In Memory

Cathy Ray

Cathy Ray

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09/07/22 10:50 PM #1    

James Moorehead (Moorehead)

I visited Cathy in Mound, Minnesota two years before she died. I had business in Minneapolis and Cathy invited me to spend the weekend at her family’s house on Lake Minnetonka. At the time she was a hospice educator, author and volunteer and had written two well-received books on the subject of hospice care and communicating with friends and family dealing with incurable illness. Her husband Doug Carlson had been diagnosed with a rare cancer that was being experimentally treated at the Mayo Clinic and her young daughter Kelley Ray was already showing signs of becoming a talented writer. While we hadn’t seen each other in many years, we quickly caught up and had many conversations about the role Edgemont had played in our lives. I was surprised to learn that Cathy had found it difficult to adjust to Edgemont at first which actually shouldn’t have been so surprising considering she had come from West Point where her father had been a colonel. For quite a while she returned most weekends feeling unable to ever fit in. However one Sunday on her way home she decided she would not only find her way in but would succeed to become class president! The rest is history. Cathy was fearless, smart and loved to laugh.


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09/08/22 04:47 PM #2    

Daniel Herman

Thanks Jim for sharing that lovely memory of Cathy—she was indeed a warm, caring, smart and funny person, gone much too soon.

Cathy was my first and only highschool girlfriend. In retrospect perhaps that’s somewhat surprising since, as Jim notes, she was a class president from West Point and I was an ersatz longhaired hippy guitar player. I guess it says something good about us both (and the school’s climate) that being from different tribes didn’t get in the way of our relationship. But mention of her father the colonel still gives me a slight case of the heebie jeebies since it’s associated with an early traumatic experience.

As I recall it, Cathy and I were sitting side-by-side one cold winter night during senior year, innocently watching TV at her house while the colonel and Mrs. Ray were out to dinner. They returned, obviously having had “a bit” to drink. Upon seeing us sitting there, the colonel immediately became livid (he was already red-faced), bellowing at me “What’s going on here? I walk in and find you sitting there with your hand on my daughter’s BREAST???”

Of course, this was completely false—even if the purported offense had occurred earlier that evening (it hadn’t, BTW) I would have had enough sense to remove said hand before the parents walked in. Needless to say, I jumped up, made a beeline for the door and hoofed it home, a pretty long trek from Hartsdale to the Edgemont side of town. As a nice quiet boy unused to being berated by inebriated former military officers, I was pretty shaken up. Cathy was extremely apologetic and, being familiar with her father’s volcanic temper, took the incident far less seriously than I did. Nevertheless, I never returned to her house after that except when her parents were out.

Our relationship continued until she left for college in Colorado the next summer. I did get to see Cathy once a few years later when she visited my Manhattan apartment after she moved to Minnesota. Sad to say that proved to be the last time.


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