The Original Joel Barlow High School Renaissance Man
Ralph Gorton is the true Renaissance man, excelling in Sports, Arts, and Life and is still an Iron Man!

While at Joel Barlow, Ralph was an all-star athlete ahead of his time. At 6’ 4” he was not only the tallest but also the fastest athlete. Whether it was on the basketball court or the track and field, Ralph excelled in running events as well as strong man events such as throwing the shot put, discus, and javelin.

Ralph made All-State in basketball for three straight years, leading Barlow to the state play offs for the 1972 and 1973 season. He was Barlow’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder for nineteen years before another Barlow athlete could catch him. It was partially because he could not play as a freshman back then. Ralph is still the All-time leading scorer in Track & Field.

As a result of Ralph's high school successes, he felt fortunate to receive twelve full scholarship offers to college. He accepted a scholarship to Central Connecticut State University. While in college, he was Sports Digest magazine’s 3-time ECAC player of the week and a Top 5 Track and Field finisher for three events. Ralph’s love for fitness continues as he is an avid mountain climber who always says, "Train to Climb, Climb to Train." If you see him coming up Cerro San Luis Obispo Trail, good luck keeping up!

He has climbed nine mountain peaks of over 18,000 feet and named his three wonderful children after mountains he has climbed. He just finished climbing Mount Fuji this past week.

Ralph now lives in San Luis Obispo, California where he owns his “Just Looking Gallery” which he opened after assembling one of the largest privately held collections of Patrick Nagel's artwork. Ralph opened the gallery in September of 1984. Parlaying that body of work into the foundation of the gallery, Ralph has hosted eighty-five gallery shows and exhibits.  

In 2015 Ralph traveled back to Joel Barlow High School to be inducted into the Joel Barlow High School Athletic Hall of Fame along with other stand-out athletes and coaches.

While he has had forty successful years in the art business, Ralph is now semi-retired from work, but not from sports as evidenced by the new pickle ball court he is building in his backyard and while also coaching his three wonderful children. While Ralph has enjoyed forty successful years in the art business, it is his three children that he's the proudest of: McKinley, Rainier, and Kili.
His fellow JBHS alumni and friends wish Ralph continued success.
Go Ralph and Keep on Climbing to new heights!

If you have something that you would like us to share, please send along an email to the address below. FYI: We continue to look for alumni that we can do a spotlight on.
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