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As It Was: Rogue Valley Scion Gets Involuntary Haircut

Brothers Col. Frank and Dr. C.J. Ray were very successful and wealthy entrepreneurs in the Rogue Valley in the early 1900s. In addition to running businesses in real estate, gold mining and orchards, they electrified the area with power from their Gold Ray Dam.

In January 1911, C.R. Ray’s son, Frank, was watching “A Man’s World” at the Medford theater when the curtain fell on the first act. Press reports said he walked outside “to cogitate upon the weighty problems” posed by the play.  In colorful language, the reporter said a band of high school hazers fell upon him from the shadows like “an avalanche of humanity.”  They pinned his arms to his side, and as one of the “miscreants” held his eyes closed, another sheered a “furrow of silken lock” from the top of his head with a pair of clippers.

In the same colorful language, the reporter said that once released Frank Ray “rustled up” a hairbrush and “deftly” pasted his remaining hair over the clipped spots, the same way a “bald-headed man makes three or four long hairs become an entire toupee,” and returned to his seat for the play’s final acts.

Medford Mail Tribune, Jan. 20, 1911, quoted in the Jan. 20, 2011, edition, page 2; Truwe, Ben. “Southern Oregon History, Revised: Col. Frank H. and Dr. Charles R. Ray.” Viewed at http://id.mind.net/~truwe/tina/rays.html.

Dennis M. Powers was a business law attorney with various real estate and business ventures before teaching as a full professor and later professor emeritus at Southern Oregon University in Ashland. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado (b.a.), the University of Denver Law School (j.d.), and Harvard Business School (m.b.a.).