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`LOCAL LEGEND' ED RAGOZZINO CREDITS GOOD TIMING.



Byline: WHERE ARE THEY NOW By Bob Welch There are a number of famous people of this name including:
  • Bob Welch (musician)
  • Bob Welch (baseball player)
Also see Robert Welch
 The Register-Guard

EDITOR'S NOTE Editor's Note (foaled in 1993 in Kentucky) is an American thoroughbred Stallion racehorse. He was sired by 1992 U.S. Champion 2 YO Colt Forty Niner, who in turn was a son of Champion sire Mr. Prospector and out of the mare, Beware Of The Cat.

Trained by D.
: "Where Are They Now?' is a Monday column that updates readers on local newsmakers from the past.

Have ideas? E-mail Bob Welch at bwelch@guardnet.com.

THEN: From the late 1950s to the early 1990s, the name "Ed Ragozzino" was synonymous with synonymous with
adjective equivalent to, the same as, identical to, similar to, identified with, equal to, tantamount to, interchangeable with, one and the same as
 grand theater in Eugene.

He established a drama program at South Eugene High in 1957 that would draw 1,900 people for a production and - get this - would help fund the school's football program. He started Lane Community College's performing arts department. And founded the Eugene Festival of Musical Theatre, which became a driving force to the building of the Hult Center for the Performing Arts The Hult Center for the Performing Arts is a performing arts facility in Eugene, Oregon, opened in 1982.

27 architectural firms competed for the opportunity to design the Center, but in the end the Eugene City Council awarded the contract to the New York firm of Hardy
.

"Ragozzino," Register-Guard columnist Don Bishoff wrote in 1994, "became a local legend."

But a 37-year career ended that same year when the plug was pulled on the festival because crowds were down and finances in shambles.

NOW: Ragozzino, 76, still lives in Eugene with his wife, Roxy. (Six children, four grandchildren.)

He does occasional voice-over work; among his dozens of clients have been Soloflex exercise equipment, National Geographic and The History Channel.

He still has a small company that puts on dinner theater, often for nonprofit fundraisers or company events. He relaxes at a family cabin in Waldport, and plays badminton three times a week at LCC (Leadless Chip Carrier, Leaded Chip Carrier) See leadless chip carrier, CLCC and PLCC.

1. LCC - Language for Conversational Computing. Written at CMU in the 1960's.
. "My doubles team beats some of the college kids. They're faster. We're smarter."

He looks back at his career in Eugene with no regrets. "My timing was great. I've been lucky."

Indeed, Ragozzino ignited high school theater in a way he says would be impossible today, with kids having so much competition for their time. `We'd have 400 kids try out for a musical. The football coach would say, `You can't cast this kid, he's my center.' Honest.'

Two of his students would go on to become Oregon governors - Neil Goldschmidt Neil Edward Goldschmidt (born June 16, 1940) is a former politician and businessman from the U.S. state of Oregon and a member of the Democratic Party. He served as mayor of Portland (1973 - 1979), as United States Secretary of Transportation (1979 - 1981), and as Governor of  and John Kitzhaber John Albert Kitzhaber (born March 5 1947 in Colfax, Washington) is a physician, member of the Democratic Party and former two term Governor of Oregon. He graduated from South Eugene High School in 1965, Dartmouth College in 1969, and then Oregon Health & Science University with a . Kitzhaber worked lights. Goldschmidt was "Curly" in "Oklahoma!"

And that football center? That was Dave Tobey, who went on to play three years for Oregon.

`He was in `Li'l Abner,' ' Ragozzino says. "Great times."
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Title Annotation:Columns
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Column
Date:Jun 11, 2007
Words:355
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