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Gallery: Community Marches in Second Line for Ron ‘Ronzo’ Shapiro

By Talbert Toole
Lifestyles Editor

Video by Talbert Toole

The rain did not hold the LOU community back from joining forces and dancing through the streets Sunday afternoon in a second line groove.

Joined by The Mighty Souls Brass Band from Memphis, Tennessee, citizens and friends of Ron “Ronzo” Shapiro took to the streets to celebrate his legacy.

Shapiro died Aug. 19 after losing his battle to liver cancer.

As a staple of the arts and culture in Oxford, many wanted to continue to highlight the life of Shapiro.

Shapiro was known in the community as the former owner of The Hoka Theatre—a bohemian coffeehouse/movie theater, named after the Chickasaw princess who once owned the land that would become Oxford. He ran the popular entertainment venue from 1975 to 1996.

A veteran of the U.S. Army, Shapiro loved life, loved his country and loved Oxford. In 2006 he ran for Mississippi House District 12 and in 2011, he ran for Mississippi’s First Congressional District because of that love.

Melanie Addington, executive director of the Oxford Film Festival, said she knew Ronzo longer than most of the people in her life. Addington met Ronzo when she was just 15 years old.

“He was always just a positive influence,” Addington said. “He always supported me in Oxford.”

Addington said the 2020 Oxford Film Festival and its staff plan to honor Shapiro.

The celebration of Shapiro’s legacy continues on Sept. 1 with a Jubilation in Memphis hosted by BAR DKDC.

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