Last Sunday was a sad day. On Facebook I had noted my good friend Ray Carter, aka GayCynic, aka Northwest Freethinker, had passed away. It created a large wake within the gun community spurring a few articles such as this one. Sadly this meant I was going to meet a handful of mutual online friends in meat-space for the first time as we said goodbye to another friend.
The good news was, Ray being Ray made the service a fun ride, having planned much of it in advance himself. Including 37 minutes of prelude music (iTunes link).
Even to the point of writing his own naming in the service:
Raymond was by his own admission over-serious and more sensitive than was really in his own best interests. He was a recovering alcoholic, sober since 1996 with all the benefits and flaws that implies. He sought to be a good son, to accept his brother for who he was, and to be a good uncle and friend.
Ray was driven to activism by many things. His sense of obligation to those who went before, his fundamental opposition to injustice, his patriotism, his love for his fellow man and his belief that often the kindest and most moral thing a government can do is to leave individuals to work out their own destiny.
Ray considered his nieces a special blessing, and loved them every day of their lives. His favorite holiday was Christmas and he went over the top each year that he could, going wild with decorating and striving to uphold the family traditions. He enjoyed cooking, reading and bull sessions with friends.
His time with the Freedom Day Committee, culminating in co-chairing a Pride Parade was a proud memory that he always enjoyed sharing. He took even greater joy in his time working with the Second Amendment Foundation and for firearms rights, which he saw as just another side of the same issue – civil rights – with debatably saner players. Or at least differently nuts.
Ray came to Masonry later in life, following his father and grandfather into lodge membership. He found this an opportunity for service and as an immense comfort during the last years of his life. He requests that in lieu of flowers or other donations that word be made to the Masonic Scholarship Fund of Alki Lodge #152.The growth of the lodge and facilitating educational opportunities for today’s youth was critically important to him.
The support of the Second Amendment Foundation, his friends and colleagues there, and particularly the support and tolerance of Alan and Julie Gottlieb made possible a dignified and graceful passage and rose well above any reasonable expectation of an employer; they are to be commended for their efforts and Ray hopes they accept his deepest gratitude.
Ray asked that I make clear that this service celebrating his life celebrate ALL of his life – not just one part or another. He chose music, verses and asked for themes that reflected who he was – a decidedly out gay man, a pro-gun activist, a patriot, a “small l” libertarian, a supporter of LGBT rights, and all the other roles in his life. He admitted he cheated and threw in one or two songs that he loved just for the beauty of the songs and asked that all of us here forgive him his final whimsy.
I realize now after the service there was a LARGE number of people who for various reasons weren’t able to make it but wanted to be there. I hope this glimpse into the service will suffice and put a smile on your face like Ray would have wanted.
There was limited commentary while sitting in the church regarding stories about Ray. Well anyone that knows Ray knows exactly why that is, I can’t think of any stories that are “Sanctuary Appropriate”. I made sure the story of Ray and Linoge was given to everyone in the room.
The wife made Ray’s Rice Crispy treats:
Rice Krispy treats
For a 9×13 pan
1 cup each sugar, peanut butter, and light corn syrup
1 16oz bag each chocolate chips and butterscotch chips
6 cups rice krispies (or cereal to be disposed of)
In double boiler, melt together until smooth, corn syrup and sugar.
Let come to bare boil, back off. Remove from heat.
Stir in peanut butter, blending thoroughly.
Pour blended mixture over bowl of 6c of rice krispies – mixing thoroughly.
Press into buttered 9×13 pan. Use care and/or a spoon.
Clean or retrieve 2nd double boiler.
Melt together butterscotch chips and chocolate chips, stirring until indistinguishably blended.
Pour over rice krispy mix as frosting, until covered from edge to edge.
Either let set, or to accelerate setting, place in fridge or (if in great hurry) freezer.
Using sturdy knife, cut in 1×1 squares (2×2 seem far more common though).
Consume and giggle.
She even made a sign for the closing quote:
It was a sad day but we all made the most of it. We’ll miss you Ray and so long my brother.
Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.
He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.