Ralph died Sunday. We called him “Mayor”lovingly and he was the mayor of Wilson, N.C. for three terms. I have never had my picture in the obit column before, but I am standing behind the smiling Mayor El Ramey. I am smiling too but you can’t tell it. Smiling because I had just overheard Ralph talking to the old lady dispensing the free, nutty-butty style giant ice cream cones: ” M’am– I have a friend over there who has a HARD TIME getting around. Would you mind giving me two so I can take her one?” Her who? I knew he was about to eat both. And he did.
He loved life. Never went into restaurant that the opening conversation with the waitress didn’t go like this: Ralph: “Well hello. What is YOUR name? Waitress: “Jill”. Ralph: “May I call you Jill?” Waitress: “Sure.” Ralph: “Well, when may I call you?”
Our gang has it’s 49th annual POKER WEEKEND starting Friday at Emerald Isle. At our first game after Ralph was elected Mayor he showed up with a large bag of change. I asked him where got all that change? “Parking meters” he said.
Mayor stories are flying all over eastern North Carolina. A ton will float around Emerald Isle this weekend. And for a long time,
“I love you now and evershall, but there’s no one left to tell.
The world has gone dark before my eyes.”