When Ray offered an inside look at his self-described "Man Cave," photographer Mary Lou Johnson and I took him up on the idea. What a fun visit was in store.
From the pristine landscaping to every beautiful detail, this is a well-lived and well-appointed home. We were immediately greeted by Ray and his two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, KC and Maggie. Limie, a Panama Amazon Parrot who talked incessantly until we stood by his spacious crate for much of the conversation, wanted to be part of the interview. The atmosphere was welcoming!
Ray started visiting Longboat Key with three friends for tennis holidays in 1983, staying at either the Longboat Key Club or a condo that one of the guys owned in Fairway Bay. Now, they are still playing together, but the game is golf.
At age 19, Ray joined the Army, following in his father's footsteps, who served in the European Campaign during WWII. Upon discharge in 1966, Ray attended Bay State College, located in his hometown, Boston. With a degree in Accounting, Ray's first job was at a new TV Station. He quickly earned more responsibility and became adept in Business Management, Personnel and became the Head of Business Affairs of the Company’s 7 TV Stations.
Over the years, Ray moved often for career opportunities. Moving from Boston to San Francisco to Cincinnati to Buffalo, back to Cincinnati and finally to Los Angeles. He was Senior VP of the Production Division which included Hanna-Barbera, the well-known animation studio founded in 1957 by former Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer animation directors and Tom and Jerry creators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. It was a prominent force in American television animation "back in the day." The company also produced Theatrical feature films, TV movies, TV shows and commercials. When Ted Turner acquired the company, Ray moved to Paramount as Executive VP of The Television Stations Group, living in Calabasas, California, located in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. From this picturesque area, he enjoyed life above the smog and didn't mind the freeway commute to work.
In 2004, Ray retired and moved across the country to Bay Isles. Bringing some LA Style with him, Ray renovated his home in The Bayou with new kitchen cabinets and counters, some built-ins and created his "man cave" as a showcase for the many Sports Memorabilia that he acquired over his career that touched the entertainment and sporting worlds. Some of the most important items include bats, balls, photos and jerseys from Baseball Legends Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams. There are all kinds of items on display and also a collection of Cartoon Production Cells from famous Hanna-Barbera characters.
Ray's three children and seven grandchildren enjoy visits to the paradise that Ray has created in Bay Isles, whether inside or around the pool.
Thank you, Ray, for inviting us in!