49ras2.jpg (5258 bytes)
1949

 

REMEMBERING  RAS

ras47.jpg (3424 bytes)
1947

 

I have never thought of Ras Bilbrey without images of West Paris in the 40's, entering my mind. For years he lived on one corner of Depot street in the Majestic Hotel, owned by his parents, and me at the other end of the same block. There are only a couple of friends that I knew before Ras. Although older and actually my sister Peggy's classmate, he was special to both of us. When he moved back to Paris I had always made his favorite watering hole my coffee stop each morning when I was visiting town.

Another image that pops in my mind; Ras with a football running in the open at Barton field or up and down the court in the old City Auditorium. I always envied his speed and quickness, probably because I was slow as molasses. And of course it is impossible to forget his infectious smile.

In 1953 I was in the base gymnasium, Clark Air Force Base, Philippine Islands. Clark was to play the naval station located about 80 miles away. Someone walked up behind me and said, "What do you think you're doing." I turned around prepared to deliver a smart reply and there stood a grinning Ras. He was on the naval basketball team that was playing our base team. Small world indeed.

ras99.jpg (2025 bytes)In May of this year I was able to spend more time than usual with Ras. In addition to coffee each morning, he provided a couple of his Towers for me to scan for the Grove site. He came over and we told war stories into the night. In addition we went out to dinner one night. I called him only about two weeks ago. As usual it was a two hour conversation. I am sure it would have been a bore to anyone else listening, but for us it was our way to 'go back home again.' And yes, we could go back.

Many who knew Ras also knew he had experienced health problems in the past several years. When folks asked Ras if he had come back to Paris to live, his favorite reply was, "No, I have come back to die."
Well... old friend, it was much too soon. In the words of  Ted Jenkins when he informed me of  his death, "Another of the good ones have gone."

Buddy Dancy
November 2, 2002

Navigational Tree:

RAS  OBITUARY     RAS  MADE  A  DIFFERENCE      RAS  REMEMBERED

BACK  TO  WHAT'S  NEW

BACK  TO  RAS  BILBREY  OBITUARY

BACK  TO   INDIVIDUAL  HONORS  INDEX

BACK  TO  OTHER  CLASSES  INDEX

BACK  TO  ALL  CLASSES   MEMORIAM  INDEX

BACK  TO  HOME  PAGE