I am a beauty photographer! I capture all sorts of beauteous images. And, lemme tell ya…Charlie Ray…is one beautiful fella! When I was a kid, I remember seeing on the news…a story about a college student trapped in some caves in middle Tennessee. It was a HUGE story. All over the radio & TV. (This was when there were only three channels AND you had to get up from the sofa, walk over to the television set to change the channel or adjust the volume.)
Lawdymercy…a horrible existence!
First responders. Law enforcement. Volunteer rescue workers. Even, the military!…all trying to save this boy’s life. The freezing, mid-winter rains began…and this dude is at the bottom of a cave with his foot trapped by some fallen rocks! His friends’ frantic efforts were in vain…they couldn’t free him.
Of course, the cold exposure was a danger…yet, the big threat was drowning…as the skies opened up with freezing rain shortly after he realized he couldn’t free himself. The cave began to fill with water!
As a Boy Scout kid who went camping & caving from time to time…I was horrified for this fella without even knowing him!
The story has a happy ending. Near death, from exposure and the freezing water…this tough you man was freed from his spelunking prison.
How could I have possibly known at the time…decades later...we would become the best of friends.
Charlie Ray…is a special kind of beautiful!
Rockett Studios Nashville is in process of producing a mini-doc on this near-tragic event for the podcast. Please keep an eye out for it.
Charlie Ray is one tough hombre…from strong stock. They don’t make ’em like him anymore! For the past 17 years he’s battled cancer. Surgeries, radiation, & chemo! With the exception of a cue-ball head and an energy dip from the treatment…he looks no worse for the wear. And trudges thru a couple-mile walk on most days.
Charlie Ray…is an inspiration and one beautiful fella!