AROUND THE AGE OF 10, Ray's father was the Chairman of the Department of Art at Louisiana College, a small Baptist college in Pineville, Louisiana. He was the head of the Lyceum Committee that provided public lectures, concerts, and entertainment to the college.
One of those speaking events was Vincent Price.
Ray's mother was a great cook and the small central Louisiana town probably lacked an appropriate restaurant for a celebrity like Vincent Price, so they had him over to the house. Ray was aware of who Edgar Allan Poe was and had read at least several of his stories. Vincent and Ray were sitting on the living room couch and Vincent asked, "Want to hear about The Pit and the Pendulum?"
Probably with a bit of trepidation, but Ray sat next to Vincent Price and got a one-on-one recital of the nightmarish story. Ray says he wishes he could remember if he had any dreams that night.
On a lighter note, one morning Ray's mom was cooking pancakes. They probably weren't big, but as he remembers it, he ate about a dozen, which to a 12-year old was just about life's pinnacle. Ray always hated his middle name [Dorsie] and decided this achievement offered the perfect opportunity to change it. He wanted to change his name to
Ray Pancake Eater.
Probably anyone reading this can't possibly take this seriously, but Ray says he can not emphasize enough how utterly committed he was to this new cause to rid him of that dreaded middle name.
Ray's father, always one to be supportive, invited a lawyer friend over to the house for dinner. Afterwards, the conversation worked its way around to talk about the process of going through a name change. The discussion was earnest, and they were talking to Ray as an adult. The lawyer started out by saying we would
- fill out some forms and
- go to court.
Interest in the name change immediately dissolved as "going to court" translated directly into "going to jail."
Ray says, " wish I hadn't been such a weenie. Can you imagine how different my life would have been to have gone through it named 'Pancake eater?'"
How cool would that business card be. The name would be unforgeable..
An aside from Ray : Just for the record, as I write this, just yesterday, I had pancakes at Perkins Restaurant here in Newark, DE yesterday. Happy to go there with anyone that wants to and I would most definitely order the "magnificent 7" (for me, bacon, 2 eggs over medium well, and 3 buttermilk pancakes). Hmmm. Well, that made me hungry.