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.
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.
2007 Reno Air Races...A Rookie's Adventure
Flying a Tiger Moth
The WIX Light Bulb answer
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.
Without wanting to hijack the thread, I'd appreciate other suggestions of great examples of Gary's writing, to add to this list.