In the mid-seventies, I worked in downtown Dallas. The highrise building was on the corner of Akard and Pacific.
During that time, there was a deep hole dug nearby for what would eventually become Thanksgiving Square. But as construction delays stretched on for a more lengthy time than had been projected, the project became somewhat of a joke around town.
To those of us nearby "The Hole" -- as it became known -- on a daily basis, the joke was perpetuated by a person who was affectionately called, "Crazy Ray". At the time,Crazy Ray, worked somewhere around in one of the nearby buildings.
I didn’t personally know Crazy Ray, or rather, I should say that he didn't know me. We all knew him by his friendly greetings and daily antics. But I did personally witness some of the things he did that had helped to earn him the nickname.
The most memorable one in my mind was the day he brought his fishing pole downtown. He created quite a show and a crowd every day as he began "fishing" in that huge, deep, and seemingly abandoned hole that waited indefinitely for the actual construction of the tower to begin.
We watched; we laughed; we applauded; we were amused; and yes, we thought Crazy Ray was being a little bit crazy. But we admired his spunk and enjoyed his pranks. It was a refreshing break from our normal work routines.
As time usually does, time has faded many of the memories of those events, but something really important was actually happening right under our noses and we did not realize it. We were watching a "star being born!"
I am among the privileged few who knew him and witnessed those entertaining events back then, but later into the future, Crazy Ray became known around the world. You see, this is the same Crazy Ray who, because of his antics and his persistance on making a "place for himself", became the unoffical mascot for the Dallas Cowboys.
Back then, he would go to the games and entertain the crowd around him. At some of the games, my husband and I watched him pass out balloons and amuse the fans. We all came to love his "spirit of things" and learned to celebrate life along with him.
Soon the TV cameras began to pan in on his antics in the stands. The world watched as he gently nudged his way into the public’s embrace and became a popular fixture of the Dallas Cowboy’s games, with his sideline show often as entertaining as the game on the field.
Crazy Ray has since retired, mostly due to health reasons, but Crazy Ray will never be forgotten.
Yes, Crazy Ray did a lot of unconventional things which earned him the loveable title of "Crazy Ray". But hindsight is that Crazy Ray was creating his own place in the world, in our hearts and in history. Crazy Ray made a name for himself by just being himself and not being afraid to be a little different.
Humm... Crazy Ray....
wasn’t really so Crazy....
©1998 Doris Newnam
As the World says a fond farewell to Wilford Jones,
affectionately known as "Crazy Ray",
I hereby dedicate this web page to his memory.
WILFORD "CRAZY RAY" JONES:
-2007 All Rights Reserved
©2007 All Rights Reserved.