April 29, 2015. Remembering Gary. A few old pics with some
captions in Gary's own words...
This pic was taken in 1967 by the
rhythm guitarist in the band I managed. Behind me is the Alamein
Fountain in Kings Cross, Sydney. The photographer asked me to look
to one side, and act naturally, as if it were a candid shot. Yeah,
Across the road from the Alamein
Fountain was the disco where I was the DJ. The ciggie is a genuine,
English, filterless, Senior Service brand. I roll my own these days.
Keeps my fingers nimble.
Can you believe I let this dirty
old man sit on my lap? His name was Santa Claus. The pic was a
publicity thingy for the radio station where I worked as breakfast
announcer, and which appeared in the local press.
I don't have the original of this
pic which was taken in 1975 when I was breakfast announcer on a
Sydney radio station. I remember the blow-up version in the foyer.
Hey! I was a star! Anyway, this small version was printed in a mag,
so that's all I have.
Oh, dear. How time flies. This
shot was taken in 2000 when I was doing a voice over for a corporate
video. The hair's still there in abundance, albeit a different
color. But I see that the neck is getting a bit ragged. Can't argue
with time and gravity, though. We're all at their mercy. Remember
Laugh In, and the announcer guy who used to cup his hand to his ear?
I prefer that technique to headphones, too.
Gary's family over at the
Grey Nomads wrote a very nice tribute.
And Jules sent this...
"...so sad that he is gone - a truly lovely person and a
gentleman. His last post on the waffle made me cry when I was
reading it - he sounded so lost and alone - only met him once, but
never forgot that day - my partner Billeeeeee was also very upset
when I told him the news"
Thanks Jules I know that day was very special to Gary too.
April 28, 2015. OH Jim wanted to share one last mail with
Well I guess this is it. No more need for me to write you everyday.
Since, like you wrote once when Cody paid you a visit, you now know
what is gonna happen.
We just found out that you died on the 19th from Anna via TX Greg. I
hope you realized that you were not alone, and that there is a whole
lot of people around the world who are not very happy this morning.
Yeah, you touched that many people.
I sent Zach a text message yesterday that you died, and he came over
just to hang out with me. He talked me into going to Larosa's Pizza
and we just talked about everything. I think he was pretty upset
also. To my knowledge, I don't think he has read Codeman .. yet. He
certainly knows about Cody, and at times emphasizes and compares
himself to him. I know him too well. When he gets upset, he sorta
quiets down . He was like that last night, but at the same time he
was trying to cheer me up..he's a good kid. When he left for home he
gave me a big hug. .
Which is what I hope you got from Cody. I wish I could see you two
when you guys met. So cool. If anything, I am happy that you two are
together for real and not just via email. Are you teaching him to
drive? LOL is he teaching you to surf?
I was gonna tell you about the Reds almost blowing a 9-2 lead in the
9th inning last night. Their relief pitchers are a sorry lot. They
finally ended the game with the tying run at home plate. The only
reason they won was because they were playing a last place team. But
then you know that. You even know how the season goes for the Reds.
Well, I guess this is goodbye. This is very hard to write this. Can
I ask a favor? If you run across my Mom and Dad, tell them I love
them and I miss them a whole lot.
So see you down the road, some day
Thanks Jim. I sent once last mail to Gary's box last night
knowing he would never read it, but just wanted to say thanks for
April 27, 2015. TX Greg here. I received the news this
morning from Anna that Gary did pass away weekend before last and
we're still trying to gather more info. I've just been sitting here in
front of the comp crying all day lost for words. Anna helped with a
"And write a nice message to him from everyone about all the
years we've got to spend with him and he has become a part of our
families. Then end with its not over yet Gary now you can see all of
Australia with the best view in the house! Can't wait to catch up
with you one day. We will all see him again one day. He is finally
at peace and gets to spy on everyone!"
April 16, 2015. My
GP made it official during this morning's visit ... he's not
recommending a return home without someone there 24/7 in case of
emergency. He says I'm too weak to look after myself. and Lindsay
simply won't do. Having family here or a friend willing to care during
my hour of need would be ideal but that's not the case. My two bros are
80+ and are probably not available anyway, they have families of their
own. This is devastating, dear Breth: water, water everywhere but not a
drop to drink. I feel so alone right now. I have no idea what to do.
You're all living in the wrong countries! Soon, if I have to give up
the house, I'll have nowhere to park PJ or stash my cameras and stuff. Gary
April 13, 2015. I
expect to be discharged from this nursing home soon so I'm hoping Anna
can find time to discuss various home help options. I also need to
organise a stock of fresh food to begin with. Jeez I sure hope this is
nothing like a repeat of last time at home... it was a nightmare,
worse, a horror movie. It still scares me.
Nothing to report here... same old, same old... dreams
are all that save my sanity and I don't think the respite has been
successful. My GP favors staying here as a full time resident but I'd
rather be independent. I need something to look forward to, and full
time in a nursing home doesn't offer that. Gary
April 10, 2015. OH Jim is keeping me informed of
the RED's progress in the
baseball league, as well as the weather over there and Zach's latest
flame (Zach might show up for dinner
tonight after work. We will see. LOL . He and Maddie are becoming
pretty close. And after Jordie dumped him, he told me he was done with
girls. At the ripe old age of 18. Uh Huh. I'm happy for him).,
while BR Joao is watching Aussie movies, one of which featured
specular coastal scenery in Vicoria:
I watch an Australian movie on TV, called The Broken Shore, based on a
crime novel by Peter Temple. There’s nothing special about the film
except some impressive coastal landscapes of Victoria State. Very
beautiful. I don’t know the real location of the film, but it reminded
me the limestone stacks of the Twelve Apostles. Landscapes like that
are a good reason for you to keep the Odyssey idea alive. I’m counting
on you to see good photos of other aussie beauties.
