Ron Shirley: In The World, But Not Of It
What does it mean to Lick Life? For starters, it’s Ron Shirley’s philosophy. Ron and his wife, Amy, are stars in truTV’s reality show Lizard Lick Towing. They have put the Wendell area’s crossroads on the national map with their brand of repossessing vehicles while dealing with typically unhappy vehicle owners.
Ronnie and Bobby, his number one helper, at one time a repo “victim” himself, take repo papers from the banks and go find, snatch and lock up cars that are a few payments short of being legitimately owned. Naturally, people are loathe to give up their cars and usually fight back, at least in this world of TV reality. Both guys have had their share of cuts, bruises and hospital visits as a result. Even Amy has stepped out of the office a few times to do the dirty work, and as a former power lifter, she is not afraid to throw a punch in order to get her job done.
Ron has found that same country charm that Andy Griffith tapped into during the 1960s, each putting NC towns like Mayberry (presumed to be Mt. Airy), Mt. Pilot (Pilot Mountain), Siler City, Raleigh, and Wendell on the national stage. His frequent use of comparatives (“tighter than a frog’s butt”, “on it like a duck on a june bug” and “more confused than Mike Tyson at a spelling bee”) conjure up vivid mental images that are natural to most southerners and quaint to others that have never heard them, but understand them.
In their latest Special Hometown Tour episode, which aired March 3, 2014, they finally take their fans behind the scenes for some reality behind the reality. You can expect the following in that episode:
- Ron gets his Bo-Hawk haircut at Earcell’s Barber Shop in Wendell, NC.
- Bobby makes his own eggs at McLean’s country restaurant.
- Amy visits the home place where she and her sisters grew up.
- Krazy Dave shows off his musical studio bus.
- Bobby and his friends blow up stuff by the pond.
- Ron gets his “Lick Life” tattoo enhanced.
- Ron gives props to Jesus Christ.
- Ron inspires young people with a motivational speech.
As an ordained minister, Ron walks in this world with a mission. He is often seen wearing sports jerseys with Biblical references on them, placing the book where the player name goes, and the chapter number where the player’s number would be. In this episode, he talks explicitly about his spiritual beliefs and philosophies.
If I can give hope or inspiration to any one child, it’s worth everything that I do… It’s all about my beliefs and what I think… and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Christians should take note of how Ron Shirley operates in his world, among the good and the bad, the believers and the skeptics. He does not separate himself from them and, thus, miss an opportunity to minister. In the episode, the tattoo artist shared that Ron asked him to read 77 pages of the Bible before giving Ron his tattoo. Ron is not “of the world” (John 15:9, 17:14) and so he can act as a light in the world (John 1:5).
Kudos to truTV for letting the Shirleys stand up, without censorship, for what they believe. They didn’t edit God out as many have done. truTV let it ride and trusted that many times reality is truly more interesting than fiction.
Although Ron Shirley gets into more than his share of scrapes with very unpleasant folks, he is more than just a country boy with a tow truck, a bo-hawk and a TV show. He’s a committed Christian and family man that has earned my respect for his boldness in speaking about Jesus Christ, and for his inspirational message to “Lick Life”.
In writing this, I had about as much fun as a NASCAR driver working part-time as a valet at the Detroit Auto Show. How about you?
Copyright 2014 Lance Olive, All Rights Reserved.