Today Ray Carter passed away . I had the time and opportunity to visit with him before his passing and frankly we said all that was needed.
I met ray a handful of years ago when he came to our little blogmeet out here in the wilds of Colorado and to say he was a bit nervous would be an understatement . A Gay West Coast city boy suddenly finding himself in the wilds of knuckle dragging farm/ranch country was almost too much for him to process , right up until he found that no one really cared about any of the " issues " that were so prominent in the city. Besides he could strap that big ol S&W on his hip and walk down the street without inciting so much as a second glace . He took an almost childish delight in doing just that and before long had procured for himself a cowboy style rig for it to ride in . Kinda dirty Harry meet Zorro the gay blade or some such .
Ray fell in love with the area and people here and at one point brought his Mother out here seriously house shopping ., however life never quite worked out that way for him . He made the pilgrimage to Blogarado every year without fail and we visited quite a bit between his appearances online and via the phone
We discussed many topics but usually one of his passions either Gay rights or Gun rights . Ray and I didn't exactly see eye to eye on all the nuances of either issue but we never failed to discuss our difference of opinions as adults and both gave the other much to think about , at times even inciting a change of opinion from one or the other .
Ray was a passionate man who embraced life and friends fully at every opportunity be it shooting on the range with us, inciting mayhem in the course of the evening " shoptalks " or making his lasagne or grits .. only damned grits worth eating I might add .
Today , as all too often happens Cancer took my friend . It didn't beat him because he never gave in , he never quit planning tomorrow . It could and did kill his body , but nothing on this good earth could kill his spirit and optimism .
I choose not to wish Ray had more time because the time he would have
had was an existence in hell on earth. Rather I choose to rejoice in
the time we had and reflect on the fact that I am a richer man for
having known him and grateful for the lessons he taught me simply by being himself.
If there happen to be feedreaders where you are Ray , be assured that one day we will again share a range , a conversation , and a meal ... so DON'T loose that damned grits recipe .