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Author Topic: Ray the Rat  (Read 81845 times)

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Offline Freud

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Re: Ray the Rat
« Reply #90 on: March 02, 2014, 01:30:46 PM »
I'd like to explain part of Rays recent history.

Several years ago Bret Kepner, 20+ year ESPN Motorsports correspondent and recently of Fox Motorsports,

was the speaker at the Bonneville NW Reunion. He was marvelous and being a hard core perfectionist

and a student of the English language, he reported it as it was written.....unless it needed to be corrected.

I was doing a video recording of his presentation and had things to be aware of other than just his story.

After all I could always listen to the video. Somewhere in the talk he had a reference to something that

Ray had done and when he read it he referred to Ray as Ray Therat. There was no punctuation and nothing that

would cause him to use Ray the Rat.

At that time Ray achieved a new identity. Only the people at the banquet heard it as it originated. Ray loved it.

So as time passed he frequently identified himself as Ray Therat. (pronounced Thereat) That's how it happened. With total respect it

will be the ashes of Ray Therat that will be scattered from the parachute of the Target550 streamliner.

He had no idea this would happen but he won't complain about it either.

Thanks Brett Kepner for applying the touch of a perfectionist to our dear friend. He was pleased.

If you have a story to relate about Ray just post it here. His family will be pleased to hear it.

FREUD

Since '63

Offline Stan Back

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Re: Ray the Rat
« Reply #91 on: March 02, 2014, 01:56:43 PM »
The story I tell about Ray is that a year (or two?) ago, I was shooting my snapshots over on 2.  Ray was behind me a ways with one of his Howitzers. 

He says, "Stan, I'm going back to the car and get out of the sun for a while."

"You can't go now, Ray."

"Why not?"

"Look on the line, who's next."

"Whadaja mean?"

"It's One-Run Bob.  You might not want to miss this."

"Oh.  Okay."

And, on cue, Bob takes a longish push-off, nails it in first gear, and chases his push truck to near disaster.  It started out, behind me, as click . . . click . . . click and then click,click,click,click,click.  A great sequence that I think One-Run might have be able to post here.  I thought it was great the way Ray caught the drama.  He was always ready for the unexpected.

I'm already missing him.

Member of the San Berdoo Roadsters -- "California's Most-Exclusive Roadster Club".
Celebrating 67th anniversary of racing on the salt.

Offline Freud

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Re: Ray the Rat
« Reply #92 on: March 02, 2014, 02:05:31 PM »


I'm already missing him.


[/quote]

I am also.

FREUD
Since '63

Offline Texican

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Re: Ray the Rat
« Reply #93 on: March 02, 2014, 02:18:44 PM »


I'm already missing him.



I am also.

FREUD
[/quote]

My neighbor and my daughter asked "How am I holding up?"

I told her this morning that we are doing fairly well; got the weeping controlled to about only 6 or 8 sessions a day.  :wink:

Offline hotrod

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Re: Ray the Rat
« Reply #94 on: March 02, 2014, 03:07:18 PM »
The thing I remember most is that Ray was always the sort of photographer you loved working around.
He was always aware of the other photographers around him and made a sincere effort to get his shot without getting in your shot. During the Mike Cook Shootout 2012, several of us were set up near the timing stand during the "fly blitz" I was farthest south about 200' and Ray and Pork Pie were between me and the timing stand and the video tower. We were waiting for Speed Demon to make it's down run toward the highway, and got the call that the salt was locked down and he would be underway shortly. We all moved to get setup for the car. Speed Demon is so quick at 400+ mph you get only a couple seconds to get your shot. It is really important to have an unimpeded view of the car's approach speed so you can mentally dial in your pan rate so you can freeze the action at the ideal point/angle. How big the salt plume is behind the car is one of your first visual clues to where the car is and how fast he is running since you are looking 2 miles down course and he is coming almost directly at you from that angle.

Pork Pie stepped out enough to get his view, and Ray had to walk out another 50 or so feet to get a good angle past the USAC rep who was standing in front of the timing stand. When he got clear he "as always" looked back over his right shoulder to see if he was in my shot. I gave him a thumbs up and he returned it and we all settled down for the show as we could hear Speed demon coming by then.
-------
During the Shoot Out in  2010 late in the afternoon Spirit of Rett stream liner was getting set up for some beauty shots by the video crew. Even though the sun was setting fast, they sort of pissed away all the good light getting setup and constantly had their crane rig right next to the car so it was impossible for the still photographers to get clean unobstructed shots of the car. As a result the still photographers were constantly moving around trying to find an angle to shoot over someones shoulder or between two people to get that blasted video rig out of the image and get a descent shot in the rapidly failing light. Ray was back in a crowd trying to compose a head on shot of the car by shooting between a couple people as the video crew ran in circles.

I tried to get a candid shot of him as he composed the shot.

Below you see the image -- at the last moment as I was squeezing the shutter his "all seeing photographers eye" picked up he was in my shot and looked over to see what I was taking a picture of, just as the shutter tripped. It was this sort of awareness of his surroundings that allowed him to see shots before they even existed and get in position to get a shot anticipating what was about to happen.

