There are two things you can say about Oakland native and photo archivist Ray Raineri, the first being that he never saw a historical photo of Oakland he didn’t like, and the second that he lives by the motto that a picture not shared is not helping anyone. Ray can typically be found in attendance at history-related functions in the East Bay, donating pictures to help raise money at auctions, or providing photos for authors writing about a range of topics on local history. Ray attended Woodrow Wilson Jr. High on 48th Street and Webster, Oakland Tech, Oakland City College, and San Francisco State, and spent much of his professional career working in the Alameda County Probation Department. Ray is well known for his sense of humor. After sharing a photo of the SN Railroad at Lake Temescal, he admitted that he didn’t remember much about the railroad, but he did remember fishing at the lake with his dad, sometimes when he should have been at school. He claims he was at Oakland Tech so long that they gave him a pension rather than a diploma when he graduated.
Ray’s main interest currently is pre-1950s Emeryville. He is working on a book as well, about the six Italian-American social clubs that evolved in the Oakland area, three of which still exist. He is also the Chairperson for the Sons of Italy in America, Diablo Valley Lodge’s effort to restore the Joltin Joe, a 22-foot Chris Craft boat given to Joe DiMaggio by his fans and Yankees management in 1949. The boat is owned by the City of Martinez, but the Lodge has taken on the effort to raise the funds for the restoration.
Ray passed away on Oct. 16th, 2015.
For more information about the boat restoration, contact: