Ron Russitano Obituary, Death – Ron Russitano, the proprietor of the Phantom of the Attic business in Greentree, passed away yesterday. When we bought our separate comic book shops 33 years ago, we did it together, bringing with us a common bond as store owners and even a store name, the Phantom, which was also used by another comic book shop in Oakland. Since I own a comic shop and our business hours are pretty much the same as those of other stores, I don’t find it necessary to go to those other stores very often.
Regrettably, the only times I spent significant amounts of time in Ron’s company in person were when we shared a few meals together in the past decade or so and when I needed help locating a specific comic book for a client. Nevertheless, technology has made it possible for us to maintain our internet connection during the past several years. On the other hand, there were a few years in a row when my children’s interest in Pokemon allowed me to make a brief visit to the comic book store during the summer months to talk to the staff about life in general and the retail industry for comic books. They’d take some money for their birthday, and then we’d head off to watch “Phantom Ron.”
He would always find a way to sneak an additional pack or two into their bags after they had selected and paid for the packs and singles that they want, and then he would tell them, “That’s on me, kids.” He was kind and helpful to my children. In the heartfelt remembrances of him that I’ve been reading over the course of the past day or so, one thing that keeps coming up again and again is how generous he was, particularly with the way he shared his time with other people. Everyone who had the privilege of knowing him will grieve his passing deeply. I’m going to miss him.