Unfortunately, I am not going to be able to attend Gary's memorial. How I would love to be there!
I worked with Gary from about 1994-2002. He was such a gentle soul, and yet so surprising!
When I began at the CCT, I thought his column was a nice little feature for the newspaper. Soon I learned just how wrong I was. That column -- and Gary -- were SO important to the readers of the Times' newspapers. He connected to so many people, and they to him.
And I learned how respected he was, how knowledgeable he was, and yet how modest he was about everything he brought to the newspaper. He told me about his history with the Lindsay Museum. I had worked in many newsrooms by that time, and that was a first! Gary was full of surprises!
Gary also had had the ability to make everyone he worked with feel close to him. That is very rare! I was not a close friend, and yet he felt very special to me.
One anecdote among many: Gary always got to the newspaper very early. On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, I got up at my usual time about 6 a.m. I turned on the Today show and and was watching as the first plane hit the World Trade Center. I took a quick shower and just as I was finishing dressing the 2nd plane hit. About 10 seconds later, Gary called me at home to make sure I knew this was happening. On top of everything else, he was a consummate newsman!
Gary was truly one of a kind. He left a tremendous legacy, and how many people can say that?