Sunday, July 24, 2005

Ray Lee

Today I was reminded of a guy I used to be friends with - Ray Lee Pirkle. He was a very skinny and smoked Capris. Capris were a cigarette that came out in the Eighties. They were very thin and were sort of womanly. He was convinced that he could pull them off. He was an actor.

The most distinguishing feature of Ray Lee was his two front teeth. They were half brown, so that from a few feet away, it looked like a huge chunk had been taken out of each of his front teeth. It was horrible. But, again, Ray Lee thought he could pull it off. I think he had looked at them for so long that he just quit seeing them. Plus, so many people loved him that he never heard anything about those awful teeth.

I once offered to take him to my father, the dentist, who I knew would give Ray Lee a great deal on a couple of new front teeth. (My father hates to see people walking around with messed up teeth.) Ray Lee thanked me, but explained that he was deathly afraid of dentist as he had had a bad experience years before.

One person who was completely devoted to Ray Lee was Dale. Dale was Ray Lee's puppy. He thought Ray Lee hung the moon. When we would go out to eat, Ray Lee would finish him meal and hand Dale his plate. Dale would sit Ray Lee's plate on top of his own so that he had two dirty plates, sometimes with food on them, in front of him. Ray Lee, meanwhile, had a clear spot so he could gesticulate and smoke. I hated that. It made him look like a completely different kind of asshole than he normally did - a more offensive asshole, one that would kick a puppy, not just ignore it.

After I had grown tired of him and was keeping my distance, Ray Lee said that he had reconsidered my offer and would let (he used the word: let) my father look at his teeth. I said, "Great. He's in the book. Give him a call."


Anonymous said...

I remember the days at Dennys with Ray and Dale, and I have to say that you are dead wrong. Dale did indeed worship Ray, but Ray always treated everyone with respect and decency, that's why everyone loved him.
It is interesting that after 20yrs you are still thinking about him. Did he break your heart?

Andy Baker said...

I'm sticking to my story. I still think he was sort of a user, but that's must my opinion. Did he break my heart? He played with it a bit and definitely tried to get away with something.

Ron? Is this you?

Anonymous said...

No,it isn't. But how is Ron? have you heard from him?

Andy Baker said...

Yes. I have heard from him fairly recently. He's doing well. Seems very happy.

There were only so many people at those late night dinners at Denny's. Which one are you?

Unknown said...

This is Debbie McDaniel now Singer ... I used to hang out with all of you guys. I too went on the Dennys trips. Who all is here? I have looked for Ron so I could say hi... wow, that was a very long time ago!!! I was still in touch with Ray until very recently when he changed his phone number and did not share the new one with me. Anyway - found this and thought I would chime in. I don't remember Ray treating Dale like that at all. He was always sweet and kind to everyone - he and I did everything together there for a while.

Unknown said...

Please pass on my information to Ron and ask him to message me.