Colortyme’s Ray Bird: One of Que Onda Con Donna’s Angels

I liked my next guest the minute I met him. I remember it well. It was a beautiful, bright but cool October afternoon. We had both been invited to speak at a luncheon at the Marriott hotel hosted by our friends at Latina 100.3 FM.

When I arrived, I was greeted by my good friend and longtime sales representative, Ivan Rojas. He had his customary smile and intrinsic warmth, and he told me he had a great seat at the luncheon for me with all of the other presenters. So we ambled our way over, meeting and greeting many Latinos and Americanos who had gathered to hear how to use Latina 100.3 radio to market and grow their businesses.

We arrived at the table, and I was greeted by a handsome man with a big smile who shook my hand and immediately stated “no hablo Español!” I admitted that although I spoke Spanish, my English was substantially better. His name was Ray Bird.

Ray and I began with customary introductory banter. He told me he was the head of Rhode Island’s Colortyme franchises. I confessed that I saw his stores and heard and saw his advertisements, as I am a devotee of Spanish radio and TV! but, I really did not know much about Colortyme. As so often happens with all of our lives, our mission and purpose are often intertwined with the work we do on this planet.

At a marketing luncheon, we somehow spoke of his family; he told me his father was his greatest mentor. He told me how he had initially gotten into the franchise.. Although he was talented and was moving up the ladder, he ultimately left the company due to personal reasons, but the company never left his heart. Then, through the twists of time and the winds of fate, he ended up returning to buy the franchise. He started initially with one store, worked his way up to 8, and now, as he eases into retirement, he’s made the decision to downsize.

It is often said that while you may not remember what someone says, you do remember how they made you feel. Ray Bird, at that luncheon, made me feel good. We connected in a way beyond the random circumstance of being co-presenters at the same conference.

When I decided to launch my Spanish language talk show there were, as always, details and challenges: I needed a producer, a set for the show and maybe sponsors. I probably had not thought of Ray Bird since that pleasant luncheon several years ago. However, it seems God is always sending me angels, and at some point he sent me one by the name of Moses Garcia. Moses loved the idea of a Spanish language talk show, and he helped me not only with funding for my fabulous producer, Victor Ramos, but also with an idea for a sponsor. You guessed it.

Oh, how things in life come full circle. I remember making my way to the Olneyville section of Providence. I found his store in the corner of a shopping center. I walked in and was again greeted by his smile which reminded me not of what he said during the luncheon years ago, but of how he made me feel. I smiled back and gave him a hug. We went through the pleasantries and brief chronologies of time since that initial luncheon. Then I pitched the mission of my new television show and pled my need for a set. His generosity of spirit is so big, he didn’t even ask me anything more about my show, he simply said he would be happy to provide the set, and he gracefully turned our attention to an iPad full of furniture. He simply said, “pick whatever you want, and I’ll have it delivered.“

I thank God every day for the many angels in my life who have helped to make Que Onda Con Donna possible: my ingenious and inventive assistant, Natasha King, my talented and skillful producer, Victor Ramos and angels Moses Garcia, Ray Bird and Rick Conca.

I hope you enjoy the show…

“¿Que Onda? con Donna” can be seen on YurView – Cox Channels 4 and 1004 – Tuesdays at 7:30pm, Wednesdays at 8:30pm, Saturdays at 2:30pm and 8pm.

The author, Donna M. Nesselbush, is a founding partner at Marasco & Nesselbush Law, a Rhode Island State Senator and Municipal Court Judge for the City of Pawtucket. She hosts a Spanish language Saturday morning radio show on Latina 100.3 fm and the “¿Que Onda? con Donna” TV show.