Ralph has been described as “a newspaperman’s newspaperman” because of the skill, sensitivity, and perception he brought to rural journalism. He devoted heart and soul to newspapering, beginning in the 1930’s when still in high school. After editing the Ladysmith News for 13 years, he bought his beloved Boscobel Dial in 1956 and continued as publisher until 1992. Under his tutelage, circulation grew from 1,500 to 6,500 and is still the largest circulation weekly in a five-county area.
His writing brought him consistent recognition from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association over the years. Ralph served as president of that organization. He respected his readers and often quipped, “You’re only as good as your last issue.” Ralph proved that you don’t need to hold a college degree to excel. His strong curiosity, natural instinct for news, combined with “street smarts,” benefited his readers.
Ralph’s column, “Under the Bridge,” was so popular that people lined up at the door each Wednesday to see what he had to say. His weekly editorials and observations reflected what people in Southwestern Wisconsin were thinking and feeling about everything from the economy to rock music.