Bruce Lawson's personal site

The Balloon Man of Kovallam

In 1994, my brother and I had Christmas in Kovalam, just south of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala as a break from our 5 month railway trip round the perimeter of India. One of the most memorable sights was the Balloon Man of Kovalam. He was a long-term guest in the Guest House we stayed at, and was a very tall, forbidding American who looked just like Kilgore from Apocalypse Now, and was reputed to be a vietnam vet living on his disability pension writing reams and reams of weird poetry about numerology, death and Hindu mythology.

Every evening, just before sundown, the Balloon Man (real name: Buck) would stand on a rock on the seashore, facing the horizon, and inflate balloons and release them, while chanting and singing. Sometimes, he would tuck a long balloon into the back of his shorts like a tail, and scamper around like Hanuman, much to the delight of the local children who followed him around adoringly.

I gave him my address and he sent me 3 or 4 self-published books of poetry and doodling; last I heard he’d left India and was in Prague. Here he is on Christmas Day, 1994:



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54 Responses to “ The Balloon Man of Kovallam ”

Comment by Jaz Wray (Buck's son)

Hey Bruce,

How very cool. Someone sent this link to my mom yesterday. I’m not sure how they found it or how they knew that the “Buck” mentioned was my dad. I had not seen this page before. Buck Wray (passed away in 1996) was my dad. We had seen photos and heard Buck’s stories about his role as the “Balloon man.” He even made business cards.

If you have any other stories about Buck, I would love to hear them and will share them with the rest of the family.

Thanks, Jaz Wray

Comment by Bruce

first let me tell you I’m sorry your dad died.

I spoke to him a few times over breakfast and on Xmas day; he was less forbidding in person than he appeared. I’d love to know his story.

I’ll digitise some more photos and post them here. Do you have copies of his books? I have a copy which I could send you; for me it’s a nice souvenir – but for you, it’s family history.

Comment by Jaz Wray (Buck's son)


Thanks for the quick reply. I didn’t know if you would notice the posting. Buck’s story is more than I could possibly type in this box, but your version of the “Balloon man” chapter matches exactly with the photos that I have and of the stories from Buck. I particularly enjoyed your comment about “reams and reams” of Buck’s writing. You are exactly right. His full name is John D. “Buck” Wray. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the Army.

I have Buck’s self-published books, too (in another house, but I have them). Thanks for the offer to send yours. Interesting stuff, huh? Your thoughts have to be in a special place just to get your head around it. And, even then it is a challenge sometimes.

You may find it interesting that the professional skateboarder, Jeremy Wray, is also Buck’s son (my brother). Just do a web search for “Jeremy Wray skateboard interview” and you will get some good links. Our other brother Jonas was a pro skater for several years, as well. I went the business route, instead. Buck re-married a German woman and has another son, Timothy.

Buck’s travels took him all over the world to, as I put it – not him, find the meaning to life. I think that he found deeper questions more often than answers. I have heard many of the incredible stories from other people about my dad.

Buck has great stories about the Indian government kicking him out due to his writings and how he came back to India anyway. He had a run-in with a gang in Taiwan that took everything, then he used his connections to get some of the cash value back from the gang. After doing the “run with the bulls” in Spain and getting drunk at the party afterwards, he passed out while cooking eggs in a tent (that later caught fire) and the local forest ranger pulled him out of the burning tent by his ankles. Since Buck still didn’t wake up, he pinned a note to Buck telling him to come to the ranger station as soon as he did. When the ranger came back to yell at Buck for not coming to the station all day, he realized that Buck had just woken up.

I am glad that you enjoyed your Christmas exchange with Buck in India. He made contact with countless people and it would be a whole lot of fun if more people had their experience documented as you do. If you know anyone with a lot of money that wants to chase down a great story, this would be a fun one (with a tragic/mystery ending, or is it…).

If you still have them, it would be great to get some high-resolution versions of your photos of Buck that I can share with the family. If you don’t mind, I would love to get them directly via email.

Thanks again and take care, Jaz Wray
as Buck would often close – Love and Lightning!

Comment by bruce

Will get my India photos out of the attic and scan them at highest res I can, then email them to you. (But I’ll post them here as well in low-res.)

A while ago, I considered digitising his books and putting those online, but was worried about copyright – and my young family gives me no time! Have you ever considered doing that, Jaz, and writing your dad’s full story?

Love and lightning!

