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Ray Krebbs  in Dallas

"Ray you can sit where Gary used to. The two of you have a lot in common" -. J.R. Ewing, 1983.

At six feet one, Ray is two inches shorter than Jock was, but those vivid blue eyes, cut of the jaw, and head of brown hair turning to grey are unmistakable. So is the stubbornness, the infrequent but fiery temper, and the yearning to work hard with his hands. And, too, there is the love of the land, its animals, the wild open spaces, and an occasional hoot and holler over a couple of beers.

If people had missed the resemblance as the two men walked, rode, and talked together, then they would have seen it if Gary Ewing had joined them, standing side by side with Ray. It couldn’t be mere happenstance, this resemblance indeed it wasn’t. Ray was a Ewing, unbeknown to all for years.

Ray and Jock might occasionally have recognized their true blood relationship, as there was an unmistakable tug between the two men, some unspoken bond that felt like father and son, although neither openly acknowledged it. If Ray could have had a father of his choice, it certainly would have been Jock, and had Jock been able to exchange Gary for another son, then it certainly would have been for Ray.

As he had known his story, Ray Krebbs had been born in Emporia, Kansas, toward the end of World War II. He was the only child of a free-floating handyman and town drunk, Amos Krebbs, and a recently discharged Army Air Corps nurse, Margaret Hunter Krebbs. When Ray was three years old, his father abandoned the family, leaving no money and never writing. His mother, accepting the situation, went about raising Ray as best she could.

He was a lot to handle. He always felt different from the other kids - mostly because of the absence of his father - and was a troublemaker at school, constantly disrupting the class. From the moment he opened his mouth, it was clear that he had no use for being kept indoors or even in town, but wanted to be on a horse or out on the plains. He waned to be a cowboy - and, to be left alone. His mother promised him he could do as he wished when he was older and explained how much she needed him at home. He loved her and tried to obey. Outside of the house, he was constantly getting into some kind of trouble. He always played the tough guy, which was ironic, since he was physically immature for his age. So, in essence, Ray was just a little skinny juvenile delinquent who fancied himself a big shot.

In 1962, his mother fell very ill and, unable to take care of Ray, she sent him to Braddock, Texas, with twenty dollars in his pocket and a letter addressed to Jock Ewing. Jock, who had known Margaret during his World War II London assignment, took Ray under his wing and made him a hand on the ranch. Margaret shortly thereafter died, leaving Ray essentially an orphan.

Ray was a wiseass kid and Jock was strict with him. In fact, some said he was downright hard on the sixteen-year old, but he broke Ray’s bad habits, lifted his spirits in a constructive way, and soon Ray was right in there with the rest of the cowboys, working his heart out. Over the years he became invaluable to Jock, in that he knew more about the ranch than Jock did himself. He was completely loyal, and he was good, boy, was he good at what he did. The skinny little kid grew up into a robust man who could outride, outrope, outbrand any other hand. He won prizes in all of the county rodeos and proved to be a solid, responsible leader. Jock made him foreman of the ranch while Ray was in his twenties.

There was still a wild side to Ray - his social side. He loved hanging out at the Longhorn Bar, tossing back a few drinks, indulging in a good fistfight on occasional, always flirting and romancing the pretty girls and finishing out the night by roaring all over town in his pickup truck.

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