September 27, 2005

Jolie von Suhr

I just today heard the terribly tragic news and I've been shedding tears ever since. Ray's Dad and my Dad (Dick Suhr) were both pilots and I remember Big Ray and Little Ray coming to visit us in Seattle when we were kids.

I remember we were all out on the deck--Big Ray and my parents were talking, etc. and us kids made a "bubble fort" with a sheet and a big fan...

I didn't see Little Ray again until years later, in my twenties, when I was living in Los Angeles. My dad called to tell me Little Ray had just moved to the LA area, and maybe I should give him a call. I did and we arranged to get together. I'll never forget opening the door and seeing "Little" Ray...holy cow, he sure grew up TALL! and surprise, he was holding a motorcycle helmet. I quickly changed from the skirt I was wearing into a pair of jeans.

I'm so glad I found this site. Everything I read about Ray echoes my memories of him--he was such an extraordinarily kind and good person. He LOVED his dad. I remember he had just moved into his apartment but still managed to make a grilled fish dinner--delicious--I was so impressed, since all I could make was a mean PB & J. He said his dad taught him to cook.

After Ray moved away from LA, I would still hear about him now and then. I remember going to a party once and seeing a Tulane diploma on the host's wall. I asked if he knew Ray, and he got so excited, he was one of his fraternity brothers! It sounds cliché but it is so true: Everyone who knew Ray loved him and was better for knowing him.

Feeling upset and shaken by this sad news, I left work early today and headed home and almost went straight to bed. Then I realized, that Ray would probably not waste such a beautiful afternoon holed up. So I took my Greyhound on a long walk instead. Ray just makes you want to be a better person, do more, live more, appreciate more.

My heart and thoughts go out to Big Ray, Sophie, Rose, and all of the other many family members and friends who love and miss Ray so dearly. I consider myself very lucky to have known him for a little while.