Comment by JackP

Wow. What a fantastic story. I feel priviledged just to have heard it. If anyone does put any of his writings online, I’d love to have chance to read them.

It’s totally bizarre and totally fascinating to come across people (or in my case, just stories of them) who’ve just chosen to live for a while their way, and do what feels right to them, regardless of anyone else.

It’s a shame the rest of us get caught up in the rat race.

Comment by mark antony wray

greetings bruce…my name is mark antony wray. buck is my brother. i had no idea this site existed, and am delighted to find it…quite by mistake. thank you for remembering my brother and yours in this honorable way. buck transitioned worlds at my home in old hickory, tennessee july 10th, 1997. he lived with me and my family for a period of time, and it was indeed a blessing to care for my brother in his final days on this earth. it was even a greater honor to celebrate and honor his transition from this world to the next. buck’s ceremony before cremation was as mystical as he, and several who attended the midnight ceremony saw the “light” descend upon his body and rise through the ceiling, after which buck’s mortal remains sang like thousands of crystals in harmony. i alone remained for the duration of the cremation, and when it was finished i assisted the undertaker in sifting through buck’s bones and ash. what i found was astounding…a crystal jewel encrusted with tiny bits of buck’s ashen bones. i presented the jewel to buck’s first born son…jaz. the undertaker asked me, “doesn’t it creep you out a bit to be picking through your dead brothers burned up bones”? to which i proudly answered, “this is my brother. i love him, and no…he is not dead…he LIVES!!”

at buck’s final memorial service in oklahoma, where his mortal remains are laid to rest with our father, grandfather, and grandmother, i told a story about one night when buck and i were little boys playing with our fathers high power beam lantern shining it in the night sky. i told the people assembled that just because the light goes out in this world it doesn’t mean that the light has stopped! NO, quite the contrary. buck’s light was now one of those bright beams shooting through the heavens on his eternal quest of a new port to sail into and explore.

thank you bruce for honoring my brother.

best…mark antony wray

Comment by Bruce

Mr Wray,
it’s a real delight after all this time to find out more about Buck. You can see, as I posted these pictures in 2003, nine years after I took them, that I’d been intrigued by my brief acquaintance with your brother. Thanks for satisfying some of my curiosity.

Jaz asked if I had any more photographs; not that I know of, unfortunately. If I took any more, they are lost. But on Monday I hope to rescan the ones you see above, in high-resolution, and send them to you and Jaz.

Love and lightning!

Again, I urge the Wray family to consider putting Buck’s books on a website. They’d be fascinating.

Comment by mark antony wray

hey bruce….mr wray…well, OK…if you must, but my name IS mark if you would prefer. since you spent time around buck, with buck, and have read and own copies of his books you should know that buck did not believe in ownership of created works, as the only real true owner was the CREATOR of all. buck had come to the point in his life where he saw most everything for the man made, hubris infested, manufactured bullshit that it was. he did not have much affinity toward copyright laws. like our native american brothers in the midwest of the US where we grew up buck believed everything creative belonged to everyone.

now, all that being said, in some respect he was still a capitalist bastard like the rest of us…even the dishonest f*%ks who still call themselves communists and fascists for the sole purpose of being perminant CEO’s of their own multinational business interests…well anyhow, buck felt like his ramblings, musings, and wisdom should be made available free of charge to anyone who wished to copy and distribute a purchased or gifted copy…all or in part…with the idea being kept in mind who penned it, and if you began to make some money off of it throw a little change his way to honor him who brought the CREATORS work into this mortal coil for your enjoyment or edification.

since buck has transitioned this life, and if any proceeds are generated through the publishing of his works, the only thing i ask is that buck always be credited with text, and his children receive some fair share of any profit generated through commercial sale or monetary donation toward his work…otherwise, buck’s books are FREE to copy and distribute in the realm of no commercial value. BUT, if someone begins to make money off of the writings, then his four boys should receive buck’s rememberance kickback. OK, that’s it…digitize and post away!

love and lightning bruce!

peace…mark antony wray

Comment by Jaz Wray (Buck's son)


I have most of Buck’s works available electronically. I would be glad to send them to you so you could post these books in a manner that may be available for people to search for on the internet.

Mark is right on with Buck’s opinion of copyright laws. I recall that some of Buck’s books even indicate that they should be copied and distributed freely without restriction.

Please let me know what email address you would like me to use to send the electronic files. Each story is a different file, so I will send them grouped in ZIP files.

