This is Ray (left) and Bill. I’ve seen them at my local coffee house going on two years now. Usually, they’re holding court at a table filled with other intelligent-looking, newspaper-reading, energetically-discussing locals. In my mind, I imagined Ray, Bill and their friends to be local activists, perhaps town council members or San Diego lobbyists. Either way, they all seemed ready to change the world with their ideas and opinions.
And I think they are. But they’re not activists (except maybe for Ray’s wife who was not there at the time, but rumor has it…). In fact, Ray is an avid cyclist AND an animator/illustrator who works for a company called Learning Upgrade. He also prolifically pens comic-like illustrations on hundreds of napkins that adorn the coffee house walls (and other flat surfaces. I may have even seen some in the bathroom).
Bill is a former bus driver for the Cleveland Transit Authority, who also worked for the Coast Guard and the Navy. For the Navy, he led the intimidating-sounding “Navy Personnel R&D Center” (NPRDC, pronounced “NipperDik,” for those who like to sound out acronyms), where he used his Industrial Psychology degree to predict which Navy applicants would be most likely to make a career out of their service. Bill also worked for the Marines and was on the Underwater Demolition Team. Very Dirk Pitt.
And I thought all they were only activists. How very unimaginative of me.