I met Ruby and Ray at Syracuse University in the late 90s when they regularly volunteered to teach a weekly conversational English class and that’s where it all started. Coming from Japan, it’s customary to add a “san” to the end of someone’s name, so Ruby and Ray have always been “Ruby-san” and “Ray-san” to me.
When I was in Ruby-san’s class, my younger brother came to Syracuse from Japan for the summer vacation. Ruby invited us to come over to their house. My younger brother, who didn’t speak much English at the time, was worried about having to speak English, but I told him that Ruby-san is my English teacher and that she speaks English that was easy to understand so it would be okay.
I told him that whenever I go over to the Adams house, Ruby would feed me a light meal. Sometimes delicious food was lined up. I used to go to her house to learn some of Ruby's recipes. As soon as my brother and I walked in that day, we were taken to the dining room and there were so many delicious “Ruby recipes” lined up. My younger brother was impressed with the home-cooked food in a foreign country that he ate for the first time. Like I mentioned before, he was worried about speaking English there, but he had a good conversation and was made feel very welcome by Ruby-san and Ray-san's gentle eyes and their slow English.
So we eventually got in the car and drove to the nearby canal, which really was less than a 10-minute drive. The spacious canal was a place of relaxation for the neighbors. There was also a history museum, where I read a commentary with an English dictionary in one hand, listened to Ray-san’s commentary, and in our “petite” English class right there,my brother's head almost exploded. Even 20 years later my younger brother has still intense memories of that day! I love Ruby and Ray!