Saturday, February 28, 2009

Let's Take a Stroll, Shall We?

It's Saturday and a wonderful day for a stroll down MemoRay Lane. Let me give you a little background about Ray and I'll try to be brief because we have a lot of Ray ground to cover.

How he got his name: On July 19th, Claudia put up this photo of a light bulb and asked that everyone submit a name for our new mascot. 32 names were submitted. On July 21st, National Tug-o-war Day, Claudia broke the 32 names into two teams and the tugging began. In the comment section, readers submitted their choice of Team A or Team B. The tugging started at 5 am and as each bracket had a winner the names were split again. That went on for five brackets until 8 pm and our little light was deemed Ray Wattson.

The ink behind Ray: Peggy was masterminding the birth of a mascot with Claudia behind the scenes. She had submitted some computer generated drawings to Claudia. I was over at Claudia's house one night discussing how she was going to bring her newly named mascot to life. We needed someone to draw Ray. I was reluctant to offer because I didn't know if I could deliver. I even suggested another doodle blogger to Claudia that she contacted via email. After talking and doodling and a lot of laughing about how he had to wear purple boots , I told Claudia that I would go home and sketch some Ray's for her. And the rest is history. I became the pen behind Ray.

Purple Boots: Back in May of 2008, Cassie Y. was trying to get Maureen to come to Texas. Cassie asked Maureen if she would like purple boots. Maureen replied that she would be shot in New York if she wore purple boots. It became a running joke noted in more posts and in Taste of USA. So, of course, it was only fitting that Ray wear purple boots.

Ray Games: A fun game we play with Ray is hiding "HLA" throughout the drawing. There is a number by his boot and that is how many HLA's are hiding in the picture. Some are harder to see online. And I admit, I need some practice at hiding them.

His age: Ray is ageless and given the birthday of September 7th by gathering random numbers from readers that were then put into this super calculation: 16+6x2.2+540/8.5-6x2+0+3x7.5= 970.85. Drop the zero and the .85, leaving us with 97... September 7!

Marital Status: Ray is single and a bit of a player. I'm pretty sure new reader, Margaret, has a pretty big crush on our friend Ray.

Is your CamelBak full of wine? Do you have your walking shoes on? Here are some instructions for you. Scroll down and enjoy the images of Ray. I've provided tidbits about each drawing of Ray. If you want to read the post that Ray featured that day, you can click through the links and go back. If you want to see a larger image, you should be able to click the image but some of them may not get much bigger. If not a new GalleRay is now available at Highlowaha.

Now that you have a little history, let's get started on our stroll.

Soon after Ray was named he escaped the Beeny household and set out to bake cookies with Highlowaha readers. Sugar Ray took his light bulb cookie cutter and now travels to readers homes where they bake and decorate Ray Cookies spreading the Highlowaha love. Ray has been to Euless with Cassie, to Tera and Treye's house, and is currently at Maureen's house. I hear he has an itch to get over to Arizona to see Julie. I could be wrong about that. Want to host Ray in your home? Post a comment or email to get on the list.

Ray's first drawn appearance was when he flew over to Beijing and attended the Olympics. He rubbed elbows with star Olympians and partied like a rock star. I wonder if he still talks to Michael Phelps?

Ray's no dummy. He knows school is cool. His purple boots and his bald head were all shined up and ready to hit school to impress the girls. It just goes to show, you're never too old to learn.

On September 19th, Cap'n Purple Boots played Virtual Pirate Bingo with a group of readers. Boy, was it fast paced, crazy and fun! Prizes were donated by readers and there was plenty of stealing going on. There was also a silent auction. The bidding for one of the first Ray Wattson Highlowaha t-shirts.

Birthday Ray surprised Claudia on her birthday, October 7th. You never know when Ray is going to surprise you.

Count Raycula swooped in to celebrate Halloween. One thing about Ray, he's always in the holiday spirit. From the beginning, I knew when Halloween came along Ray was going to be a vampire because I just love those teeth!

DemocRaycy loves politics. He couldn't get enough of CNN. He and Claudia would sit for hours in front of the TV talking about the candidates and the issues. I only stayed for the coffee. On November 4th, DemocRaycy was one of the first lights on, doing his duty and voting.

The idea of a blog-a-thon was started in the fall to help raise money for Helping Hand and a family in need. It was our goal to help a family have a great Christmas. Writers committed to be on the blog for 15 minute blocks of time and write a scary story. Who else was more qualified to get the story started than HemmingRay. I will let you in on a secret. This room was inspired by the Library at my beautiful office but it pains me to look too closely at it because there are so many perspective errors. The Library at my office is so much more beautiful than this drawing.

We woke on Thanksgiving morning to Rayflower, a pilgrim ready to get his turkey on. Rayflower spent Thanksgiving at the Beeny house. He set the table and helped with the decorations. I think Rayflower is one of my least favorite Ray's because I forgot to draw him. Claudia emailed me asking when she could expect the drawing and I was in scramble mode.

In December, HoliRay had a surprise visit from his cousin, Noel, after not seeing her in six years. She's one of those big shiny red lights from New York and is constantly embarrassing Ray. I think HoliRay was a little nervous having her around but I think all went well because we didn't hear any holiday horror story from him. Well, until...

Jingle All the Ray. Pretending to be Santa, Ray gets stuck in Claudia's chimney, though that doesn't look like her house at all. This is one of my favorite posts from Ray. Tears flowed on Christmas morning when I read Ray being stuck in the chimney with a roach because on Christmas Eve, I was over at the Beeny's when the infamous roach made his real life appearance. I still laugh when I read it.

HooRay rang in the New Year at Times Square with champagne, party noise makers and the nine things he was looking forward to in 2009, hair plugs being at the top of his list. Yes, Ray is something of a party animal.

Claudia gave us some time to settle into 2009 and had us thinking on what resolution or goal we would set for ourselves. Goal Fishing brought us Sting Ray to help prod (literally) us to achieve our goals. Ray must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed this morning because I think some of our readers didn't like Ray so much this day. Watch out! He'll stick you!

On Sunday, January 18th, Claudia and I were at the local pottery shop in Southlake. I was busy painting Ray on the Super Bowl for the trophy for the Super Bowl Snack Throwdown that was hosted at Strubles Suds. It turned out pretty cute for our first pottery experience. The Super Bowl Winner was AZLori for her onion dip.

While we were sitting there, Claudia was throwing around ideas and all of the sudden she says, "InauguRay!" Ray and I were tight on time but he agreed to come out of Secret Service Retirement to serve as security at President Obama's inauguration and he was hurried off on Air Force One to be there in time. He encouraged us to give some predictions of what items will cost next year. We're all so proud of Ray.

On Valentine's Day, AmoRay was floating on cloud nine due to some low wattage cutie at little Italian restaurant. He blew us some quick kisses, told us that our recipes had to be special for the upcoming Highlowaha Recipe Book (send your special recipes to:, told us to share our Valentine's Day plans and he was off. Back to the low wattage cutie.

We're almost there. Deep breaths, happy thoughts. It was getting exciting behind the scenes at Highlowaha with Award Ceremonies, getting a new website and adding people into the fold. But it all got done. From the Red Carpet, to a hurricane siren in the middle of taping, straight onto a blooper reel. And, who better to get us to turn off all electronics, wrangle the kids and pets, and get the show started than AnniversaRay? He had the perfect seat: Row 2, Seat 18.

Oscar has nothing on Ray. Winners at the Peoples Choice Awards received an award in the shape of Ray who is holding the Spirit of 218. Here is my award hanging on my wall. Cute, huh?

This version of Ray is eager to give the Gift of 218. How about you? Nominate a family by sending an email to Give a donation at the Gift of 218 link, whether it's $2.18 or $218, all are welcome and most appreciated. Our first Gift of 218 will be unveiled soon so you'll want to keep checking in for that exciting news.

But that's not all! Ray was the first feature on the Highlowaha t-shirts that were given to contributors who submitted their High, Low and Aha on the 18th day of the month. Those readers were then put in a drawing for the coveted shirt. This tradition continues with a new twist this year. You can pick any Ray that has been posted for your shirt. Fun, right? Kristen, I know you asked Claudia to surprise you on Thursday but does any of this change your mind?

Whew! Was that a stroll or marathon? I don't know about you but I'm beat! But, I'm always looking forward to where Ray will show up next. Do you have an idea for a Ray? Drop us a line in the comment section or email us at And, if you can't get enough of Ray or you're having a problem viewing any of these photos there's always the new GalleRay at Highlowaha. Look for the link at the top.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. I know it was long. Signing off until Monday...


Cruise Director said...

Good morning all.

I am in Houston. I hope you enjoy MemoRay Lane.

I'm off to get my fitness points! Yay me. Have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

Very cool collection!

heather said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Just Ducky said...

Good luck with the fitness points Cheryl!
Happy Weekend everyone.

The GalleRAY is now open from the main page...Enjoy!

Devil Dog said...

Wow, Cheryl! Job well done. Seeing Ray through the year, is a reminder of how far we've come! Who knows the arRay we'll see in 2009!

Hope you're having fun in Houston, Cheryl.

Bean Counter said...

Wow, that is a lot of Rays!!!! Great job, Cheryl!

Have a great weekend everyone! The 'warm' spurt is over here today as we're expecting snow! Ahh!

Peggy said...

I love histoRAY!

maureen said...

Julie I need your address I have someone that would "CertainRAY" love to visit you! His bags are packed and hes RAYdy to leave!

HAve a good day HLA!!!!

Anonymous said...

there were alot of Ray's to choose from, but i like DemoRaycy the best!!

Gotta run, the little one is FULL of it today and is currently tossing her books about...

-K. Giger

Julie said...

Maureen - can you send it to my parents house in Erie? I'm leaving for Mexico on Wed and then heading to Erie for a week for spring break. Whats your email address?

Anonymous said...

Ray is cool

Mandy said...

Thanks for explaining this to me!! I have really been confused by this Ray Wattson on Facebook.. I kept thinking, wow this is really weird for a dude to be so into this stuff.. wonder what's up with that guy?! I'm happy to be in the loop now! You guys are so creative!

Margaret said...

I love Ray!!!

I am hoping Ray will always be my friend.