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A photo-essay

Who Am I?

Elenor 2013

I’m a 66-year-old woman who moved to Atlanta, Georgia in March 1997, from the desert that is eastern Washington state, where I spent seven years. Before eastern WA, I lived in western WA (the most beautiful place in the world!) for six years. I’m originally a New Yorker, but not from the city – I grew up in Port Jefferson, a small town about two hours out on Long Island.

I went to college at SUNY Oswego, six-plus hours upstate from New York City, where I majored in Psychology (and, unofficially, in ambulance work). I had a version of the quintessential “well-rounded” education. I pretty much took one of everything and two of some things. Elenor and Michael RayAfter graduation, I joined the Navy and spent six years on active duty. You’ve heard: “join the Navy, see the world?” I spent all six years in Philadelphia – just four hours from home!

When I got off active duty, I moved to Gig Harbor, Washington and, among other jobs, worked as a job shopper/technical editor. I lived there till Boeing offered me a deal I couldn’t resist (be careful what you ask for!) and I moved {sigh} to the desert side of Washington. For five years I worked as a technical writer/editor and a trainer of editors for Boeing Computer Services, Richland, a subcontractor to Westinghouse Hanford Company, at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Along with about 500 others, I got laid off the end of June 1995.

In an astonishing coincidence (if you believe in them, which I don’t), I met the man who is my soul mate, my other half, through the Stevie Ray Vaughan fan mailing list on the Internet (called Texas Flood). Here’s the short version of how we met:

  • Michael Ray first emailed me 5 December 1996.
  • We first spoke on the phone a few days after Xmas that year.
  • I flew to Atlanta to meet him around the 12th of January 1997, confirming what we’d already pretty much decided.
  • I flew home a week later, put my house on the market, and Michael flew out to Washington in mid-March to meet my mom and let my friends have ‘a poke and a prod’ and see if they were going to let me go off with him. (They did.)
  • We flew back to Atlanta 17 Mar 1997, and got married on 5 October 1997 (2 days after Stevie’s birthday: we tried for his birthday, but my sisters couldn’t come till two days after).
  • We cruised from LA to Vancouver for our honeymoon, and since then have gone on several more cruises. I’ve posted pictures!

I had considered setting up my technical writing and editing business in Atlanta. It’s called SnowTao Editing Services and specializes in technical and scientific document editing, production, and publishing, and in World Wide Web publishing. But Michael Ray and I prefered that I spent my days in his company, so I helped out with Micro-Metrics and dabbled in a variety of other things. Michael Ray died, VERY unexpectedly, on 10 July 2011 of a (heat-related) heart attack after mowing the lawn. He was only 60./p>

Mike and El at Mont St Michel
El and Mike at Mont St Michel, 2010 “Icy Jewels” TransAtlantic cruise on the RCCI Jewel of the Seas

I have taken over the Micro-Metrics Company, and have been refining, strengthening, upgrading, and trying to update the company.

My Family

Michael Ray

Michael's logoMichael Ray Laurence, my beloved husband, was owner and President of the Micro-Metrics Company, which makes several quality inspection instruments including the Tooke Paint Inspection Gage. (Michael was also CEO and CIO and CFO and heavy-lifter and fine quality maker and and and … in fact, we called him the “epitome of Micro-Metrics manhood,” while I only qualified, back then, as a member of the Micro-Metrics Sissy Brigade!) The gage was invented by his father, W. Ray Tooke and is used world-wide. Michael Ray was a native Atlantan (one of the six native Atlantans still here, we joked!) – having lived here for all but 5 years of his life. He used to say, only half-kidding, that he lived in “Yankee-occupied Georgia.”

Michael and Jean
My mom Jean, the astrologer, writer, and singing teacher, moved to Los Angeles to be near Meredith, Mark, and Keith when I left Washington. Despite the earthquakes she has already lived through, she really loves it. She’s been writing poetry and short stories; won 1st Prize one year and 2nd prize the second year in a Shakespeare sonnet competition (!); and she’s sold a lot of articles to various magazines. She’s also the family genealogist, a columnist for Chapman Family Association Quarterly, and teaches writing and computer use at the South California Genealogy Society.

Abby and family in ParisMy older sister, Abigail, lives in NYC with her husband Wint and their son Alex. She graduated from law school at Fordham (May 2001) and works for some big-old law firm in NYC. Wint was a freelance violinist whose c.v. includes his Bachelor of Music degree with honors from the University of Southern California, and is now a novelist;   His first book is Panama Fever: Digging Down Gold Mountain. Abby runs the publishing house, Jonkro Books. Alex is an actor/performer.

Mere and Bosko
My younger sister, Meredith, lives in Los Angeles with her husband Mark and their son Keith. They have a Schnoodle (Schnauzer-Poodle mix) called Bosko. Mere plays viola with the Los Angeles Philharmonic: She got her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Juilliard in NYC. A few years ago, she qualified as a white-water rafting guide in Arizona.  She  also makes stained glass windows (an interesting hobby for a violist!).

Mark and Keith

Mark is a freelance percussionist and movie-soundtrack artist (he played on both Shrek and Jurassic Park III, for example!) and he plays with local orchestras, such as the Santa Barbara Opera.

Daddy and my sons
My dad, who was a high-school English teacher and director of both a professional orchestra (Brookhaven Town Symphony) and a choir (North Shore Choral Society), died in 1983. He was a fanatic golfer and his hobby of violin and stringed-instrument repair kept him in the basement workshop for days on end. I’ve posted a couple of his essays and a sermon.

Favourite Quotes

  • “Those who beat their swords in plowshares, will plow for those who don't.”
  • “If you’re not in danger, do not fight.” (Sun Wu)
  • “It’s obvious when you see it!” (Ross Ronish and Elenor Snow)
  • “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” (Philip K. Dick)
  • Gun Control is the theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her panty hose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound.
  • “The philosophy of gun control: Teenagers are roaring through town at 90 MPH, where the speed limit is 25. Your solution is to lower the speed limit to 20.” (Sam Cohen)

Michael 2006

Michael on a cruise

Elenor 2006

Elenor on a cruise

Serenade of the Seas

Serenade of the Seas

Our house

Our house