Who is Grizzly?
During his 27 year fulltime career as a youth camp manager, Ray "Grizzly" Racobs somehow found time to be a volunteer firefighter, K-12 substitute teacher, on the board of three volunteer organizations and write a weekly newspaper column. During those years, he also obtained his Associate's Degree at Butler County College and his Bachelor's Degree through Friend's University.
For two years after his "retirement", the Vietnam veteran drove a school bus after a job of driving an armored truck. He was, therefore, in charge of delivering two types of precious cargo. Now he drives a floral delivery van around, generally bringing smiles to his customers. "Ya know what they say about writers?" he quips, "Don't quit your day job."
He and his lovely and loving wife, Lynda, gave up living in the "sticks", after buying a home in metro Wichita, Kansas. Grizzly has evidently not yet grown accustomed to city life, because he will be quick to tell anyone, "If you live in the country, stay in the country."
His loves in life, After Lynda, who heads the list, are nature and being outdoors, the Colorado mountains, his therapy dogs; Oso Oro and Jay Jay, and writing "when it's too lousy out to do anything else."
Grizzly misses writing his light humor column, "Grizzly's This 'N That" and is lookin for a new paper or periodical to appear in.
Writing experience and awards
Ray's first published credit was as a freelance writer on Oct. 6, 1982, for the Andover Journal (Andover, KS) with an article and photo about litter in the rural countryside. During that time he was known as “Dudley” his camp name while managing Camp Seikooc, a Girl Scout facility. Ironically one of his part-time ventures (started in late 2012) consists of removing litter from commercial properties in and around Wichita.
Racobs, aka “Sarge” was awarded “Firefighter of the Year Award” in Dec. 1995 by Butler County Fire District #1 for his duties as a volunteer firefighter with the department.
Ray became aka “Grizzly” in 2000 and received the “Friend of the Library” for his volunteer work with the Haysville Community Library in 2003 award.
In 2004 Griz began his light-humor column “Grizzly’s This ‘N That” for the Haysville (KS) Times.
He signed on with Author House early in 2005. That brought about the initial printing of Ray’s first book, a memoir named after his column.
He quickly followed it up with, Oro, The Incredible Dog, a young adult book about a telepathic dog and his owner.
Oro, The “Tail” Continues, came along in April of 2007.
Grizzly started entering writing contests late in 2010 with these results:
In 2014 Griz put together his favorite columns into a unique book form with many photos or illustrations to match his newspaper stories in an 8 1/2" x 11" format.