INDIANA COUNTY (KDKA) – Saltsburg, like most small towns, has at least one character, who over the years, worked his way into people’s hearts.
Ronald Boring was such a man.
“That was it,” said Steve Richards. “Everybody knew him as ‘Chops.’”
Even the Presbyterian Church marquee proclaims that “Chops” made Saltsburg a special place.
“The children absolutely loved him,” said his lifelong friend Jack Cunningham, “and that tells you more about him than anything else.”
Never without a pocketful of quarters to pass out to generations of local children.
“He was really a legend in this town,” said Richards, “and haircuts will never be the same without him.”
Inside the All American Barbershop on Point Street, Chops’ chair is reserved for no other. Chops died Saturday night of pneumonia. He was 64 years old and had no life insurance.
“It hit me pretty hard, just, Chops can’t die, you know?” Richards said.
The barbershop was one of Chops’ favorite stops. He’s sit in his chair doing crosswords and jawing with the guys. Remembering his glory days with the undefeated Trojans.
After jobs in public works as Police Chief, a mill hand and a truck driver, Chops enjoyed the company.
Chops had already buried five of his six brothers and sisters – one drowned another in a car accident, one had cancer, another a heart attack. His father died in a hunting accident when Chops was 8 years old.
“I hate to say, Chops was lonely,” said P.J. Hruska. “He had everybody here, but deep down inside, he was lonely because of his family.”
Hruska decided that his friend needed a proper sendoff, creating the “Chops Burial Fund.” He was not alone. Between a website and hand-delivered donations, the S&T Bank now has nearly $5,000, raised in just three days. After burial expenses, the rest will go to charity.
“That’s what Saltsburg does when someone in this little town is in need,” Hruska said.
Feb. 8, the community will say its goodbyes to Chops at a memorial service, and he’ll rest in the town he loved forever.