This is neat, Ray Wright doing a bio on Ray Wright. Norman asked me once for reflections on Blair and I told him, “not too many.” In retrospect, these many years later, I have a lot, probably because Louise and I have talked about it recently.
Remembering, that’s the challenge when you pass seventy. Carolyn Hylemon, I remember because she always had a kind word for every one she came into contact with. She seemed like a kind soul and someone to be trusted. Mary Jane Berry and I spent a lot of time on the phone. She helped me keep my sanity. And the spirit guides got the Carolyn’s mixed up and drove me crazy. But in retrospect Hanover was a ways away. Gene and Betty, study hall buddies, Linda Yates, one of the kindest people I ever met, Phoebe of course, and Carol Williams, because I had a crush on her. Larry Waltrip’s mother, another kind soul, (amazing the kind people you meet along the way). Louise, of course, we worked at Nottingham’s Pharmacy at the same time and Carolyn Harris who came over to help me out from time to time.
I remember Spotswood P. Honeycutt, (Jones) who ran off and got married. A most interesting person that few of us knew well and most of the girls were glad to see her go. She passed away a couple of years ago after living a creative life, never giving up her passion for writing. But that’s another story.
After high school I worked for the Post Office in Williamsburg until Cathy’s dad decided that I’d demolished too many postal trucks. What was it Cathy, four? The early years and staying out too late did me in. Others thought it would be nice if I went into the military and give everyone a break for a while. So I did. What a hoot.
I did a lot of Texas on the border in Del Rio. Now that’s different. Boy’s Town and all that goes with it. Kind of like being in the Philippines except that the PI has greenery, rain and a great big mountain fifteen miles to the left of what was my Quonset hut, what’s left of it. The mountain that is; remember Pinatubo? Spent eighteen months, 65’ to 67’ there patching up the wounded out of Vietnam. The taxi I stole is another story, not my fault. Swear. I did four months in the UK. It was nice being able to hop a train and go just about anywhere on the island.
I was married twice, five and twenty. Both are great people. I don’t know if I can still claim the first one since the pope annulled it. I’m sure the Richmond diocese was thrilled to have a southern Baptist, Gail, my ex, hankering for a go at the Catholic religious order, since her father was a lay Baptist Minister. Marilyn & I, she’s the one from the Blair twentieth reunion, raised three and put them through collage. After that she decided she didn’t want to be married. Life goes that way sometimes. That hurt.
Working life has taken too much time, but I’ve enjoyed it and that is good. I retired from retail at the end of 2006, after thirty-five years, mostly with two companies, doing various jobs, all of it managing stores or traveling as a HR trainer in various capacities.
Now that I’m retired I find I have less time on my hands than when I was working. I do a newsletter and website for the community and serve as treasurer for the Board. I’m still writing and revising stuff I’ve written before. My real gift is not being bothered by things that don’t turn out right. Just try and improve on those mistakes. Hence, is why I’m at my leisure rewriting “Southern Winds”. I’ve another book in the can; I just have to do some edits I’ve passed on for several months. While I don’t consider my writings up to par, I find it an excellent stimulus and can actually see improvements from time to time.
The good I saved for last. A couple of years ago there was a hurricane in Louisiana, all of you have heard of it. Katrina left New Orleans pretty much in tact; the gulf coast to the east suffered the greatest from the storm. However, when the levee broke in New Orleans, and the water rose, New Orleans became the IT of US disasters.
Many of you know of the harrowing experience Louise went through during that time. However, if not for this disaster, Louise and I probably would never have met again.
Norman held a small get to gather in Mechanicsville to welcome Louise back to Richmond. It was there that we met again. We both agree it’s the best thing that could have happened to us.
Louise and I were married in January of 2007 and it has been great ever since.
Now, if I can just get her on the golf course.
The where was I stuff?
What was I doing when?
1962: U2 downed in Cuba, 1962, Red Anderson: Tommy Oar and I picked up his wife and brought her back to the hospital on base.
1963: Kennedy assassinated: Working OB ward at Mildenhall AFB, UK when a patient told me that our president had been shot.
1968: RFK: Working
1968: Martin Luther King Assassinated: Club in Newport News.
1969: Man on the Moon: Home.
1986: Challenger shuttle disaster: Working in Charlotte, NC (Gods Country).
2001: 9/11: Walking into the Ashville, NC airport for a flight to Boston on an HR trip. The Ticket agent took me into the backroom to watch the TV. Still have the tickets. Didn’t fly that day.
2003: Columbia shuttle disaster: Working
Movies: Anything with Ashley Judd.
Television: I don’t’ do television. That’s not entirely true. I do buy a series every now and then. “Lost” was fun as is Heros.