NEWS

If you don’t like what it says, Dr. Rudman can extract it

Posted 3/16/22

By J. MICHAEL LEVESQUE

In full disclosure, I’m one of the growing legion of fans who look forward to seeing what’s on “the sign” that day.

“The sign” of …

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NEWS

If you don’t like what it says, Dr. Rudman can extract it

Posted

By J. MICHAEL LEVESQUE

In full disclosure, I’m one of the growing legion of fans who look forward to seeing what’s on “the sign” that day.

“The sign” of course, is the electronic sign that is on the property of Warwick Dentist Dr. Kenneth Rudman.

It couldn’t be at a better location, as thousands of people headed to work or school or just running errands pass by it on Veterans Memorial Boulevard prior to navigating the always-fun (just kidding) round-abouts in Apponaug.   Kind of like the laugh before hitting hell-on-wheels.

Dr. Rudman, is frankly, a hoot.

Opinionated, unabashed, charming and the ultimate patriot.

You might not agree with the messages you read on his sign every day, but if you don’t agree you can simply call him, and if you make your point effectively, he will either change it or take it down.   And he will provide you with an opportunity to suggest your own message.

A little background on the good Doctor.

Born in Brookline, Massachusetts, he graduated from Tufts University with both a bachelor’s degree and Doctorate in Dental Medicine.

He moved shortly after to Rhode Island, where he joined a practice on Post Road, and hung his shingle for thirty-five years.

One day, while driving through Apponaug, he noticed a “For Sale” sign on the former Wave Credit Union building and quickly called well-known real estate agent, the late (and great) Don Morash.

Already on the second addition of the Post Road practice, Ken Rudman decided it was time to make the move. One of the first moves he made was to hire a local attorney to see if he could convert the standard sign to a digital one. The city fathers agreed, with the stipulations that he couldn’t change the message more than once an hour, and it couldn’t flash like “Times Square.”

The new legend was born.

True to his nature, Dr. Rudman viewed the new message center as an asset for the city.  “I really feel like it’s a sign for the community, even if people disagree (with the message).  I’m trying to make people think.”  He continued “if people are offended, then call me.  If merited, I will change it immediately.”

He also sees it as a tool to recognize people.

“I try to recognize people who don’t normally get recognition, like teachers, police, firefighters, bus drivers, nurses and sanitation workers.  And also, postal workers, who are often neglected.”

You would think that the sign would be a good advertising platform for his own practice, but Dr. Rudman feels that it is inappropriate to advertise on the sign because he feels that “all of our local dentists do an excellent job.”

Asked about his obvious political acumen, he said “I’m anti-politician.  I don’t like national politicians.  I consider myself a pragmatic moderate.  I don’t think Washington works for the people at all!”

His views moderate when it comes to local politics.

Warwick cheerleader

“As I said I’m anti-politician, but not Warwick politicians.  I think the Mayors have done a good job.”

He is also bullish on the City of Warwick.

“We have a good Police Department.  I’ve been here for forty years and have never seen abuse.”  He added “Warwick is a great place to do business.  It’s a safe city, and I’ve never worried about myself or my staff working at night.”

He also pointed out that he not only provides sign space to those who call and request it (with of course proper messaging), but also makes his property available for car wash fundraisers for local organizations and other events.

Switching back to national politics (sorry, I couldn’t resist) he said “I feel like as a country, we probably have more remorse on the last election than Alec Baldwin has (for his shooting incident).”

Continuing, “I think the Biden Administration has disrespected the military in how we got out of Afghanistan.”

He added “I also think Donald Trump was not a good person, but he was an effective leader.”

He was unabashed about his views on professional sports.

“Way back when I first moved here, I had a lot of Patriots stuff here.   No more.  I don’t watch sports to hear politics.”

He likes to mention his staff at Wave Dental and it’s easy to see why.

It’s a pleasant place to be, starting with the friendly greeting when you enter to the two canines who work there – Romeo and his brother Drew.  Two standard poodle rescue dogs who are friendly additions to help sometimes nervous clients.

They can recognize that nervousness and provide a little break from the tension.

He wouldn’t disclose their salaries.

Asked about the effects of the pandemic on his busy practice, he explained that at the outset, he decided to close the office from March to June, and during that time made the most of it explaining “I bought a horse and learned how to ride it, and also started swimming in the ocean” near his Jamestown home.

Asked what he thought of the virus itself, he didn’t hesitate.

“I think it’s a very serious illness.   It’s past the time of being politically correct – we know that it came from China.”  He continued “it’s being used by politicians for control.  I’ve never understood how a health care facility or gym is being closed, but a liquor store stays open to sell alcohol or cigarettes.”

“I also can’t understand why politicians tell people that they have to wear masks, but these same politicians like Gina Raimondo, Stacey Abrams, (California) Governor Newsom and Nancy Pelosi – they don’t have to wear them!”

He is “100%” against mandates, but “doesn’t disagree that health care providers have vaccines.”

He also lamented the fact that students may be adversely affected by the mandates.  “I have a special needs child.   He has a mask on.   The teacher has a mask on.  His progress has been thwarted.”

If you’re wondering, Dr. Rudman has been fully vaccinated.

Switching back to the now-famous digital sign in front of his office, he asked me which messages I liked the best.   That was easy for me.  I was touched by the Ukrainian flag that appeared after the madman (and disgusting) Putin (doesn’t deserve to be called President Putin) started bombing innocent people.

On a lighter note, here are some of my all-time favorites:

“Excited.  Loan approved.  Closing soon.  Full tank of gas”

“MILF.  Man I love flossing”

“Don’t mix sleeping pills and laxatives”

“Silver alert.   White male, 79, wandering in DC.  Thinks he is President”

“I’m Joe Biden and I forgot this message” and

“Sign complaints.  Contact whitehouse.gov”

As you can tell, it’s fun talking to Dr. Rudman.

He is a community resource whose candor is rare to find.

He likes talking about his staff and his community.

He relishes talking about his family, which includes three children and three step-sons, one of whom is Dr. Benjamin Roberts, who shares the practice with him.

We can also expect another sibling to practice in Rhode Island.   His daughter, a graduate of the University of Connecticut Dental College, is enjoying her root canal residency at Baylor University and will ultimately practice with a group of root canal specialists in Cranston.

I’m sure “the sign” will have a special message when she does.

dentist, sign

Comments

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  • KeepCalmandCarryOn

    “I also think Donald Trump was not a good person, but he was an effective leader.”

    Effective leader, Rudman? that's what you think.? Trump's first order of business as president was a huge tax break for his rich buddies that added 7.8 trillion to the deficit. There's not enough room here to point out all the damage he has done to our country, including inciting an insurrection on national TV.

    and The mayor is doing a good job? We can't get trash picked up some days and he's allowing the sale of every piece of land that has a tree to be built upon. Have you seen the playground at Oakland Beach? disgraceful.

    Rudman is as political as it gets. Disparaging our current president and loving Trump and his cronies.

    His messages are sop****ric and juvenile.

    Why not use the sign to do some good in our community? Spread a positive message. You could start with an anti-litter campaign, for instance. Maybe an energy conservation message.

    I guess a message like that will do nothing for his ego.......

    Sunday, March 20 Report this

  • The Berg

    Stay in your lane, Doc. Focus less on the sign and more on your patients.

    Monday, March 28 Report this