March 17, 2004

Bill Linn

Ray's childhood neighbor

I am saddened to hear about the death of Ray. I'm a million miles from him today, but as a young kid, I was the immediate neighbor of his father Ray. We lived next to his father for more than 20 years on Reliez Valley Road in Lafayette. Little Ray, as we called him, didnít live there all the time, but I did see him off and on over the years. If my memory serves me right, I first met him in 1975 or 1976. He was a good kid albeit a bit awkward in his youth.

His father's property was a great place for kids. There were many places to play and I remember playing with Little Ray there. We also attended the same high school. After reading about him at this site, I'm glad to see Ray found himself. During school he was a quiet, non-assuming kid. (Whoever said Gentle Giant was spot on!) I was happy to read about his exploits around the world and his loving family. Thatís what life is all about and Iím glad he found ďitĒ before his passing.

When I commented to my wife about Ray's passing, my 6 year old son chimed in and asked, "Is he playing with Nikki," referring to our recently departed dog. I replied, "Yes, Jeff, he's playing with Nikki in Heaven."

I called my mom today and she was quite sad. My parents had become quite good friends with Ray's father and I know they shared a lot of martinis and talked about raising kids. I'm sure Ray and I were the subject of many conversations.

Our 20-year high school reunion is this year and I know he will be recognized as one of the several classmates we have lost.

To all of you closer to him, our prayers are with you.

Take care,