I am so sorry I will be out of state for Gary's Memorial. I was lucky enough to work with him at the Contra Costa Times during both my puppy-rearing and child-rearing years. When the puppy (a rambunctious Labrador) escaped and ran around the block, Gary was the voice of reason and patience. "Labs have long adolescences," he'd tell me. "When you chase him, he just thinks you're playing. Wait in the front yard, and he will come home." When it came to the child, though, Gary was a little less accommodating. One day, I came to work full of outrage because my 8-year-old son had been bitten by a tarantula at science camp. I told Gary all about it, expecting advice and sympathy. He looked at me, eyes twinkling, and said "Well, what did your boy do to the tarantula to make it bite him?" Gary was one of a kind - we are all better for knowing him.
Dec 12, 2019
Gary was my colleague at the Contra Costa Times and before that, adored by my children who were young volunteers at the Lindsay Museum, as it was called in those days. So when we had a pet snake problem, I took it to Gary. My son’s boa had escaped its cage and slithered through a small hole into the wall behind our bathroom sink. Gary suggested capturing it with heat. He said to build a cardboard tunnel from the hole to a heating pad covered with an inverted box. I did. One, two, three days passed. Each morning, Gary asked about progress. Nothing, I’d say. He’d smile and shrug. And then, during the night I heard the pop of tape securing the cardboard tunnel give way. The bathroom door was closed, so I waited until morning. Then I found the snake, not on the heating pad, but wrapped around the sink drain pipe. The next morning I reported it to Gary, along with the tale of the broken cardboard passage. “Heh, heh, heh,” he chucked. “The snake found its way when it was ready.”