You may have noticed that Mark is a year off on Buck’s passing. It was 2006 (I was living in New Mexico at the time and in 2007 I was only in Southern California, Phoenix and Dallas). Mark – you lost a year somewhere along the way! The 10th anniversary of Buck’s passing was earlier this year. I gave a speech the week of his 10 year anniversary titled “sunset” that ended with the poem that I wrote on the day of Buck’s passing. Here is the poem:

Buck’s Last Day

Beautiful day.

Thunderstorm rolled in this evening.
Poured everything it had; lightning,
flash flooding, ground shaking thunder.

And then, sunlight.

The ground still flooded,
the clouds broke for one of the most
beautiful sunsets of all time.

Every color imaginable hangs in the sky.
The spectacular site reflected
in the flooded streets.

Thunder, lightning, and
black and yellow storm clouds
loomed on the other horizon.

What an amazing night.

This morning, my father took his own life.

What an amazing night.

Just Love,
Jaz Wray 7-10-96

Comment by bruce

Hi Jaz, great poem. Extraordinary.

Please email me the files on bruce AT this web address. It’ll be months until I could start getting them web-ready, unfortunately …

Comment by sue cameron

How bizarre, how bizarre. Somehow fate has also led me to this site. I am Buck’s former step-sister Sue. Just wondering if any of those writings were ever published? Thanks for your little tribute to Buck 🙂

Comment by Mark Antony Wray

Wow!!!…This is indeed one of those fine moments upon the tickling of the Golden Thread of the universe; Sue Cameron!…This is nearly as amazing as my being able to find you after 30+ of no contact to inform you of Buck’s passing. This is a really cool thing Bruce has done isn’t it Sue. If you get this, my email addy is I’d love to hear from you.

Comment by Jaz Wray

Sue, I am glad that you found this site. I still haven’t sent the electronic copies of the stories, but I have them collected on one computer back in Arizona. I am in Washington DC this week but return to Phoenix on Sunday. Keep an eye out on this site for posting information to Buck’s stories. They are a wild adventure, just like his life. I hope that you are well and would be like to be in touch with you some time. What part of the country do you live in, Sue? Love and Lightning, Jaz

Comment by rich buonaccorsi

Unless there is another Buck Wray, I was in the Army with him in 1971. We were at Fort Benjamin Harrison together and spent a great deal of time over aperiod of about 3 months. We lost track of each other after we went our seperate ways, but I have always remembered him. if it’s the same Buck, he was from (Drumright?) Oklahoma. I was thinking of him and went looking on the Internet to see if i could him. His story is fascinating but I’m not surprised. it all sounds like him. I may have a picture at home with him in it. I’ll look for it.

Comment by Jaz Wray


You have the right Buck! I am his oldest of 4 sons. I would love to get some of your stories about Buck and share them with the family.

I received notice of your posting on my BlackBerry while riding in the back of a car in Mexico City. I am still in the car on our way to dinner.

I am working at a trade show in Mexico City this week, will be in Cancun this weekend to conduct a product demonstration, then off to Los Angeles, CA, for two days then to Vegas for another trade show before returning to my home and family in Arizona.

I am glad that you found “Buck” and sorry for you to learn that he is no longer with us. You can email me directly at

Love and Lightning from Mexico (and the back of a car).

-Jaz Wray

Comment by Rich Buonaccorsi

I knew Buck. We were at Fort Benjamin Harrison together in 1971. We hung out together for the better part of 3 months. I lost track of him and often wondered where he might be. i decided to do a Web search ( on a whim one day ) and I found this sight.

Comment by Echo Company, Kemper Military School


The Kemper Corps of Cadets and the Eternal Corps of Cadets send our greetings to the family and friends of Buck Wray. Buck was a devoted son of Kemper Military School who demonstrated that leadership and creativity are not mutually exclusive.

Buck is remembered fondly by his classmates many of whom are members of Echo Company, Kemper Military School. Buck has been nominated for posthumous membership to Echo Company where he will join such distinguished others as Will Rogers, F T Kemper, and Colonel T A Johnston.

You can visit Echo Company at

Warmest Regards,

Kemper Military School
1518 Kaby Avenue
Crivitz, WI 54114
(715) 854-7555

Comment by Brenda Ausbrook Leatherman

I went to high school with Buck in Oilton, OK. Even as a young man, Buck was unique. He was a good friend, always ready with a quick witt and laugh. I talked to his brother, Mark, not long ago on Facebook. I had no idea about the life Buck had lived after high school, so finding this site is exciting in that it gives me a peek into the man he became. Thank you for allowing us this experience.

