Ron Scrimshaw, 68, is a local business owner, longtime resident of the Brainerd lakes area, musician and active member of the Merrifield Lions Club.
Ron and his wife, Karen, have owned Karen’s Antiques and Things in Merrifield for 22 years. Together, they have raised their family in this area. Ron and Karen have four children and three grandchildren. Also, as of September, they will have been married for 45 years.
“Family is really important,” Ron said.
The Brainerd area has always been Ron’s home. He was born and raised in Brainerd and graduated from Brainerd High School. He then attended Brainerd Community College for a year before joining the Army, where he served in Vietnam from 1966-67.
After returning to the area, Ron received his Associate of Arts degree and then studied layout and design at Staples Technical College. He worked at various places in St. Cloud and Brainerd, including a 10-year stint at the Brainerd Dispatch.
During this time, Ron also pursued his passion for music that had originated in his high school days. Ron was the drummer, or “the noisemaker,” as he jokingly added, for several area bands.
“My most favorite thing in the world is music,” Ron said.
He was part of the Shaceltons from 1968-78 and was in Wild Rice, Mountain Fire and, most recently, Limited Engagement.
In addition to his longtime musical pursuits, Ron has been involved in the area business community for many years. Ron and Karen originally had a small antique shop in Brainerd. When they built a house near Merrifield about 30 years ago, they moved the contents of their shop into their new garage.
“I just put up a big sign that said, ‘Antiques — 1 mile’ and that’s how this whole thing developed,” Ron said.
They searched for property and eventually bought the storefront on County Road 3, which was formerly a gas station. The business currently has two buildings with 200 square feet on County Road 3 and 200 square feet on Crystal Lake.
“It might be small, but we have a lot of stuff in here,” Ron said, explaining that their business stretches beyond just antiques.
“We have everything from the turn of the century to today, and that’s why we call it Karen’s Antiques and Things, because then we could put things in as well,” he said.
Along with running Karen’s Antiques and Things, Ron works part time driving school bus for the Brainerd School District and is the president of the Merrifield Lions Club.
“The Lions give so much to our community, and that’s always been a really important part of my life,” Ron said.
He has been a member of the Merrifield Lions Club for 28 years and president of the club for two years. Ron was a member of the original charter for that group.
The Merrifield Lions Club has 32 members, and Ron is encouraged when younger faces join this community-focused organization.
Ron is also enthusiastic about the business community in Merrifield.
“There are a lot of nice, nice people,” he said.
As a part of the Merrifield community, Ron is involved in an effort to put a pedestrian crosswalk across County Road 3 by the Merrifield Lions Park. He explained that the purpose of the crosswalk is to slow down traffic and keep pedestrians and bicyclists safe when they cross the road.
Ron is concerned about safety, but that doesn’t mean he wants to eliminate the traffic that drives through Merrifield.
“We want traffic to be here, but we’d like to have them stop, too,” he said.
Ron appreciates when people driving through Merrifield stop at the antique shop. He said customers frequently come in to Karen’s Antiques and Things and tell him they have been driving by for 20 years and finally decided to stop by.