View Full Version : Ronny story

Zag 77
05-09-2008, 01:14 PM
I heard an interesting story about Ronny Turiaf today. It seems that when he was going to school at GU he was driving on Rockwood Blvd. in Spokane (a real ritzy neighborhood) with his girlfriend and sees the Caferro mansion ( a beautiful Spanish-style mansion also known as the Dill Masion) up on a hill. He says, " I wonder who lives there?" So he decides to drive on up and goes to the back door and knocks. Mrs. Caferro answers and is a bit surprised and says" Ronny?" (She is a big GU fan). She invites him on in and gives him a complete tour of the house.

It just struck me as giving an insight into what a simple and unassuming guy he was. I sure hope that life in the NBA and LA has not changed him.

05-09-2008, 01:50 PM
I love the idea of Ronny going up and knocking on the door and being recognized and invited in by Mrs. Caferro, if that's who lived there at the time and if you're referring to the place Senator Dill built, which is actually located at 708 W. Cliff Drive (http://www.historicspokane.org/SpokaneRegister/dill.htm), with the best view of the city. It's likely to be recognizable to most long-time Spokane residents:


One of my best friends a number of years ago used to live there (she and her then-husband built and then owned Casablanca Restaurant), so I spent a fair amount of time in the house. My recollection is that was there was a basketball court in the basement. Ronny could have gone down and shot some hoops.

As an aside, the story my friend told me was that Dill had the place built with the expectation that Franklin Roosevelt would visit him there, so every place in the six-story structure is accessible by wheelchair. It has a very small elevator so that he would be able to move between floors.

Dill was the Father of Grand Coulee Dam, and it's apparent in visiting the home, where concrete is in abundance,

I haven't driven by the mansion in a while, but it used to have a wrought iron arch over the driveway entrance with the name "Cliff Aerie." Hope that's still there ...

05-09-2008, 02:11 PM
Caferro's, which is on rockwood blvd. & sits way up high and looks like an Italian villa.

CC Dill, whom I knew, built what he named Cliff Aerie (where eagle's fly or eagle's nest or somesuch) 50-60 years ago, I think.

He tried to sell it to me once, after he was too elderly and unable to keep it up. I should have taken it but $50k was too much for my budget.

05-09-2008, 02:23 PM
Ah, so! That explains the convusion ... (I think that typo is actually a combination of confusion and convulsion, which is a common enough state for me.) The Caferro mansion is located on Rockwood but was not owned by Senator Dill and is not Spanish style. I'm mixing up my mansions, which is easy enough to do when one is as incredibly wealthy as I am.

I've made a nifty discovery in the process of looking for a pic of the Dill place, stumbling on the Registry of Historic Spokane Homes here (http://www.historicspokane.org/SR_properties.htm).

05-09-2008, 03:03 PM
Gamigan beat me to the error in mansions. I have been told that FDR did stay in the Dill house when he came to dedicate Grand Coulee dam in the '30's.

I happened to be at a function last night that the Caferos attended. They are terrific people and the story sounds like what very welll could have happened from their end. Next time I see them I will have to ask.

05-09-2008, 03:54 PM
I have a signed, dedicated copy of his book, "where water falls," and it details the building of the Grand Coulee. Well written and a real eye opener. for one thing, the Washington Water Power Co., and the Spokesman OPPPOSED the building of the 7th wonder of the world, preferring construction of an irrigation canal, instead, because they feared there would be too much cheap electricity.

And who profited most from the Grand Coulee ? Yup, WWP, now Avista, and, with the population boom in spokane, the spokesman, among others.

Dill was also instrumental in the creation of the FCC and other government regulatory agencies designed to keep the greedy honest.

His last quote, that I remember, was during Watergate, when Nixon was facing impeachment. Dill, in his 90's said something to the effect that he "never did trust that crook."

And some of you you may all remember Nixon's famous retort (not to Dill but in general, not long before his resignation, while staring at certain impeachment)"

"I am not a crook."

Thanks for the memories.

05-09-2008, 04:02 PM
We have had some giants in the PNW. Dill is one of them.

05-09-2008, 04:47 PM
What would Ronny have been doing with a gal up on Cliff Drive? My guess is the same reason I went there when I was in high school. :D

05-09-2008, 04:54 PM
If he went to the Cafero's home, it's actually on Rockwood Blvd. rather than Cliff drive, if I understand Gamagin correctly.

P.S. There were occasional ZN assignations on Cliff drive as well, azzagfan, though I'd imagine they occurred a few years before yours. For that matter, I'd be very surprised if Gamagin himself never ventured south to admire the city view at night ...

05-09-2008, 06:15 PM
There were occasional ZN assignations on Cliff drive as well, azzagfan, though I'd imagine they occurred a few years before yours. For that matter, I'd be very surprised if Gamagin himself never ventured south to admire the city view at night ...

One of the best places to watch "submarine races" with a great view and without being disturbed was just N of the River, just off Division, mere blocks from GU. Access was actually from one street W of Division IIRC.

05-13-2008, 06:51 AM
on the Turiaf visit to the Caferro's. This from a source close to the family.

The story is all true except that Ron Caferro answered the door and not Terry. They were having a dinner party with about 4 other couples, including Jud Heathcoate. Ron answered the door and came back into the dining room with Ronny and girlfriend in tow. Jud made a typical Heathcoat e comment to the girlfriend telling her that she could do much better than Turiaf, or something along those lines. Of course Ronny T. and all had a big laugh over it. The couple was invited to sit down for dinner but had to leave because of reservations at Luna's (south side restaurant). After they left, Mr. Caferro called Luna and told them to send him the bill for Turiaf's dinner, which they did. This was just after Ronny completed his senior season.