Curriculum Vitae of the founder and acting curator, Ron Southard
Ron Southard (Pictured Above) was born and raised in Northeast Central Iowa, graduated in Architectural and Construction Engineering from Iowa State University in 1968 and, following a brief apprenticeship with a construction firm in Iowa, and a couple of years with the Martin K. Eby construction company of Wichita, Kansas, he and his family moved to Buena Vista, Colorado where he has lived since 1975. In 1986, Southard began operating the Buena Vista Municipal Airport when a client defaulted on payment for the facilities that had had been built by ASI General Contractors & Engineers, the company that he and partners had co-founded in 1975. ASI and numerous other volunteers and contributors built the Town’s airport runway in the mid-80s.
Southard retired from the construction business in 1991, but continued to own and operate the FBO, Arkansas Valley Aviation, and manage the airport. During that time he established an Architectural and Engineering design firm, Architonic Design Group, Inc., to fill the long empty hours at the then fledgling airport; the design firm thrived until 1999 when the firm split up and Southard retired. He did, however, continued doing engineering design work as Alpine Design Concepts, Inc. until 2012 when he retired.
While operators of the Buena Vista Airport, the Southard’s became close friends with Luther (“L.O.”) Moser, Jr. and his wife Jeanie, frequent summer residents of Buena Vista. Luther was a regular visitor and volunteer helper at the airport. During a visit to the Moser’s home in Lynchburg, Virginia in the early 90s, Southard was treated to a tour of the 80+ year old L. O. Moser Furniture Company shop. He was captivated by the nostalgic essence of the furniture making shop and the associated craft and tools, so, following the Virginia visit, the Southard’s attempted to acquire the business to move it to Colorado to preserve and restore it. Charles Moser, the sole proprietor of the business by that time (Luther had retired in the mid 80s), declined the Southard’s overtures of interest.
But, in 2004, twelve years later, the senior Mr. Moser called and announced that he had decided that he was ready to retire and sell; he offered to reopen the discussions. Southard and his wife, Carole, subsequently acquired the L. O. Moser Furniture Company of Lynchburg, Virginia and relocated the entire business to Buena Vista and restored it to an operating furniture woodworking shop, a woodworking and history classroom, and a living museum of the furniture making craft.
The preservation and restoration of this 1915 vintage furniture making company, re-establishment of it’s shop as a “living museum”, and establishment of the new Moser Legacy Furniture Company, are “The Moser Legacy” that Southard is determined to conserve and honor.