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Ray Brown

An avid scholar of our country's founding documents, Cascade Middle School history teacher Ray Brown was lamenting the erosion of civil liberies a few years back when his son, home from college, asked, "What are you going to do about it?" Taking up the challenge, Brown had a colonial-era costume made in 2006, and he began making public appearances in the guise of A Son of Liberty. "I hand out copies of the Bill of Rights," he says. "I talk about the ideals and principles that hold us together. I try to be beyond politics." Brown moved to Eugene in 1979, after five years of teaching in his home state of Ohio. He was hired in the transition from junior high to middle school in the Bethel District, and spent nine years at Shasta MS before moving to Cascade. To celebrate his retirement from 36 years of teaching, Brown set out this month to walk across the United States, carrying camping gear and his costume in a custom-built Equinox three-wheel trailer that can be either pulled or pushed. "I had 2500 copies of the Bill of Rights printed," he says. "My wife will send them to post offices ahead of me." Brown expects to reach the East Coast next January. Follow his progress online at sonoflibertywalk.blogspot.com.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 24 June 2010

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