Ralph Long: Uncommon life of an uncommon man

(Note: The following is based on an interview with Ralph Long, eleven months before he died Saturday, November 25, 2000 at age 94)

Ralph Long was a different sort of guy, and he lived a different sort of life than most Kingfisher County, Oklahoma residents.

Long, a lifetime farmer and a product of 89ers who settled Kingisher County, was actively attuned to events of the day, right up to the end of his life, while many others who have reached his advanced age are deeply imbedded in their retirement.

Long, who was born on a farm east of Dover, worked for government farm programs, then taught veteran's agriculture after World War II, after which at the age of 54, he joined the Peace Corps and served in Bolivia.  After returning home, he spent a year with another government program, VISTA, in New Mexico.

He ripped off letters to officials he thought were serving their nation well, or poorly, and didn't mince words.

He felt that the United Nations (actually the U.S.) attacks on Serbia were unwarranted -- in fact, a crime.  "We killed innocent people.... We didn't kill the guilty ones."  (And this from a man who waged a personal campaign based on a personal "Declaration of Independence from the United Nations."