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Good bye and thank you, Ray Dashner :-(

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#1 Doug Seed

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:43 PM

I'm sorry to report the passing of one of our most dedicated and educated 1964-'65 New York World's Fair experts. Ray Dashner, a WF Legacy in his own right, passed away in Tampa on November 7th, 2012.

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.



Doug



Attached File  RayRedSweaterSegway.JPG   193.42KB   46 downloadsAttached File  UncleSamSegway.JPG   329.24KB   49 downloadsAttached File  uher4000.jpg   8.9KB   47 downloadsAttached File  WF Big Flag_Seed and Dashner.JPG   220.42KB   44 downloadsAttached File  candy_1.gif   62.01KB   30 downloads


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#2 Bill Cotter

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:52 PM

Sad news indeed. I enjoyed visiting with Ray out here in California before he moved. He was a funny guy, some great stories. He will be missed for sure.

#3 waynebretl

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:00 PM

RIP, Ray.

I enjoyed meeting him in California, and of course collected his "vault" recordings. He and his stories will certainly be missed.

#4 Randy Treadway

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:03 PM

Wow, Doug, what sad news! I too visited Ray out here in California several times, and enjoyed the visits. It was *his* doing that connected us with other contacts out here like Albert Fisher and Trey Callaway. We are going to miss Ray.

#5 expoboy

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:04 PM

Very sad. I always looked forward to his posts here.

#6 Slurm65

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:46 PM

My condolences to Mr. Dashner's family. I only met him that one time at the first "Saturday In The Park Day". He had his tape recorder and was interviewing the attendees on that rainy afternoon. When he came up to me, I told him I was born in March of 1965 and did not attend the fair. He still wanted me to say something into the mic so I did. He was a very nice guy and I play his recordings all the time. Rest In Peace Ray.

#7 SonnyTFox

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:24 PM

I`ve been a member of PTU under varios guises since 2004 and have had the opportunity and pleasure of listening to some of Rays recordings from the fair.Although we never met his love for the fair and posts will sorely be missed.R.I.P Ray.

#8 MitchS

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 06:17 PM

Condolences to Ray's family and all here at PTU. A fitting tribute to fly his flag in Flushing, I was honored to be there with Stephanie and Johnny to take it down at the end of the week. He will be missed...
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#9 Jim

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 07:07 PM

Doug, your words are wonderful and offer a warm tribute to Ray. I never met him but his posts were always enlightening and enthusiastic. I offer my condolences to his friends and his family.

Jim

#10 Craig Bavaro

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:53 PM

I had the pleasure of meeting Ray when I moved to LA about 10 years ago. He used to keep a small place close to where I lived in Pasadena. He was a gracious host who was always ready with a few good stories that he told with a twinkle in his eye. It was a sad day when he moved to Florida, but we all knew it was time. He will surely be missed by all of us world's fair enthusiasts here on the West Coast. For me, Ray's recordings literally brought the New York World's Fair to life in a way I never could have imagined and for that I will be eternally grateful. Rest in peace my friend.

#11 worldsfairent

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 11:00 PM

Ray was a sweet and true gentleman and my heartfelt condolences go out to his family and many friends.

I remember our shared love for LA broadcasting legend Huell Howser. Ray gave Huell a real run for his money when he played tour guide in his own Pasadena neighborhood during a great episode of CALIFORNIA'S GOLD about the original Busch Gardens. His energy and enthusiasm nearly eclipsed Huell's (no small feat for locals familiar with the long-running PBS series)-- so after learning a few days ago of Huell's retirement... and now the news of Ray's passing... this is a very sad week, indeed.

Here's a link to where you can get a copy of the episode if you're interested. It's a lot of fun-- and I'm glad that along with his wonderful VAULT recordings of the NYWF-- it's yet another way his bright spirit has been preserved for posterity.

http://www.calgold.c...s=6000&Show=705

Rest in peace, Ray. The World's Fair Community may be diminished in your absence-- but will continue proudly in your name.

-Trey

#12 worldsfairent

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 11:05 PM

And here's another thought directed at our pal Johnny Piro... how about flying that flag of Ray's at half staff for a day in his memory?

#13 Randy Treadway

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:22 AM

I'll second Trey's suggestion of a half staff honor for Ray, if Johnny can coordinate permission with the Parks Dept.



#14 MitchS

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:42 AM

Johnny is out of town but we texted and he is already planning some tribute with the flag, stay tuned.



#15 magikbilly

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 04:09 PM

This is just sad news :(

Godspeed.

 

Eric






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