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Southwest Airlines Salutes Father's Day: The Tool Man

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Thirteen years ago my husband (then boyfriend) took me home to meet his parents. I’ll never forget walking into his house and coming face to face with…Bob Vila. Ok, it wasn’t actually Bob Vila, but with the beard and thick head of hair he looked an awful lot like him. Turns out that similarity wasn’t limited to looks. My father-in-law is a master of fixing, building, installing, woodworking … you name it, he does it.


Ron “The Toolman” Vargo has been taking care of Southwest’s 737s as Lead Stock Clerk in Houston for over 25 years now. He worked graveyard for most of that time and is one of the hardest working men I’ve ever met. His unwavering work ethic inspires me and I know he’s well respected by his peers…especially on the days he brings in his famous smoked brisket or deer chili for “the guys” in the hangar.


A little over a year ago we went to my in-laws for our first baby shower. Sitting in the middle of the living room was the most beautiful wooden cradle I’d ever seen. Engraved on the bottom underneath the mattress was “Made special for our grandchildren by Grandpa Vargo.” It is the single most precious possession I own other than my wedding ring.


Happy Father’s Day “Toolman.” I’m proud to call you my father and my Coworker.


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Hi Angela, Bob spells his name "Vila". I met him on a Southwest flight a number of years ago. He kept his headphones on while sitting next to a young mother and her baby. A very nice guy. RRS
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Oops! Thanks for the heads up Richard--just changed it to Vila. 😉