Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Birthday to that second kid, what's his name, oh yes I remember now Raymond!

Raymond was born in 1957 and always complained that he could find no pictures or hardly any of self in family album up until he went to school. Yes, that oldest son, Gary Dean, was photographed to a farthywell, in fact he almost broke us paying for a big photo every year we or I signed for, so naturally there was no money or inclination to speak of when second son came along, but he was certainly a cute little fellow, just as good natured and smiling all the time as his older brother. I didn't know what it was not to have smiling kids until last son came along they called 'little frown' who did not smile at all until he was 2 months. He thought a big scary frown suited him better, but oh yes, lest I forget whose birthday this is let us get back to Raymond who did get one photo taken of him when he was three months old and that had to do until he was formally photographed at 3 when I dubbed him the sunshine boy he looked so sweet and 'sunny' to me.

But as you can see not having his picture taken early on did not prevent him from looking the picture of confidence in the school boy photo. I think this is a photo that accurately portrays the character and looks that were going to take him into the world of theatrics and tricks and making a name for himself. He was already walking on his hands everywhere by then. When he was ten I would take him to the grocery store and if I did not watch him closely he would walk on his hands up and down the aisles. I remember him inspiring children even then. A little boy in the grocery story saw him walking on his hands and pointed to him yelling at his mother, "I want to do that!" Raymond did end up teaching a lot of little boys and girls to try to do just that plus more.

There is one quiet photo of him he sent me once that turned out to be my favorite because he looked so pensive on it, thoughtful.

This photo, however, of Raymond with long blond locks just like his cousin Camille's, two years older, personifies to me some of the trouble he got in high school. Both of my sons wore their hair as long as the principal would let them, and I was sometimes called in because it was just too long. Once Raymond, before he grew to six feet, was taken for a girl by one cop who picked up him and his friend Red and called me to come and get her. I knew who he meant and said okay and then thought I better check and said I did not have a daughter. The cop said 'oh er-son.'

However Raymond soon became known as a gymnast who was just a little bit too tall and had too long of feet to be the ideal size for turning somersaults, but that never stopped him at all.

He was and has remained as interesting a kid as you want to have around, sometimes too interesting as he was fascinated with the wild west and playing outlaws, sometimes for real. And got himself and even his mother in all kinds of trouble. We had only lived in California a week until he and I both had to visit our probation officer once a week for six months. I had already pulled him out of a scrape in Arizona by moving him, but as you can tell he always had a way of calling attention to himself. His older brother pointed that out to me. Said he had done everything Raymond did but just did not get caught like Raymond did. Raymond's purpose in his early life in theater, starting in the 6th grade, was to make sure nobody missed his act, if it was playing a scarecrow that turned somersaults in the Wizard of Oz or what. In fact when I went to see him play Little League I was shocked to find him playing Yogi Berri as catcher at home plate. Usually people watch the pitcher but in this game everyone's eyes was focused on young Yogi Berri at the plate wondering what a sixth grade little league player would think of to holler next at the befuddled batter.
Once the restaurant where I worked hired Raymond as a bus boy. I was even shocked to see that he bussed tables so fast that you held your breath wondering why everything just didn't fly off and crash. I could see he was practicing his clown and juggler act to keep from being bored. I was even a little relieved when he said the job was too boring and he was going back to his other restaurant where I suppose he had a bigger starring role.
Life with Raymond was never boring for anybody. He was always a very entertaining kid and kind hearted and sensitive too.
The little kids in the family were naturally fascinated with his act, as he would always try to do improv with them and get them to performing as soon as possible.
Here he is with baby Ethan and Dante is hanging on his shoulder who became a natural for his improv act, Raymond playing the Italian cook father and Dante is waiter son. Dante would serve us the meal and collect tips from us as directed by his mean father who threatened to beat him every little while. Dante thought it was all great fun. I don't know if he inherited his uncle's actor genes or what but he's another you can't take your eyes off from when he's around.

Thought you would enjoy this tour into Raymond's past via photos for his birthday, a little different, just as he is. A very entertaining son. Below is a photo I took of him with his dog Baby, his latest student he is teaching tricks.


LaRena said...

I really enjoyed reading your tribute and seeing the photos of Raymond. It surely took me back to when he used to hang out with my boys and make me nervous that the whole bunch would be getting into trouble.(Which they did every now and the.)Your header picture reminds me so much of one I have of Randy I thought it was him for a second. The pose, the hair, the grin. I don't know who was mimicking he but maybe they just looked alike from hanging out together so much.(Sort of like old married couples who come to look alike.)Ha.

Anyway, it was true that Raymond was a fun kid to have around, and I came to love him as an adopted son or nephew. I have been amazed when I attended festival in Boulder at how much energy Raymond was able to throw into entertaing the crowd and keeping things going. I think most of the Boulder people really appreciate him and he wont ever regret the time he has spent there even when he goes on to bigger and better things.

Paula said...

Happy birthday to Raymond. He was born the same year as my oldest.We got roped into that picture thing too. Bought an album and was suppose to get a free 8x10 portrait every six months or once a year (I forget). I think we got three and that was the end of that, got the run-a-round and finally gave up. Then when the second daughter came along we weren't so naive. said...

Poor second kids don't get the photos that the first ones do. I am still bemoaning a photo I sent off when Stuart was two that I lost forever (I was doing a children story about his feet.) We had six years of photo's with Marina before Stuart. We didn't take that many, but more than he had. Then there's the third and fourth!
Nice tribute to Raymond.

Missie said...

Happy Birthday to Raymond!

Amrita said...

Happy birthday Raymond. All the best the coming year.

My, my Gerry you have a handsome family

salemslot9 said...

happy 53rd birthday
to your Raymond

born on devil's night


Cheryl said...

Trying being the lead to that kind of kid. I always felt like I was lost a bit in all of his ability to captivate and attract but then I was captivated and attracted as well. We are now the same age for a few months. Great tribute to a truly amazing man.


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