Ray Richards

History of Love and
      Welsh Love Spoons

In honor of Valentines Day, Ray Richards will presenting his program on Love, Welsh Love Spoons and his Welsh family on Saturday, February 17th at 1:30 pm.

Welsh love spoons are hand made wooden spoons carved from one piece of wood, traditionally sycamore, but occasionally carved out of yew, oak, boxwood and even fruit trees such as apple or wild cherry.
Originally made by young men during the long winter nights or by young men on long sea voyages, love spoons were carved to express his intentions towards a particular girl and were designed and decorated according to his own imagination.  A love spoon would be given to a girl as an indication that he wished to court her. If the young man succeeded in capturing the girl’s heart, then the spoon would be treasured and proudly displayed on one of the walls of their home, much as a wedding photograph would be today. It is quite possible also, that a particularly popular girl would receive several spoons from would-be suitors; but it is unlikely that a young man would spend too much time and effort if he did not think he had a realistic chance of winning the girl. When a girl accepted the spoon, the young people would more than likely then embark on a relationship and be seen as a ‘couple’ by their community.

About Ray Richards:

Ray Richards is a local person born and reared here in Scottsbluff. His great grandfather is H.J. Wisner, owner/founder of the Scottsbluff Star-Herald newspaper.

Ray’s parents are Rick and Marietta Richards.  Ray’s dad worked at the newspaper and also had his own print ship along with his brother, Larry.  Marietta worked as a bookkeeper for Mead Feed and at Hiram Scott College.

Ray’s journey into life started with him being active in high school and college with journalism, photography and broadcast radio.  He majored in journalism with a minor in English.  Ray worked for the Hilliard Company at KOLT radio, KREX in Grand Junction, CO; KIIX in Fort Collins, CO; KCMI in Scottsbluff and Tracy Broadcasting’s group of stations.

Ray began his law enforcement career in Colorado in 1972 and moved back home in July of 1974 when he was hired by the Gering Police Department.  He married Lanette Streeks in 1976.

Ray helped to establish the first SWAT team for the Gering Police Department in 1979.  He has received several letters of commendations for life saving incidents during his law enforcement career.

Ray worked as a design engineer and OEM sales/support rep for George Risk Industries in Kimball for a few years.  Some of his fire and security engineering designs are still being used in Moscow, Russia; San Juan, Puerto Rice and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.

Ray Richard’s voice is familiar in the region at a cariety of venues and regional events.  He works frequently with Ken Meyers at numerous fund raising events in the community.  From demolition derbies to the Polar Plunge to the Relay for Life; the Sugar Valley Rally; the Annual Rubber Duck Races; Miss America; Old West Balloon Fest; Dancing with the Stars; Scotts Bluff County Scholarship Pageant and the Taste of Home Cooking Schools, Ray continues to stay involved with his home town roots.

Ray and his eldest granddaughter, Makayla, won a 2nd place trophy in a state sanctioned CASI chili cook-off.

Ray currently sits on the Board of Education for the Educational Service Unit #13 as president.  Ray Richards is now a retired police officer and currently serves as the 9-1-1 Communications Center Director since his appointment in Sept. 2008.


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