Thursday, February 23

Gentle Giant

I have known Ray for 35 years yet I have not seen him for 30. He grew up in the East Bay and a Berkeley High School alum; we developed our friendship during my Jr year when we were pen pals. I recently re-read his letters.

Back then, Ray was a fast breast-stroker and fearsome water polo player, which he pursued at university on the varsity teams.  He and I trained with the Berkeley Barracudas and, since Ray is five-years my senior,  was someone I looked up to : An athlete-scholar.  I am not surprised by the person he has become, either : an artist and teacher at the California Institute of the Arts. While we look at each other in fascination - 30 years gone by! - I see the same soul from 1982 or '83.  We may be older and wiser or richer but who we are has barely changed at all.