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THE BOTTOM LINE
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Ray Watson, continued ...Published: November 01, 2012

Ray Watson
He even helped oversee the opening of Florida’s Epcot Center, which at the time was the largest private land development project ever. Over time, this slim 6-foot man, who was not physically intimidating but was a tower of intellectual curiosity and a fierce advocate for his positions, became a confidant to some of the biggest names in Southern California business: Donald Bren, Walt Disney, Michael Eisner, Frank Wells, Dan Aldrich and Gary Hunt all sought his counsel.
   
But it was his vision for the fertile basin of lemon and avocado trees and ranchland that is now Irvine that may have been Watson’s greatest work. “When the master plan for the Irvine Ranch was nothing more than a dream, Ray brought the dream into focus,” Irvine Company Chairman Bren said in a statement after Watson’s passing.
   
Larry Thomas, a former executive at the company, may have framed Watson’s legacy best: “Virtually everyone who has bought a home on the Irvine Ranch, rented an apartment, opened a retail store or just frequented one owes some measure of appreciation to Ray for spearheading the planning effort that set an enduring template that the Irvine Company followed as it transitioned from an agriculture and cattle ranch to a sophisticated suburban environment.”
   
If the always friendly and approachable Watson were reading this, he might have taken exception with one word from his friend. As Watson told the Metropolitan Journal (now OC METRO) in 1992 on the eve of the city’s 20th anniversary, Irvine is not “suburban.”
    
“Suburbs are a place from which you commute to work,” Watson said. “The Irvine Company’s plan was to build a place that had jobs, schools, houses, civic pride and identity.”
   
Mr. Watson, I believe you accomplished your mission.

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I think that would be a lovely ttotao.I finally gave into my longing for a ttotao in October this year. I got a button on my wrist to represent my love of all things fashion, sewing, knitting etc. I'm so glad that I got it!
Comment at 4/15/2013