I laugh heartily when Dr. Ron Robertson tells me he’s boring.
Sure, he’s steadily built a respectable and successful dental practice in Santa Barbara over the past 30 years, but in his spare time, this tooth doctor can be found crashing his bike and proudly posting his bruises on the Internet. He also stand-up paddle boards and obsessively takes photos of our amazing sunsets. A third generation Santa Barbaran, Dr. Ron is the son of a dentist, who he started assisting when he was just 12 years old.
He’s also my dentist, and I’m proud to consider him a friend. He’s one of the best bigger-than-life people I know — honest, real, oh so funny, and, no, never boring — and getting to know such individuals better is one of the reasons I love doing this column. Plus, since I’ve been under his care for more than 15 years, my teeth are in incredible shape!
Here, Dr. Ron puts down his drill to answer the Proust Questionnaire.
What do you like most about your job?
Besides working in a confined area surrounded by saliva on an awake patient who may be phobic about dentists? What’s not to love? Seriously though, I love working with a microscope on every patient doing the best job possible in such a confined area, taking the tooth from decay or broken to as perfect as I possibly can.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Besides a healthy and happy family, stand up paddle surfing or a mountain bike ride in the back country. Most anything that involves adrenaline is probably an easier way to put it.
What is your greatest fear?
I still sometimes wake up after a dream where I missed an exam. I also have an insane fear of heights. But I get off easily because I love snakes and spiders.
Who do you most admire?
My father when he was healthy as he was one of the most active persons that I know. Now it is my mother because she takes care of him. He has late stage Parkinson’s disease.
What is your greatest extravagance?
I owned a Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG. That was over the top.
What is your current state of mind?
A bit frazzled but I’m at work.
What is the quality you most like in people?
Honesty. Why some people find it hard to tell the truth is beyond me.
What is the quality you most dislike in people?
Sorry but dishonesty, especially in my profession. Cheap people comes in a close second with people who do not get out of the fast lane.
What do you most value in friends?
I have several “true” friends and there is a bond that cannot be broken. It’s hard to put into words but they are always there for you.
What is your most marked characteristic?
Honest and straight forward. What you see is what you get. My wife would add over-opinionated.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“I can’t read minds” and “Really?” come to mind.
Which talent would you most like to have?
To be able to read minds…..I would love to be able to speak another language or two.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
To be less impulsive or maybe a bigger filter between my brain and mouth. The older I get the bigger the filter becomes.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
That’s simple: a 30-year marriage to my wonderful wife and the resulting three beautiful children/young adults that we raised during that time.
Where would you most like to live?
Santa Barbara is the best!!
What is your most treasured possession?
My insane view of the ocean and islands from my house.
Who makes you laugh the most?
My three kids and most anything that we talk about. We laugh a lot when they come home for visits.
What is your motto?
If you don’t crash once in a while, you’re not trying hard enough.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I love Lewis and Clark.
On what occasion do you lie?