He was one of the earliest members of this World's Fair community, having first logged on September 10th, 2000.Ray was 77, born October 17, 1935
Ray visited the Fair many, many times and made high quality audio recordings of almost every show, program and presentation. Ray's recordings are the only known recordings of many pavilion presentations and, without a doubt, the only comprehensive recordings of an entire World's Fair made by one single person. The recordings live on in Ray's digitized version that he titled "The Vault". http://www.nywf64.com/raydo01.html
There will be a memorial service in Tampa, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church on Monday, Dec. 3rd, 2012 at 10:30 AM. If any area PTU members can attend, please seek out Ray's sister, Elaine, or his son. They'll be happy to know that Ray's beloved World's Fair and equally beloved Fair friends were at his memorial.
I'd like to thank Ray personally for his most generous hospitality the two times I visited his home in Tampa. His open invitation to all PTUers to come down and learn to ride his Segway made him as happy as it made his visitors.
I don't claim to remember all the details, but Ray had an electronics store in Connecticut in his early years. He specialized in radio equipment and was involved in the development of "repeaters" that could broaden communications for businesses, police, fire departments, etc.
A gadget nut, he purchased a German made, Uher brand, reel-to-reel tape recorder and took it with him on his 25+ trips to the New York World's Fair, creating the Vault recordings for posterity.
Later, he moved to Pasadena, CA and continued in the electronics business. Upon retirement, Ray stayed incredibly active with committees and projects in community improvement.
A proud time in his life was when, as a youngster in Chicopee, Massachusetts, he was involved in the Berlin Airlift through "Operation Little Vittles." The project involved American pilots dropping candy to German children. By the end of the operation, around 25 plane crews had dropped 23 tons of chewing gum, chocolate, and other candies over various parts of Berlin. In May of 2009, Ray returned to Chicopee to be a featured speaker at a commemorative event for the philanthropic project that he had participated in as a kid.
In a fateful turn of events, after the Chicopee commemoration, a gentleman came up to Ray and handed him a bag. In it was a giant 1964 New York World's Fair flag that had flown at the Fair.
From that day on, Ray went to great lengths to see to it that the flag was flown at Flushing Meadows on the April and October days, each year, that would have been the opening and closing of the World's Fair. I'm told that Ray wished for that tradition to continue and has left the duty to our friend, Johnny Piro.
From Ray's member profile, his many interests included "NYWF 1964 / '65, CHESS, TRAVEL, INTELLIGENT YOUNG WOMEN, SEGWAY, POLITICAL DEBATE, FINE DINING, BROADWAY STAGE SHOWS, AUDIO SYSTEMS, COMMUNICATIONS DEVELOPMENTS AND STAYING IN TOUCH WITH MY MANY, MANY GOOD FRIENDS."
The fate of his recordings and website are yet to be determined, but for the time being, his collection will stay with his family.
If I have any of the above information wrong, please understand that this is purely from my memory of conversations I had with Ray.
I will post more information as it becomes available.
RayRedSweaterSegway.JPG 193.42KB 46 downloads UncleSamSegway.JPG 329.24KB 49 downloads uher4000.jpg 8.9KB 47 downloads WF Big Flag_Seed and Dashner.JPG 220.42KB 44 downloads candy_1.gif 62.01KB 30 downloads