This has been a rough year for me. I guess things go like that from time to time as we soldier on in life. Losing our friend Gerry was yet another blow for me in 2016.
This is actually the second time we have lost an author here at LITGM (although we have fired a few). Frank Borger was a contributor here back in the day and I received an email from someone one day that he had passed away. If memory serves, Gerry was a commenter here at that time and responded to our "do you want to post here" request. And the rest, at least for this blog, is history.
Gerry was a prolific poster here, and his posts were always of the highest quality. He was also responsible for our beautiful artwork on the masthead. Of course he was, he was a fantastic graphic artist.
I have re-enabled the labels on the sidebar. Here is the reason.
When my grandmother died a few years ago, the one thing I had to have was her recipe box. I still like cooking things from those recipes that remind me of her. I plan on occasionally doing the same thing here. LITGM has a mountain of recpies that Gerry shared over the years. I plan on using the "food" tag to find some of those recipes, re-create them, and have some good thoughts of Gerry.
I briefly mentioned Frank Borger. I never met the guy so our friendship was basically electronic. Gerry was different. We went to Bear games, and enjoyed time at his house in Indiana and at Gunstock. Carl was able to have fun with him in Chicago as well.
I always enjoyed Gerry's wit and wisdom. The title of this post is "One Of Those People". In life, I meet, on occasion a person who has had an immensely full life and continues to enjoy it. Gerry was one of those people. He had a colorful history of meeting all sorts of people at his jobs in Chicago (see the category that I forced Gerry to open up 'Famous People that Gerry Has met'). He was an outdoorsman and loved to hunt, fish, and teach others the craft. He was a family man. To me, he did it all. Sure, I go to work and love my family and all that, but it is always great to meet someone who flourishes outside of those parameters.
He also taught me a lesson on being gracious. One day we went to the Bear game and for whatever reason (this was a very long time ago so I honestly don't remember why) one time I just got in my car and left everyone behind. It was a shitty thing to do. He called me and asked why I did it. I obviously had a reason but I am sure it was a crappy one. He said that he forgave me and would never talk about it again. That was it. Hatchet buried. I learned so much from that one episode. I am sure he thought nothing of it, but to this day I try to use this example and attempt to live a life of forgiveness and graciousness. Gerry obviously saw value in our friendship and understood that people make dumb mistakes. We all can learn from this example.
I guess I don't really have too much to add. What else is there to say? In the future whether I am making bar cheese, or venison, or whatever recipe I choose, I will look fondly back on the great times I had with Gerry. I have already looked through the archives here and smiled a ton at some of the posts that Gerry put up over the years. Carl and I are so proud that Gerry chose to share some of his life and talents with us here and that we have this amazing store of treasures to look back on.
LITGM will keep moving forward as long as this platform is supported - and Gerry would have wanted it that way. I intentionally set up this post to come online on Thanksgiving Day because you know what? I am SO thankful that I was able to cross paths with a guy like Gerry.
Godspeed, Gerry. We will miss you. See you on the other side someday. Save a sandwich for me.