Monday, April 18, 2011

Raymond Renwick Slater - 1928 - 2011

It has been a while since I last put fingers to the QWERTY. It was around Christmas time, and I wrote of putting on good cheer hats, and going out and spreading that cheer.
Nothing made me happier than putting smiles on faces that day.

It is now in Mid April, and while the buds of Mother Nature's offerings are showing promise, the snow decided to make an encore curtain call yesterday and gave us reason to don coats and scarves again. We still try to put smiles on faces, and do what we can to put positive energy into the universe. Some days it is tougher than others, but we never give up trying.
We live in a marriage that I feel is made in heaven. There are no accidents in the universe, and I feel it is no accident that I found and married my best friend!
I love our life together

Much has moved forward in my life, as it should. Babies are born, people die, snow retreated, and buds came out. New year arrived, election looms in the horizon, my son got his beginner license, Marys daughter is planning a July wedding.

Life at the speed of life.

I took the passing of a wonderful friend that prompted me to take my lunch hour, and write a word or two.

I lost my stepfather this past week. Ray was in life for the past 35 years, and was more of a friend than father. He was a joy to be around and a force of fun right up until his stroke 6 years ago.
In my twenties, Ray and I decided we would once a year, drive to every baseball park we could and watch a game. We choose what was reasonable driving distance at made a pact that we would pick a weekend in each summer and hit the road to take in the baseball, stadium architecture, hot dogs and beer of the local park. Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit were the first and only sadly. But what memories!

We called him "Arnie's caddy" for good reason; he was the caddy for Arnold Palmer when Arnie won his first professional golf tournament of his storied gold career. The Canadian Open at Weston Golf and Country saw Palmer as a young man have his bags totted by an even younger Ray Slater. He would and will always be remembered for that.

I will miss Ray, and have ever since he lost his edge after a stroke.
Years ago we would sit out back at their house in to the wee hours of the morning, and drink beer out a shot glass for goodness sake.
Ray called it a "short beer". So we would drink many, many, many "shorts", until we called it a night.

He loved food as much as I do. We shared a love for Montreal Smoked meat and even recently shared a plater with nice rye, and Kosher Strubs on his 83rd birthday in the home where he was confined.

Rest In Peace my friend!
Save me a slice or two of medium lean Ray, and some half sours!

Oh and don't forget the Vernors to go with the meat. I'm not sure if we can get short beers in heaven!