More about Victoria's Great Ocean road can be
found here. The GNs speak highly of it, but the "apostles" are
Meanwhile OH Jim says he saw something about giant
killer gold fish in Oz: Nah, just regular size carp destroying the
native habitat for our locals: On
700 WLW this morning , they are talking about Giant Killer Goldfish who
inhabit Australian rivers. Their opinion was that that's typical of
Australia, where everything can kill you. And they are comparing the
Aussie Giant Killer Goldfish to catfish the size of a man in the Ohio
Nonsense, no such thing. Read about carp here.
And me? Bored. But after the disaster last time I went home I'm kinda worried about that too. Gary
April 8, 2015. Like I s d, it was cool to read
Steve W's note that he and his new bride are coming back to Oz to make
Australia their home (Steve anyway, I think Carol is from the US), but
it makes me sad to talk about Oz when I'm cooped up here in this
dump of a nursing home. I'm not ready for this geriatric crap yet.
Similarly, I was glad to read about Francois' life
in New Caledonia. He has problems with his hip replacement but spends
much of his time riding his bike or enjoying the company of his
daughter and 5 yo grandson, so he has plenty to occupy his time with
family and friends. Again, it makes me sad to write about freedom while
I'm cooped up in this asylum....makes me think about all the things I
miss so much.
Francois also said I should dream of travelling
Australia's roads in PJ instead of just dreaming non-specifically....
yeah, like that old saying about dreaming of owning a Rolls Royce: if
you want to own one, smell the leather. But I have found that the only
way to deal with weeks of quarantine here is one day at a time... any
more than that and it becomes a nightmare.
One good thing happenened today, one of the carers,
Norm, found a walker...a small one but better than nothing... so at
least I can practice walking and get some exercise. I was afraid my
walking had detiorated more than it has so I'm thankful it hasn't.
My doc visits tomorrow so I should know more then,
otherwise I sleep as much as I can. Gary
April 6, 2015. Too
tired to write yesterday or much today but I do want to say how pleased
I am to know that Steve W wrote to say that he and his new bride will
be returning to Oz after living in the UK and US for a while - we have
a long history, he and I. And I was also pleased to read Francois'
email which was very interesting - he made me think about how important
family is during sickness. I'll try to write more about all that
tomorrw. Meanwhile, thanks everyone. Gary
April 4, 2015. Just
a note to say I'm still kickin'. I can't remember a more boring time in
my life, laid up in bed for virtually 3 or 4 months. It's even more
boring than the months I spent with radiation. My appetite has improved
a little but not my desire to write because there's nothing to write
On the other hand, it's always good to read what you
guys have to say. Josh's job on his friend's '76 Dodge Dart carby went
well except the choke's not closing properly. I had a '73 Valiant and
then a '79 with Electronic Lean Burn. A roadside mechanic said the 4.3
liter ELB was the best engine Chrysler ever made.
Easter 4-day weekend and the tourists flock here looking
for sunshine and beaches but most years it rains. Oh well, two days to
Meanwhile, stick with me guys, I need the moral support.
April 2, 2015. I'll have to be more careful of
what I say. Anna my dental nurse wrote: Also
a big slap on the wrist for you I just seen your blog! you have friends
and family in the area you have all of us at Albert street dental
practice not a day goes buy that someone doesn't ask about you. Or ask
if I've been out to see you and how you've been. So you are a loved and
cared about man and missed in our practice so please never feel like
There ya go... consider my knuckles rapped. Anna has
been busy checking home care possibilities for me, and wants to know if
there's anything I want her to bring when she visits to fatten me up. I
wish! At least they got the gravy right for lunch today but I wasn't
My doc was here and said I look better but has organized
more anti biotics for yet another cough and another 2 weeks respite. My
last day was supposed to be today according to the nursing home's
admin. The doc will be back next Thursday. Today has flown (slept the
afternoon away) so I'll leave you with this from FL Josh... it's
something I would have expected from OH Jim and his mate Zach, not
I will be teaching a 17 year neighbor how to overhaul the carburetor on
his '76 Dodge Dart. I emailed him that we would take it apart and put
it in the solvent to soak, then go get lunch, then return and finish it
up and by sunset, it would be back on his car and we would be pushing
the car back to his house!!!
Here's a pic from Josh. Gary
April 1, 2015. I've
been asking without success how my condition is improving but this
morning I was told my GP will be visiting today. FINALLY a doc to check
progress but I'm surprised they don't have they're own. I'm a bit
depressed, really... 2 weeks confined to bed 24/7 is enough to depress
anyone, and the kitchen refuses to prepare food to my specs (except
breakfast of oats) so I've been going without and losing my appetite. I
have a week more of respite before I'm due back home and I still have't
organized any home help. What a mess.
I was feeling a little down yesterday too which is why I
did't write. If it weren't for you guys, my friends on AO, I'd be
feeling totally friendless. I don't have friends or family in Taree. FL
Josh referred to me as family one time and I was quite touched by that.
I also appreciate my friends on Grey Nomads but they're
scattered around the country.
More tomorrow after I see my GP.
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