Comment by Paul McKeown

These photos are almost identical to ones I took at Kovalam in December 2004. I remember being on the beach when ‘balloon man’ did his thing, with the kids following in hot pursuit. It was weird, wacky and somehow very touching. It’s been good to find out some more about Buck through this website.

Paul McKeown, Aberdeen, Scotland.

Comment by donna lann-young

I went to Oilton High School as well as some grade school too. with Buck Wray. I also have a brother , Gary Young ,who was in our class, P.S.[I was put back a grade in 1st grade because of an illness ,so my brother caught up with me in grade school } everyone thought we were twins lol! but we are not !.Anyway I remember Buck as a very interesting kid and very witty with a daredevil smile lol! I was very saddened to hear of his passing . He led qite an interesting life from what I gather just from this site. I would myself love to read his stories if I can find the site.and I will pass on the info to my brother, gary who calls his own son “Buck” too. – his real name is Gary Don JR. Well, That is my 2 cents . RIP BUCK Love and Lightning . your classmate , Donna YOUNG

Comment by Mike Smith

I used to visit my grandparents in Oilton and ran around with Buck in the summers. Some of the greatest memories of my early teen years. I would like to contact the family to share memories of Oil Drum, Twister, OSU football game, riging motorcycles, sand surfing the sandhills, or Spook Hill.
What a great guy. I am sorry I lost communication with him.
Mike Smith from Kansas.
(Sometimes you called me “Christmas”)

Comment by Vikki Cameron

I have only just now become aware of this website. I am Buck’s step-sister and we were the same age. I haven’t heard from any family in years. I want to thank you for remembering my brother in your memoirs, and after reading people’s comments I feel fo sad to have lost contact with those who knew him and were close to him. Thanks again , Vikki Cameron Jett

Comment by Mark Wray

Hi Vikki!…Like so many of us you had no idea this site existed in honor of buck. This guy Bruce Lawson is quite unique. So many people have asked about you girls over the years, but I have not known where any of you ended up…other than Sue living in Ireland. We would all (family and friends) love to be able to reconnect with you. This Memorial day weekend Oilton hosted a town reunion, and it happened to be the class reunion for you and Buck as well. I can’t tell you what an awesome experience it was reconnecting with people I have not seen in over 40 years. I would love to hear from you Vikki. My email address is Please email if you care to, and I will put you in touch with many friends who’d like to hear from you.

All The Best…Mark Antony Wray

Comment by Marvin Henderson

I was went to school with his older sister, Suzi, but remember both Buck and Mark very well (although I was very preoccupied with Suzi in Junior-High).

Buck’s father (Dr. Jack Wray) gave me plenty of stitches to make it through Oilton Panther football, etc. I have really fond memories of their whole family! When I was young, I wanted to grow up an be as cool as Dr. Jack Wray. They had a neat house in Oilton which was much better than the Methodist parsonage and I was always envious.

Very neat memories of that time of my life.

Comment by Fred Jones

I met “Captain” Buck Wray in the summer of 1979. He was the liaison officer for the Army ROTC program at Wake Forest University, where I was planning to attend college. He interviewed me in my parent’s living room. When I matriculated to Wake Forest in the fall of 1980, he was one of the cadre that trained us. He desk was the first one on the right when you walked into the headquarters section. He always had a joke and a smile, no matter what was going on. He had cartoons of himself behind his desk by, I believe, Mort Walker. The female cadets all used to talk about how they loved his blue eyes. We guys just thought he was cool yet “squared away.”

He left Wake Forest for his next duty station before I graduated in 1984 and I never heard from him again. I wondered through the years what had happened to him. Then, about two years ago, my 75 year old mother, while discussing my high school and college years, asked me if I knew whatever happened to that very tall and handsome young officer who interviewed me in the living room back in 1979. That started me to looking for “Captain” Buck Wray on the internet.

After 23 years in the Army, largely thanks to Buck Wray, becoming a medical doctor and attaing the rank of Lieutenant Colonel myself, not much chokes me up anymore. But learning that your dad is gone, and knowing the way he passed has got me feeling very sad, numb and “misty.” I haven’t seen him in almost 30 years, but I feel the loss nonetheless.

