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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:43 am 
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I have heard it said the measure of a man's greatness is best witnessed in the good influence he had on those around him, no better example than this... He will live on through the unparallelled legacy he left us all.

Syd :drink3:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:25 am 
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It hardly seems true that its been so long.

I got talking to Gary some five years ago when I was trying to identify some bits of B29 on a hillside near where I lived. He was kind enough to answer all my messages, and help identify what he could. His posts regarding Fifi and Ol 927 were one of the things that inspired me to get off my behind and go volunteer working on old aircraft. I would bet it did the same for others.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:56 pm 
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I miss Gary. I also miss Rodney Jackson. I regret so much that he didn't get to see the new engines.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:16 pm 
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God bless Gary and all the friends he made. :drink3:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:57 pm 
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I've (finally) got the tribute to Gary done on on my blog here:

http://vintageaeroplanewriter.blogspot. ... ustin.html

A fair amount of it is just a basic attempt to explain some of who Gary was and why that is important - not news to most here, so I won't repeat it.

I'd like to thank those who've shared their memories or thoughts of Gary and the pictures I've used - obviously no disrespect or advantage is intended, and if anyone feels a picture should be removed, please let me know.

I've posted a link here for the obvious reasons and also because I wanted to highlight something of Gary's that hasn't normally got a lot of attention - his great writing style and skill.

Quote:
The Writing Wrench
What hasn't been said about Gary often enough, I think, is that he was (as well as remarkable warbird mechanic and inspirational role model in that job) a remarkable writer. I get to sub-edit and work on a huge number of aviation articles and books, and it's axiomatic that those aircraft engineers with the best stories to tell are impossible to get those stories out of - and if you can, those stories are a nightmare to knock into shape.

But Gary was a complete exception to this. His posts on WIX were remarkably clean and polished, and like many other great artists, you don't notice the real skill was making the very hard look easy. His writing was remarkably clear, grammatically correct and well spelled, and his style, while deliberately not formal in most cases, managed to convey sometimes difficult or emotive concepts in a accessible way that treated his reader as a peer. Frankly, I'd be proud to communicate as well as Gary at times.

Sadly, thanks to Photobucket, we have lost most of Gary's images he used to illustrate his stories and posts, but I think that it is a remarkable measure of the man that so many of his stories stand well even without that apparently crucial element.

If you want to read some writing that in the warbird environment is, I think, the equal to that of those recognised as 'great writers' (whatever that may be) I commend grabbing a cup of tea, cocktail or preferred light brew, and sitting down to one of the following:

Rookie school in a Cassutt.
viewtopic.php?t=13895

2007 Reno Air Races...A Rookie's Adventure
viewtopic.php?t=16024

Flying a Tiger Moth
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=17511&start=40

The WIX Light Bulb answer
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14021

Obviously the "Ol 927" thread gets a couple of namechecks too.

There's a lot more on the blog post, please read that as well, if you're interested - the above is just an extract.

And someone should have Steph's PDF with pictures of the lightbulb (or should that be light bulb?) thread - please share. ( viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14021&start=40 - broken link, now. :cry: )

Without wanting to hijack the thread, I'd appreciate other suggestions of great examples of Gary's writing, to add to this list.

Regards,

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:59 pm 
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Pat Carry wrote:
I know he is missed by a whole bunch of people!



Well said and always will be true...

Lynn


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:53 am 
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is there a pdf of Lil thread?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:48 am 
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As always the mention of Garry brings calm and respect to this troubled board. Why aren't more like him
We all have a lesson to learn


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:48 am 
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mustangdriver wrote:
Sometimes there is wisdom in the very young. I feel the following applies for Gary as well;

Last December I lost my long time friend Clair. Sometimes we lose someone and the pain eventually goes away, and then there are those we lose that leave a hole in our lives. Clair is the second. When Clair passed my daughter was upset as Clair always took the time to play with her. When The B-17 Liberty Belle had it's fire her and I were watching the coverage on the TV. Here is the part that relates to Gary. She looked at me and asked:

Elizabeth: "Is that B-17 gone?"

Me: "Yeah I think so"

Elizabeth:"Are you sad?"

Me:"Yeah, it's very sad to lose this plane."

Elizabeth:"Well it's OK, Mr. Clair just needed a B-17 to work on."

I had to fight back tears after that.




Thanks, now I am crying at work. My son says stuff like that all the time. Blue Skies to Mr. Clair and to Gary!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:26 pm 
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I don't think there is much more I can add to this thread that hasn't already been said.

I had the misfortune of never having met Gary. Shortly before his passing, I was actually about to plan a trip to Texas and I was going to make a point of visiting him, as I felt he was one of those great people you shouldn't pass up the opportunity to meet.

I suppose I could and should still take a trip down to Texas, but whatever amazing sights I see, whoever I meet, I'm afraid it will always be an incomplete visit now that Gary is no longer with us.

When I own my own airplane... soon I hope, it will have a retro-aviation sticker on it.

Gary, we all miss you, thank you.

Peace,

David M


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:22 pm 
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JDK wrote:
I've (finally) got the tribute to Gary done on on my blog here:



Very nice James.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:20 am 
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I too never meet him, just from some of his posts before his passing. I've seen Fifi and Ole 927 in her previous identity, so maybe I ran into Gary without knowing about him. I would trade all the drug addicted celebrities to bring him back. RIP sir, and I too will put a sticker on an airplane that I hope to own one day.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:29 pm 
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Django wrote:
Very nice James.

Thanks Django. Least I could do, but I'm sure I'm not alone in noticing that something of Gary's legacy comes up at least weekly, or a random thought of one of his comments or works pops up, unbidden. That's a real credit a couple of years later. Thanks too, to Brad, of course for the reminder, and all his hard work at dealing with some of the less pleasant aspects of the situation. A good friend to have.

Regards,

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Emilio Largo, Thunderball.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:34 am 
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I'll throw my 2 cents in.

I was one of the unfortunate people on this board to never have met Gary in person. But I loved reading his posts and looking at his pictures he posted of his work on FIFI and Ol 927. His craftsmanship looked like second to none. His knowledge of vintage warbirds and aircraft in general was very impressive. But what I was most impressed with was when a warbird neophyte like myself would post a real 5th grader question. Gary was very patient and informative in educating the person with the question. I love the video he posted that he made of flying around in FIFI. Wish I had a copy of that. Here's a link to the video

http://rwebs.net/avhistory/fifi/

Gary you are missed


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:16 pm 
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James, awesome job. You brought back fun memories of opening WIX everymorning from my desk to see what Gary was up to.

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