March 11, 2004

Chris Sheehan

Ray, you were a gentleman, a strong gentleman, and a great friend. You had a wonderful sense of humor and were delightful to be around. You made me smile the minute I saw you, without saying a word, no matter when or where. I will preserve forever an image of your smile in my mind from when you would pick me up at 5 AM in your Jeep to go to rowing practice, or to take me home, at the same time on occasion, from the French Quarter.

You and I, and a number of Tulane rowers, spent hundreds of hours rowing together on the bayou's of New Orleans and competing around the world. Our trip together to England to compete in the Royal Henley Regatta remains one of my most memorable life experiences. You were a natural athlete, leader, motivator and a great team mate. You pulled your damn heart out in practice and during races. As a fellow rower I knew it, I knew before the race as the boat quietly approached the starting line, I knew it during the race as the boat excelled through the water, powered by your extraordinary strength, and I knew it at the finish line when you looked at me, and I at you, and you put your hand on my knee or shoulder, and smiled with approval, no matter what the result of the race. This was a critically important feeling, as anyone who has been a member of a team would know. I knew without question that you had given it your all and that you trusted that I had given mine. Given your strength over mine, I would say that you undoubtedly carried more then a few of us at times whether in practice of on the race course, certainly home. My memory of you will make me, and I am sure many others, better individuals. For that, and for so many other great times, thank you Ray, We will all be together some day, until then my friend, this Bud's for you!