Local Folks: Noah Ray

Local Folks: Noah Ray
Noah Ray

Noah Ray, MPA, FAEM serves as the Emergency Preparedness Supervisor at Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department. He has been with them since 2016.

To unwind, the self-taught Ray plays bass guitar. During his high school days at Stanton College Prep, he played in the jazz band. These days, he jams with friends.

“It’s how I keep myself sane,” he said. “I mostly play metal, rock ‘n’ roll and blues.”

Noah Ray, MPA, FAEM
Noah Ray, MPA, FAEM

Ray doesn’t perform like he used to because of time constraints. His job often requires him to be away. A case in point is when the small town of Rolling Fork, Mississippi was hit by a large tornado in late March. Ray was deployed there with the Florida Region 3 All-Hazards Incident Management Team to support local recovery operations through a mutual aid agreement between the states.

Ray has been married to his wife, Laura, for four years. They graduated from Stanton together in 2007. He stayed in Jacksonville to attend the University of North Florida, while she went off to Gainesville to pursue a degree at the University of Florida. Eight years later, they met up again at downtown Jacksonville’s International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union hall where they both were attending a Bernie Sanders rally. Together, they campaigned for the Vermont senator while he was running for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. Ever devoted to him, the Rays later named their three cats in his honor – Bernie, Jane (his wife), and Larry (his brother).

Laura and Noah Ray, Horseshoe Bend, AZ
Laura and Noah Ray, Horseshoe Bend, AZ

As a music enthusiast, Ray, attends quite a few local concerts when he’s home. Since Freebird and the Landing closed, Rain Dogs in 5 Points and Daily’s Place downtown have become two of his favorite venues. But, music isn’t Ray’s only hobby.

“During COVID, I started gardening a bit when I had some free time,” he said.

In his Avondale yard on Macarthur Street, he has grown a variety of vegetables: potatoes, lettuce, radishes, tomatoes and beans. Peppers are the most populous, though, because Ray likes to make his own hot sauce, which he bottles to keep fresh. He consumes most of the sauce himself as a spicy food lover, but occasionally he’ll gift a bottle to a friend.

Noah Ray’s Bucket Garden
Noah Ray’s Bucket Garden

The fruits that Ray has grown haven’t fared so well. Unfortunately, raccoons feasted on nearly 150 blueberries that hadn’t yet been picked, and the strawberries were planted in a spot that didn’t allow enough sunlight on them. Ray’s had better luck with raspberries and blackberries, but they still don’t compare with his vegetables.

Ray likes to exercise and work out at Snap Fitness.

“I do mostly barbell workouts, compound lifts, just to keep myself in shape,” he said.

He also maintains a pool membership at Good Shepherd, which brings him back to his high school days when he used to swim competitively.

“It’s a good workout,” he said.

The irony of Noah Ray is that after lifting weights and swimming laps, he often grabs a slice at Moon River Pizza in Murray Hill. It’s not only eating pizza that he enjoys there. That’s where he sits to read the latest issue of The Residen News each month.

By Mary Wanser
Resident Community News

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