I attended Davenies School for two years in the late 40s and early 50s, arriving from the US during my second grade year with my military family. I was fascinated with English culture, although I was a little awkward with finger sandwiches and tea and had absolutely no idea how to use a fork. Horseback riding English style was a brand new experience as well. As an eight-year-old, I was still increasing my English vocabulary, and suddenly I was immersed in Latin and French, which I did very poorly in. I was also studying World Geography at Davenies, and I learned very quickly that the sun never set on the British Empire. I majored in World History at college at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where I made the Dean’s list.
At Davenies, although academically challenged, I excelled in swimming, boxing, rugby, and cricket. After returning to America, I never did learn French and Latin, but I did continue to excel in sports, eventually becoming an Academic All-American football player. I subsequently had a twelve year NFL career as a professional football player. While I was a football player, I developed a finance and insurance business with clients in both the mainland US and in Hawaii. I also travelled to England a number of times on business to work with Lloyds of London.
I eventually sold my business and travelled extensively with my wife, who passed away a few years ago. My travels did improve my knowledge of World Geography, as I visited Africa, the South Pacific, Mexico, Canada, Central and South America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and China. I am about to publish my memoir, “Fat Girl Sings: Discovering, Embracing, and Leveraging Racial Identity on the Football Field, in Business, and in Life”, in which I depict my struggles to develop my racial identity as a Native American Polynesian athlete growing up in racially segregated America, which will be available on Amazon Books in the upcoming months. Ray Schoenke