” with absolutely as much spitting as we could muster. Even Ollie started talking with a lisp (as he always does when Evie is on about something).

It’s pretty obvious that Little Ronny captured her imagination by virtue of being the main person her age in her favorite movie (not to say that his acting was poor, because it wasn’t, but I suspect it needn’t have been spectacular to win over this particular fan). But Evie seemed to have trouble grasping the fact that the movie was filmed in 1962, and Little Ronny Howard wasn’t exactly little anymore. I really blew her mind when I explained that Little Ron is actually older than I am. I think he’s older than my mom actually. Oh, and by the way, he doesn’t even have a lisp.

You could have knocked her over with a feather.

To Evie, Little Ronny Howard is just some kid. To her, he IS Winthrop Paroo. It makes no difference to her that he went on to be a television star before becoming one of the biggest directors out there. Means nothing to her. He might as well be a boy who lives down the street. I don’t know Ron Howard any better than Evie does, but I kind of think it would put a smile on his face to know that there’s a little girl out there asking herself on a daily basis, WWLRHD? (What Would Little Ronny Howard do?)