Kent Prof Looking for Memories of Ray's


For 75 years, Ray's Place — a venerable downtown tavern serving burgers and lots of beer — has been a welcome pit stop for the entire Kent community, meeting the noshing needs of town and gown alike.

Perchance you are among those who've tossed back a few at Ray's? In which case, Patrick O'Connor, a KSU associate prof in the School of Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum Studies, wants to hear from you.

“A lot of changes have taken place in downtown Kent, but here is one restaurant that has been here a long time and has been a magnet for Kent State alumni, staff and students,” O’Connor says. “I marvel at how popular Ray’s Place is, especially during Homecoming, and the tremendous loyalty of its customers. Sharing the stories of the restaurant’s employees and customers for the past 75 years is something unique and worth celebrating.”

All of which has inspired O'Connor to write a book about Ray's which he says will feature memories "fond, funny, sentimental, or weird.

“Whether you remember going into Ray’s, but never remembered coming out, as one anonymous contributor stated, your story could help build this memory book that transcends generations,” O’Connor says.

He's also accepting ideas for a title for the text, which will be published in spring, 2013, by Black Squirrel Books. Proceeds from the sale will support the Ray's Place Entrepreneurship Scholarship program for KSU's College of Business Administration.

Submissions can be made via the Ray's Place website.

O'Connor clearly knows his audience: An option to submit your memories anonymously is included. — Elaine T. Cicora

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