Like many of us here in Birch Bay, Ray Anderson loved nature. Only Ray loved it more. He talked to the birds and moles, and he liked bats. “They catch us bugs,” he explained. He was so relaxed in the environment around Birch Bay that even the bees left him alone.
Ray used to paddle his canoe far out in the bay where the water was colder to go swimming. He didn’t like the warmer water by the shore that the rest of us enjoy. It’s a mystery to me of why he preferred this icy deep water. Yet we all have rational reasons for what appears irrational to others. Perhaps taking a dip in the deep is a leftover habit from the sixties and early seventies when our shoreline was polluted. Perhaps Ray simply wished to avoid the polluted shallow water for the deeper, cleaner—but colder—water offshore. Perhaps it became a habit.
Today, Ray Anderson is no longer with us. If you wish to take a moment to remember him, stroll down Lora Lane. You’ll spot his canoe and paddle on the left, a fitting memorial of a man who remains part of the turning tide here at Birch Bay.