I would like to tell you about my friend Ray Gerring. He was a painter who eventually went blind, a WWII veteran who served in the Air Corps, and a local author who memorialized the early 20th century Seattle he grew up in.
Ray was a slender, birdlike man. By the time I knew him, Ray’s eyesight was failing and he walked with a cane. But his blue eyes. shone with humor and mischief nonetheless.
Ray and I would often walk together after our writers group’s meetings, his hands clasped in mine as I helped support his slow, careful steps. He dressed like the gentleman he was, with a jaunty little cap perched on his head.
I remember Ray’s stories about Seattle in the 1930s and ‘40s, the Seattle he had come of age in. He wrote two short story collections (Tales From The Emerald City and Milo’s Brain) full of mayhem and murder in the Pacific Northwest. I tried to pay Ray for his books, because they entertained me so, but he refused to take a dime from me.
It was fitting that Ray was a writer because Ray was certainly a character. He will be missed by all of us in his writer’s group, EPIC Group Writers. Ray departed from this world on April 13, 2020, survived by his loving wife, June, who faithfully edited his manuscripts and drove Ray to each of our meetings.
As we continue to gather and critique each other’s work, Ray’s memory will be a blessing to us all.
— By Jenna Nand