Ron “Grah Grah” Owens was born in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada. His father, John Thomas Owens, was a church planter, and as a result, the family lived throughout the eastern Canadian provinces before moving to Switzerland. Ron’s early interests were largely focused on ice hockey and track in which he won considerable recognition for his achievements in both. After returning to North America to further his studies, he cultivated his love for music as well. Ron met his wife, Patricia, in a music conservatory in Rochester, NY, and together they travelled in North America and many other countries as a music team. They have written many songs and several musicals that have been translated and performed in other languages. Ron is also the author of several biographies, books on worship, and an English/Russian language book of poetry published by Moscow’s Center for World Culture. Ron and Patricia have one son, Jeff, a daughter-in-law, Jessica, and two grandsons, Ethan and Evan.
Lessons Learned from a Funny-Looking Bear
The stories in Gang Gang and Baboomba Bear go back to when my grandfather, Benjamin Franklin Underhill, whom I called Gang Gang, would put me on his knee and tell me story after story about a very special bear that lived in the forest near the lumber camp where he worked in New Brunswick, Canada. He was such a good storyteller that I remembered many of them years later and passed them on to my own grandsons, Ethan and Evan who, along with their parents, encouraged me to write some of them down.
But there was more to Gang Gang than storytelling. In his younger years, he was also a world champion log-roller. I remember reading about him in a clipping from the Montreal Gazette. But as proud as I was of his accomplishments, to me, he was a quiet witness of a life lived to please God. I watched him as I grew up, and his example would eventually play an important part in my becoming a follower of Christ.
It is with thanksgiving that I dedicate this, my first children’s storybook, to the
memory of Benjamin Franklin Underhill, known to me and all his grandchildren as
Gang Gang, as well as to my own grandsons, Ethan and Evan.