He was a great role model, and a great man.

-Fred Jones

Comment by Harri L

Me too, I was in Kovalam at that time. Shot a couple of Balloon man pics too. I just emailed those scanned pics to Jaz and Mark, and wrote some memories about.

from Finland

Comment by Harri L

Sure. I have a Fotki account. I’ll try upload tomorrow. Little crappy quality as they are scanned from the negative, but done some photoshopping; removed dust and lighting & color correction.

Comment by Mark (Buck's Brother)

Harri…This is awesome to hear from you – and with new pics too! This is such a wonderful thing that Bruce is doing. Perhaps some day I can make enough extra money to go over to India with all my professional film gear to shoot a movie/documentary about the “Balloon Man”/Buck Wray. Thanks again for posting!

Comment by Jaz Wray


These are great photos! Thanks for posting. I look forward to viewing them on my computer at home.

Today’s technology is just amazing. I am in the back seat of a taxi cab in Buenos Aires, Argentina, reading this on a BlackBerry. Tomorrow, I am off to Santiago, Chile for the first time (work down here).

I am sure that wherever he is, Buck LOVES this exchange! For those that would like to further connect with Buck, he now has a Facebook page with the name “JD Buck Wray Rip.” He always wanted to be connected to as many people as possible.

Mark, The movie would be a great adventure and roller coater ride with a tragic ?ending? During the credits, it would show Bruce Lawson posting photos on his blog, sombody finding the link a few years later and sending to my mom (Buck’s first wife), his oldest son (me) posting a reply, family and old friends reconnecting, “one of those fine moments upon the tickling of the Golden Thread of the universe (Mark Wray from above, Buck’s brother),” and the process of the world finding Buck that let to the movie. I wonder if the AVATAR director would consider a documentory…

I think the title should be “Finding Buck” because in the end, I think that is what his adventures where all about. Isn’t it for all of us?


Comment by Harri L

Bruce, be my guest. You may use those photos freely. I have even hi-res photos, just let me know.

When reading all those nice comments, seems Buck was well loved and an interesting person!

Comment by Jeremy Wray

Hello Everyone,
This is Buck’s middle son, Jeremy. I just read all of the new posts. This really is an unbelievable story that seems to still be growing and evolving. Great to hear all the memories from everybody. After I was informed of my Father’s passing, I made a skateboard in his honor. I’ll see if I can post pictures of it on here soon. I did the artwork myself and just drew whatever came to me naturally. I’d love to share it on here for everyone to see. Thanks again to everyone that has shared on here and a special thanks to you, Bruce for producing the spark! Love and Lightning…

Comment by Gaye Wiles Magee

Hello, Everyone. First of all, Bruce, thank you for starting this amazing thread and for the photos of Buck. I can only imagine him stuffing the balloon in his pants as a tail and making the children laugh..that’s how I remember him..playful and so full of life. Buck was my first love and high school sweetheart and still remains to be one of the greatest loves of my life…sounds silly, doesn’t it, after all these years, but that’s the type of impression that Buck left on people’s lives…one of a lifetime of remembrance and love. My family loved him, my friends loved him, and strangers loved him. He was the “light” that entered the room, the “fun guy” at the party, a tender & sweet lover and a bold adventurer (was he ever! Running with the bulls, the Balloon Man…I love it!). We met when I was just 14, but those years we spent were nothing short of amazing. As fate would have it, we went our separate ways (enter all those fabulous Wray boys!!), but I remain grateful to this day for the magic he brought into my life. I would have loved to have known Buck as an “adult” and I will say that he became “enlightened” much sooner than I did, but this and my conversations with Mark and Jaz have given me a glimpse of that.

