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Gerard and Olive

This is neo again. I want to thank everyone here who has offered tributes to Gerard as well as kind and loving words to me. It means a lot.

Here’s a photo I took a couple of years ago of Gerard in one of his gentler moments. He’s holding his cat Olive, barely visible against his black shirt. You may recall that he’d adopted her only about a week or two before the Paradise fire. When the fire came and he had to escape, he took the cat and grabbed the cat carrier, a few pieces of clothing, and his computer. He didn’t think the entire town would burn down – who did? But of course that’s what happened.

I am posting two posts above this one, the ones that Gerard wanted to be his last two posts on the blog. From time to time I’ll probably add something new but then bump those two up so that they remain on top.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Phil in Mount Dora January 28, 2023, 4:07 PM

    Thank you for the charming picture. I’m glad Gerard had Olive… a lucky cat. And I’m glad Gerard and Neo had each other, too.

  • Mike in Ohio January 28, 2023, 4:40 PM

    hi Neo,

    I noted tonight that I have this website bookmarked just 5 spots down from the top on my voluminous list. Just below my bank site.

    That reminded me I had been reading the wonderful writings shared by Gerard for some time now. 20 years maybe? There was a post he did I believe long ago. I could not find it in old archives, but in a recent January 2022 likely re-posting. I do believe it was posted a long time back.

    It was titled: “Pieta for the 41st Photograph”.

    That article has haunted me for years now. One of the most bracing pieces I have ever read. I assume because it speaks to the secret fear of every parent. Those, whom are not parents, do not know the depths of what I refer to. Regarding the article : I to, see my wife in the photograph, and the touch, and the gaze, it could easily be my wife, my child in the picture but by the grace of God.

    I believe I have read Gerard every day since that original post.

    My sincere condolences.


    • ghostsniper January 29, 2023, 8:39 AM
      • Mike in Ohio January 29, 2023, 10:43 AM

        Thanks,, yes I had found that link. But, It was originally posted years ago I believe because it was a post that really got to me, and my kids were still kids then. The post you reference is dated January 2022. I assume he reposted it on the updated website? Not arguing, thanks for the link.

  • Mark Hardih January 28, 2023, 6:19 PM

    Eternal rest grant unto him oh Lord, and let Perpetual light shine upon him.

  • Abbe Faria January 28, 2023, 7:30 PM

    I didn’t want to come here, and see the words in black and white that Gerard was gone. Even though we’d only exchanged a few messages, I’d been reading him since the beginning, and he was a beautiful soul, and a really gifted writer.

    You know he’s mighty good at it when you find yourself smiling or laughing and saying things to yourself like : yep, that’s just right – I know exactly how you felt – yes, I can see it now – gee, I wish I’d written that myself!

    He was a man with a big heart, and a big spirit. God bless you, Gerard, and *requiescat in pace*.
    Say hi to your mom for us, and tell her we all said “thanks for the cookies!”

  • Kristin January 28, 2023, 8:33 PM

    Thank you Neo. Thank you. You take good care of yourself. It’s a lovely picture you leave us with.
    Yesterday I re-read the monkey story and with tears in my eyes I read it to my husband.
    I said:”he’s gone”.
    Thank you for keeping the site open for 2 years.
    I hope Justine will get to know through the readers what a special man he was.
    Good night.

  • Zephyr January 29, 2023, 7:54 AM

    My sincere condolences on the loss of the truly great Bard Gerard…so glad you had each other and love the picture of his beloved Olive and himself. Take care of yourself and as MOTUS said in her post today, “Another great man with talent on loan from God has passed”…..Godspeed.

  • captflee January 29, 2023, 8:10 AM

    Neo, you have my heartfelt appreciation for all that you have done, and for all which you will do, to preserve the legacy of this remarkable man. As a widower of a couple of years I pray that your sorrow is ameliorated by remembrances of the love you shared with Gerard.

  • Morgan K Freeberg January 29, 2023, 8:58 AM

    We met up with him for lunch shortly after that disaster. He’d just lost his house, and he sprang for lunch. Wouldn’t take no for an answer.

    He could be salty and crude when he wanted to be, but when the time came to show he’d been raised right, he minded all the P’s and Q’s and did his parents proud. I have always been impressed by those two sides of him, the “South Park Republican” who relishes a dirty joke, and the back-to-basics model of civility who made sure every kind deed was acknowledged with a full and proper thank you, and where possible, recapitulated. Maybe that’s why we got along well, I have those sides too but I look to Gerard’s good judgment as to which one should emerge at which time, and why. He had that down, but I’m still trying to get the hang of it.

  • Jim January 29, 2023, 10:25 AM

    Might I ask, where is Olive now? Has she landed in a loving home, or ?

    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

  • Terry January 29, 2023, 2:09 PM

    I thank you Neo.

    Gerard is not gone . . . he is in a better place.

  • Uncle Mikey January 29, 2023, 4:26 PM

    Gerard was a great man and an incredibly potent source of comfort and joy to me. I’ll miss him until I join him in the beyond. Love from Texas

  • chuckie January 29, 2023, 9:43 PM

    i have no words…….i could never be as strong as you in this situation……much love and prayers….we will all miss him so much…..

  • Cletus Socrates February 1, 2023, 8:29 AM

    Neo: Thank you for your constant friendship to G. Hope you are doing well!

  • Joan of Argghh! February 1, 2023, 6:23 PM

    This photo is incredible. The natural sepia tones with the intense contrasts almost creates an illusion of movement. Gerard’s hands and face almost match the wall behind him, with aught but a flash of red around the neck of Olive. The hands that carried the thoughts of such a mind appear so elegantly long and smooth in contrast to what we all know could launch a rough, fierce and fiery riposte to the infidels. It is a positively tender moment, as you say, and almost another pieta of sorts, for the shadowy black companion that would soon be orphaned, for all of us that would be set adrift in the sea of an ebbing blog tide. I am still grieving, apparently, for us and for you and for all who loved him. Thank you for the comforts you provide here; it is brave and compassionate beyond telling.