South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

 
 

Helping my classmate

 


My name is Tom Ford and I am an LosAngeles filmmaker and photographer.

A Carrick High classmate of mine, Ray Streib, has suffered through a massive stroke and the debilitating effects of stroke-related brain injury.

Ray has been a singer, guitarist and comedian living in Las Vegas. Performing on stage is his passion. He is a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

Ray and I will be driving my 47-year-old 1967 Dodge Polara across the United States between June 10 and June 25 to our Carrick High Class of 1974 Reunion. The idea of the motor trip is to help to raise awareness for Stroke Research and the Rehabilitation of Stroke victims.

You see, Ray wasn’t supposed to live and if he did live, he wasn’t supposed to enjoy any quality of life at all, much beyond a bedridden vegetative state.

Ray has a bad habit of not listening when others want to limit his life by confining him to what he is supposed to do.

He has fought hard and has already come back a long tough road. The illness severely disabled him physically and ruined him financially but it never dampened his spirit, his resolve or his love for life. Ray still has a long way to go.

Our nearly 6,000 mile round-trip from LA to Pittsburgh will signify his struggle in many ways; it will highlight Ray’s resolve and hopefully be an inspiration to others on a similar journey.

My present car is the very make and model of the first car I bought from Beckman Motors in Mount Oliver for $500. Ray and I tooled around Carrick, in it the early 70s while we were students at Carrick High.

I restored this car to its former glory and it, too, is symbolic of the re-birth Ray has and continues to experience.

A year ago, I got a small amplifier for Ray so he could hear himself play guitar again. And he has been working hard to be able to speak, communicate, sing and play again.

Our desire is to try to raise awareness and collect donations to help in stroke research and improve the rehabilitation and recovery of those affected by stroke.

We plan to arrive in Pittsburgh the week of June 10. Our route will take us from LA to Las Vegas, then north east on I-15 to I-70 where we will turn east and cross the Rocky Mountains and our nation’s heartland on our way to Pittsburgh.

We want to arrange events along the way where Ray can “guest” in musical “gigs” with touring performers in places like Las Vegas, Grand Junction, Denver, Kansas City, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Columbus and all the way to Pittsburgh where he will perform for his classmates at our reunion.

I’m planning to film the trip and all associated events and then produce a documentary to help promote fundraising for these same interests.

I am but one man and inexperienced in fundraising and so, I am looking for help.

If you or anyone you know is affiliated with fundraising for the American Heart Association, the American Stroke Association or any bona fide charities working to raise funds for stroke research and/or treatment and rehabilitation and can help us in our effort, have them contact me.

Also if you can help us associate with musical events along the way where Ray can “Guest Perform” for one song, that would be awesome. We are also looking for car shows and “Cruises” to attend along the way to show off our ‘67 Polaris.

Message me through my e-mail tom4ed@aneyefullstudio.com

Submitted by Tom Ford

President,

CHS Class of 1974

 

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