Mark, I was moved hearing your story again of the night of Buck’s transition. And, as you and Jaz know, on July 10, 1996, while stopped at a very busy intersection, a souped up orange VW pulled up right beside me(going the opposite direction), stopped and when I looked over to see why the car had stopped in the mist of traffic, I saw that the driver was Buck and he was smiling and laughing at me. Then, he drove off and I literally sat there in shock! It was surreal, but for the remainder of the day I felt a undescribable peace. I wrote it down on my calendar and it wasn’t until almost a year later, after going through a divorce, that I decided to look for
Buck. But, my attempts online were futile until I remembered that he had a son uniquely named Jaz. I found Jaz on AOL and I wrote him saying I was an old friend from high school. Jaz wrote me back that very night and, yes he was Buck’s son and preceded to tell me that Buck had left this planet, as we know it, on July 10, 1996. After getting over the initial shock, I went and looked at my calendar from the year before because I had remembered seeing him in July – not sure what day – and there it was, July 10, 1996!! Now some would say I’m crazy and I thought I might be a little crazy, too, but I truly believe that Buck knew what he meant to me and came to say goodbye. The next day I heard from Mark – what a great reunion on the phone that was! Jaz had called his uncle Mark and said “who is this person named Gaye?” Mark picked up the phone the next day and called me..we had lost track of each other and had been so close before. Then, the next time Jaz was in So. Cal., he came over and we got to share our own special memories of Buck, looking at yearbooks and laughing. Here were two amazing men, Buck’s brother and his son, helping ME heal…such beautiful acts of kindness that I will never forget.

Anyway, it’s great connecting with all of you. Recently with Vikki & Sue – so excited about that – and Mike Smith, I remember you!! Buck does LIVE, whether it’s in our hearts, our heads or in a different dimension and he continues to scatter his love and laughter all around. I find great joy in that. I think there is a movie here, too. Thanks, everyone, for being here. Tickle on Golden Thread of the Universe!!

Love & Lightning!

Comment by Kerstin

Hello everybody,

I dont know if anyone still reads this page, but I do want to leave my mark here as I also met Buck. I met him in ´93 in India Kovalam and the time spent there with him and with the peopele there have forever lived with me since.

He was such a magic person and the talks we had have made me into who I am today. At the time i was only a bit over 20 and was it was the first time in India for me. He (amongst others) helped me to se beyond our own limits and that life is long. And for that I´m so gratefull

I´m sorry to hear that he passed away but can also see here that he still lives because of his family and the mark he made in the peopele he met.

(I´m swedish therefor my poor speeling, sorry)

Love and Light to All

Comment by Kelly Woodward

Hello All!

I am amazed today…I was regaling my daughter with some of my travel tales, when I somehow turned to the story of Buck the Balloon Man (Hanuman), and googled it….so here we go!

My name is Kelly, and I lived beside Buck in the Guest House for a month, with my travel partner Emmanuel…we got to know Buck quite well. I will tell you more later, but I have many stories of our time together…as I say, amazing..right up until the time when the Indian police came to arrest him (he had been reported by some locals due to the content of one of his books, which presented a daughter in a very “untraditional” light. Buck had designed this book with a “spinner”, which when spun, presented Buck’s illustration of the nubile (and unclothed) local daughter in an array of very suggestive poses…lol…

Buck had given me some of his books, but I have lost them in my travels and miss them very much.

We spent many days and nights together, discussing astrology, philosophy, astrophysics, etc…I loved Buck; he had a wonderful heart and tried to help many, including our immediate Guest House neighbour, George, who was an English traveller suffering from addicted illness, believing he was transforming into a housefly. George’s anguished nocturnal cries kept us all awake many a night, but Buck was always healing and loving with George..

We became like family, and Buck will be forever in my heart.

I would love to write more, and am so thankful that I have found his friends and family, to share stories.

I would very much love to re-aquire Buck’s writings, if this would be possible (I think I am in some; Buck referred to me as a “Change Agent”, and gave many detailed readings about my Vedic Astrology (I still have them), Numerology, Auric Readings, etc…

I am so very pleased to hear news of Buck’s life and passing into light…he was and is very loved by many: a great and gentle Man and Spirit who, I believe, is still guiding and protecting those of us he loved and loves.

Kind Thanks and Warm Wishes,

Kelly Woodward

Comment by Marv Henderson

And the beat goes on! It truly is small univerese. I went to scool with Buck’s sister–at that time knows as Suzy Wray. The whole family was something bigger than life!

Comment by bruce

Wow, Kelly – thanks!

Buck sent me a few books and pamphlets from India and Prague but, while it was evident he was thrown out of India, it was never clear why.

Were you at Sergeant’s GH on Lighthouse beach, or had he moved by then?

Comment by Thomas

Today is the first of January 2017, I woke up today thinking about Buck, I don’t know how why, but as soon as I woke I could not help but Google him. I briefly met Buck on Kovalam beach a few times, we generally talked about his poetry and music, and how he would like it if I put it too music, as I used to play in a band back then.That never happened sadly, But his words, his thoughts and laughter still left a great impression on me. He had shared a few books with me, which I can’t trace anywhere.I’d love to see them though if anyone could share them.
Sad to know he is not with us anymore, but I’m sure he’s out there for us.

