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People of Alabama

People of Alabama: Erneshya Ray of Homewood

People of Alabama: Erneshya Ray of HomewoodCalifornia transplant Erneshya Ray met her future husband while visiting Alabama for a summer. (Tamika Moore / People of Alabama)

What brought you to Alabama?

“I came here to visit one summer, and I met a guy. We hung out for two days. I told him, ‘Well, I’m flying back home.’ He said, ‘Ok. I want to talk.’ We were long distance for a year and a half and then he flew to California on his 30th birthday, married me and flew back to Birmingham. We started looking to see who was going to relocate. I showed him a two-bedroom apartment in California for $2,500 and he asked me if that was the mortgage for the building. I said, ‘That’s the rent for the unit.’ He flew to California, packed me and my son up and drove us here in a U-Haul. We have been here since. It’s pretty cool. My grandmother prophesied that my husband was in the South. When I met my husband, I had stopped thinking about it. Then it all came back. This is him. He’s the one. He came to visit once and my grandmother said the next time he comes, he’s going to come with a ring. We bet $100 and he did it. I made him pay her because she was right. She loves her Southern grandson. She just says she knew it.” Erneshya Ray of Homewood.

Ray was born and raised in Compton, California. She is the owner of SohGent CA’Belle Boutique.

Erneshya Ray believes her marriage to her husband was meant to be. (Tamika Moore / People of Alabama)

Ray calls her relationship with her husband a fairy tale.

“It just fits. Both of our grandmas are named Fay. Both of our great-grandmothers are named Viola. When we met, we had both just moved back to our grandmothers’ houses. We had both just gone to college after taking some years off. It was like we were living the same lives in two different places.”

These are the faces and stories of people from all walks of life who call Alabama home. People of Alabama is a Red Clay Media and Alabama NewsCenter partnership.