Yesterday the world lost a Good Man, and I lost a friend. Ray Carter, known in the gun blogosphere as Gay Cynic, had been fighting liver cancer for two years. That fight is over.
I had the opportunity last night to sit with friends and remember Ray. There was a lot of laughter and many sad smiles. Ray always seemed to have a way of bringing one of two reactions, laughter and good humored exasperation. He was, despite his cynical handle, nigh impossibly motivated and optimistic. He had so many plots for the betterment of the world, his friends, and good causes (many of which involving the now somewhat infamous 501c3s he was so fond of.)
When I went to my first NRAAM in Houston, I was humbled and amazed at the welcome I received from the community. I met many people I'd been reading for years, and many that I'd talked to on IRC for almost as long. There was only one person there though who went beyond welcoming my appearance to actively seeking me out. That was Ray.
Ray became a close friend. He has helped me through several sticky wickets of life, and led me to consider things I had never imagined. He prompted me to reach out to the Blogorado crowd, and was in a rather real sense my sponsor into the Tribe. My life has been enriched greatly by his kindness, his thoughtful nature, and his sly sense of humor.
It's difficult to remember Ray in any other way than wearing one of his rather ridiculous Hawaiian shirts, with his trademark *trying desperately not to cackle* grin. The red, white, and blue S&W 25 holster, complete with rhinestones and rabbit fur, is rather fitting as well.
We didn't always see eye to eye, but then friends never do, and I think we were both the better for that.
I will miss him, alongside the many whose lives he made a little brighter.
Goodbye my friend. Fair winds and a clear course to you, until we meet again.