I like everyone else will miss his warm smiles and a friendly pat on the back when he first met you each new year as we checked in at the trailers or gathered at lands end waiting for things to open up.

Offline Seldom Seen Slim

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Re: Ray the Rat
« Reply #95 on: March 02, 2014, 03:11:40 PM »
Doug/Buickguy sent this photo of Ray getting in some regeneration time.
Jon E. Wennerberg
 a/k/a Seldom Seen Slim
 Skandia, Michigan
 (that's way up north)
2 Club member x2
Owner of landracing.com

Offline Freud

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Re: Ray the Rat
« Reply #96 on: March 02, 2014, 04:07:45 PM »
Ray needed a lot of sleep because he ran so close to the redline all the time.

He had heart surgery in the '90's and frequently he had to sleep to restore some more go power.

He slept poorly and when he would awaken he would work. When he was tired he had to sleep.

The clock time did not matter.

He would sleep whenever he could.

FREUD
Since '63

Offline salt27

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Re: Ray the Rat
« Reply #97 on: March 02, 2014, 04:18:36 PM »
I've been in a bit of a funk since hearing about Rays passing.

It seems Bonneville is not just about fast vehicles, speed records and salt but it is more so about the camaraderie of the people who frequent it, past and present.

Unlike any other motorsport, we help each other out and cheer each other on.

Friendship runs deep.

I know what I'm feeling and can't imagine what Rays partners, Freud and Marlo are feeling.

Ray was able to pursue his passion to the end and for that we should be thankful.

God Speed.


  Don


Offline jim b

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Re: Ray the Rat
« Reply #98 on: March 02, 2014, 04:57:31 PM »
Surprised and very sorry to hear the news. I met Ray a few times while taking photos at Bonneville and was very helpful to me with info for shooting at Miller MotorSports Park. You'll be missed by many myself included.

Jim

Offline zzcruzin

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Re: Ray the Rat
« Reply #99 on: March 02, 2014, 07:04:45 PM »
I'd like to explain part of Rays recent history.

Several years ago Bret Kepner, 20+ year ESPN Motorsports correspondent and recently of Fox Motorsports,

was the speaker at the Bonneville NW Reunion. He was marvelous and being a hard core perfectionist

and a student of the English language, he reported it as it was written.....unless it needed to be corrected.

I was doing a video recording of his presentation and had things to be aware of other than just his story.

After all I could always listen to the video. Somewhere in the talk he had a reference to something that

Ray had done and when he read it he referred to Ray as Ray Therat. There was no punctuation and nothing that

would cause him to use Ray the Rat.

At that time Ray achieved a new identity. Only the people at the banquet heard it as it originated. Ray loved it.

So as time passed he frequently identified himself as Ray Therat. (pronounced Thereat) That's how it happened. With total respect it

will be the ashes of Ray Therat that will be scattered from the parachute of the Target550 streamliner.

He had no idea this would happen but he won't complain about it either.

Thanks Brett Kepner for applying the touch of a perfectionist to our dear friend. He was pleased.

If you have a story to relate about Ray just post it here. His family will be pleased to hear it.

FREUD

Thanks Freud for all you did for Ray. It sounds like he will get one final ride. God Speed Ray.


Offline John Noonan

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Re: Ray the Rat
« Reply #100 on: March 02, 2014, 09:36:50 PM »
Friday Michelle and I were going through our receipts so we could go do our taxes on Saturday morning and as I looked through my check copies I see a check for 100 bucks made payable to Ray Buck..I thought for a minute then remembered what and who it was for..really sad to know he is gone...RIP Mr. Buck.

Offline Freud

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Re: Ray the Rat
« Reply #101 on: March 02, 2014, 09:39:00 PM »
ZZ.........I hope you are there with us.

FREUD
Since '63

Offline Bville701

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Re: Ray the Rat
« Reply #102 on: March 02, 2014, 10:15:02 PM »
Godspeed Ray. I'm going to miss our conversations.
Ryan LeFevers

701 C/GMR - 216.509 MPH El Mirage Record Holder

El Mirage "Dirty 2" Club Member

Offline wobblywalrus

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Re: Ray the Rat
« Reply #103 on: March 02, 2014, 10:36:19 PM »
Ray lived life at full throttle for the short time I knew him.  He probably went out the way he wanted to go.  Doing what he liked and wanted up to the end.  He was a great guy.

Offline desotoman

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Re: Ray the Rat
« Reply #104 on: March 02, 2014, 11:57:07 PM »
This is such sad news. Ray was a good guy and I did not know one person who did not like him. Over the years Ray sent me some of his great photo's, glad I have them. Godspeed and RIP Ray, you will be missed. My condolences to Ray's Family and the Target 550 Team.

Tom G.
Asking questions is one's only way of getting answers. As a young boy I was always taught that there is no such thing as a stupid question. It suggests that the quest for knowledge includes failure, and that just because one person may know less than others they should not be afraid to ask rather than pretend they already know. In many cases multiple people may not know but are too afraid to ask the "stupid question"; the one who asks the question may in fact be doing a service to those around them.