Rock On Ralph…

This particular post has nothing at all to do with metal detecting….sorry.


I first met Ralph Smith back in the 60’s, when he worked with me at a music store in Flemington, New Jersey.  He was a long-haired, crazy, mixed up kid who sometimes got into trouble, but if you got to know him, you soon learned he was a good guy with a heart of gold.

He asked little, worked hard and would give you the shirt off his back if you asked.


Aerosmith road crew, Ralph, bottom row second from left.

Two or three years later Ralph signed on as a “roadie” and toured with Aerosmith, sending us postcards every now and then from all over the world.  Later on he became his own boss, doing technical work for many of the rock n’ roll greats.

I hadn’t seen or heard from Ralph in 30 years but finally caught up to him on Facebook a couple of years ago.  He had married, and had settled down in a great little town called New Hope, Pennsylvania, a community he had loved for years and a town that loved him back.


Yesterday, Ralph had a sudden cardiac arrest and passed on, leaving a big void in the lives of many. You didn’t know Ralph, but I did, and I am a much better man for having had that privilege.  RIP Ralph, your were a good man.


Ralph and the Poozler

Ralph on FB a while back…

“this morning, the dogs were in the bedroom and I was in out in the living room reading quietly. I think they forgot that I was there because they started to sing. I’ve heard this once or twice before when they thought they were alone. First The Poozler starts with a low, long “ooooooo” then Cordelia joins in a lower register. for about five minutes they sing this duet of “oooooo’s”, noses pointed to the sky.

I think they are calling to the Big Dog in the Sky.”


Thanks to all of Ralph’s friends for the photos…


Filed under Metal Detecting

3 responses to “Rock On Ralph…

  1. Joe (TX)

    ….It is always sad to lose a friend even if they are memories from long ago…sometimes the memories of long ago are better than the memories of today!!……LOL….

  2. From his sister Robin…

    Ralph Smith, citizen of New Hope and the world, musician, IT guy, dog lover and eternal teenage hippy, died unexpectedly on April 23rd. He passed on peacefully, with his wife, Lisa Tice, and his beloved stepdaughter, Christina Tice, and her fiancee, Tim Nayfield, by his side.

    Ralph was born to Robert Edward Smith and Gloria Baird Smith on August 25, 1950. His parents adored him, but when he was 2 years old, his mother contracted polio, and Ralph had to be sent to live with his grandparents. After Gloria did rehabilitation for one year on the polio ward, Ralph’s parents were able to reunite the family, along with a new daughter, Robin Smith Davis. In 1958, the family was joined by David “Teddy” Fisher, who Ralph always considered his brother. The family lived on an idyllic farm in the Sourland mountains of Hopewell, with acres of woods, gardens and animals.

    Ralph found many life long friends at Hunterdon Central High School, and still played rock and roll with many of them right up to his death. Ralph adored music – playing, singing, and teaching young teens at Solebury School, where he worked as a “network badass” , all about the history and sound of great rock and roll. Although he traveled the world as a roadie with rock and roll bands from Aerosmith to Paul Simon, he always came back to New Hope, which was the town of his heart, and the Delaware River, which was “his” river, and John and Peter’s Bar, which was “his” bar.

    He married Lisa Tice in 2010 and found through her the two girls he always considered his daughters – Christina and Amanda Kaiser. He adored and thought the world of them. Ralph had a fund of funny stories, an extraordinary way with words; he had read everything, wrote a Facebook page that was filled with fascinating news, and was loved by a host of friends. He had an extraordinary love of life and brought enormous enjoyment to the people who loved him.

    He is survived by his wife, Lisa Tice; his daughters, Christina and Amanda Tice; his sister, Robin Smith Davis; his brother, David Fisher; his nephews and nieces, Brian, Wendy and Dawn and their children; and his aunt, Claire Ludlow.

    No flowers, please. Ralph’s friends know how much he and Lisa loved their dogs, Prudence Poozler Peabody, and Cordelia “The Cankler” Corgi. Anyone who wishes to honor Ralph’s memory with a contribution can send it to the Ralph Smith Dogwalking Fund, which will help Lisa hire a dog walker while she is gone at work. Send contributions to Lisa Tice, 13 Arden Way, New Hope, PA 18938.

    Ralph always said he wanted a huge rock’n’roll wake at John and Peter’s – we’ll have that Tuesday afternoon/evening (this is New Hope time), Bluebalz will play, we’ll share memories. No dress code :>). A separate memorial will be held at Solebury school Tuesday morning for Solebury. Ralph would be so delighted to hear that the kids will provide the music since Ralph taught everything he could about great rock’n’roll.

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