Warm Regards
Juby Thomas

Comment by Bill Lukens

This is an amazing thread. I served with Buck in the 503rd AG Company, 3rd Armored Division in the early 80s. He was CPT and later MAJ Wray. We had a tyrant of a boss…and Buck was the only one who stood up to him.
He was a wonderful mentor and role model.
I carry his memory proudly.
Bill Lukens

Comment by Jaz Wray

Michael A. Haver, Kerstin, Marv Henderson, Kelly Woodword, Juby Thomas, Bill Lukens, and all others discovering this place,

Thank you for adding to this post! And, thanks again to Bruce for putting it up (even 9 years after meeting Buck and 7 years after Buck’s passing).

If you would like to “connect” with Buck, you can still find and post new/old memories and stories on his Facebook page. His account is “Jd Buck Wray Rip” and we would love to get your stories added. Yes, I have copies of most of his old books mentioned in these posts. Some of them I have digitally and can send to you by email. Otherwise, I have physical copies that are part of Buckhistory at this point.

Love and Lightning! -Jaz Wray

Comment by Bruce

Hi Jaz! I was in Kovalam recently. It’s changed a lot, but but the spur with the rocks on where your Dad used to celebrate sunset hasn’t, and I thought of him every night when the sun went down.

Comment by Jaz Wray

Bruce! You still rock. I am happy to be post #50 on this weblog. I am glad to hear you made it back to Kovalam and the Buck energy lives on. I, too, enjoy and appreciate each and every sunset. Here is a link to a recent “green flash” sunset video I took from Haleiwa, Hawaii, with a surfer going by during the sunset:

I had a distant cousin (Susan Lav) reach out to Buck today on Facebook. Apparently, she had not yet heard the news of Buck’s passing more than 20 years ago. Here was a NEW BUCK STORY from Susan!
“I had great times with your dad at his parent’s home in the Ozarks. So full of life and mischief. He would actually jump in the freezing water that flowed down a river in front of his parent’s house. I swear that water was barely 35 degrees. Maybe colder. Lynn and I would dangle our legs in the water and we could barely keep them in the water for 30 seconds. I have such fond memories.”

Many of the photo links in this post chain are no longer working. If you have the photos with updated links, please re-share. Similarly, the photos you posted of Buck’s book on your “10 years later” post are no longer working.

For whoever is next to read this post and knew Buck, or even if you didn’t, feel free to share your NEW BUCK STORY or other words of inspiration.

Love and Lightning! -Jaz Wray

Comment by rich buonaccorsi

Buck and i were at officer basic school together at fort benjamin harrison in indiana. We were inseparable for 12

great weeks. I still think of him all the time. We lost touch after we finished school and went off to duty

assignments. But unless i’m getting senile, i believe he was a contestant on jeopardy about 30 or so years

ago. i miss him to this day. to his kids i say – keep his memory strong.

rich buonaccorsi

Comment by Jaz Wray


Thank you for sharing. I am glad to hear you had some quality time with Buck and still think of it fondly after all these years. He didn’t make it to Jeopardy as far as I know. He was on TV at least once in the early 1980s as we still have a film picture of the screen with his name an title.

Bruce, How do we make the other 50 comments visible again? Can you ammend the original post to include the comments?

Take care, Jaz Wray (oldest of Buck’s 4 boys)

Comment by Bruce

@jaz – done it! I’ve never had more than 50 comments before, so didn’t know that it wouldn’t paginate properly. A quick question: is it easier for you readers to see the oldest comments first (as now), as Facebook etc, or the newest comments first?

Comment by Jaz Wray

Hey Bruce! Thank you for figuring it out and getting the old posts to show up again. It is really something when people get a “wild hair” and decide to google Buck Wray, or Captain/Major/LTC JD Buck Wray. And, this is the site they find! Whether in order or reverse chronological, it is a fun read for everyone. There is another collection of “Buck finders” on his Facebook page of that is available for comments, posting of stories, and pictures. Happy holidays and cheers to more people searching for and still finding Buck after all these years. I am now older than Buck ever was, but the seemingly endless collection of Buck stories keep coming.

All, If you are reading this and have a Buck story to share, please do! Buck would have loved this format!

Love and lightning (as Buck would say), Jaz Wray

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