Ray’s storytelling began with his family role of mail-reader for his illiterate parents. He escaped the urban slums of Richmond, VA by running away at age 17 to join the circus in 1978. Not actually in the circus but the United States Army, Ray served in a number of capacities and assignments at home and abroad, primarily as an Infantryman and Paratrooper. He retired after 20 years of service and the combat-decorated veteran earned a BS in History, MA in Public History, and EdS in Education Leadership. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in Education and teaches part time at Appalachians State University, his course- “The Souls of Black Folks”. He is the father of six, loves fishing, food, scuba, and pigeons. He is currently residing (hiding out) in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Watauga County, North Carolina.