March 12, 2004

Casey Shaw camera.gif

I met Ray the first day of Tulane's Freshmen Orientation in '84. He had huge hands and an impressive handshake. We were compatable room mates who became fast friends, perhaps our western attitudes made the difference.

He was very close to his Dad which impressed me.

Ray was a sleep walker and I knew not to wake him, but instead guide him back to bed. You can imagine what it must have been like turning this aircraft carrier of a person around. His sense of humor stayed intact even asleep!

Ray was also a night owl. We usually headed back to the room at the same time, and very hungry, we'd raid our mini fridge of jalepeno Pepper Jack Cheese and crackers (our favorite). I still cherish those late night discussions about our exploits.

I attach two pictures, the first taken from Sophomore year. You can't miss the big bear squishing me. The second, taken from my wedding reception in '89 shows Ray in the right foreground.

The last time I saw Ray was in NYC in the mid nineties. We had taken in an off color comedy act somewhere. I recall he had needed a place to take care of some laundry also!

He told me of his world wide travels. I was impressed with his journeys related to the Continent of Africa which sounded so courageous. Ray did everything in a big way because he was so full of life and love.

I will miss you Ray, especially your big bear hugs. They were the best!

I close with a blessing for Ray's adoring family and friends.

Farewell to you and the youth I have spent with you.
It was but yesterday we met in a dream.
You have sung to me in my aloneness,
and I of your longings have built a tower in the sky.
But now our sleep has fled and our dream is over, and it is no longer dawn.
If in the twilight of memory we should meet once more,
we shall speak again together and you shall sing to me a deeper song.
And if our hands should meet in another dream we shall build another tower in the sky.
- The Prophet