Remembering Gary Spaulding
THE EDITOR, Sir:
As the one-year anniversary of the death of Gary Spaulding approaches, it is very difficult not to think of what should be a sombre occasion with a smile. I smile because in the space of the year since he passed, all the lessons I learnt from him have proven to be quite handy in myriad situations and life challenges.
I knew Gary Spaulding for only a little over a year. Such was our connection and collaboration as work colleagues sharing the same desk. He was gracious in reviewing the first story I ever wrote for the paper, and in so doing affirmed my abilities to get the job done. His silent nods of approval for the numerous stories done thereafter were equally empowering.
Gary was so constantly mindful of his own frailties that he had virtually suspended all judgement, even for the most unlikable of human characters. So deeply involved was he in sharing the human experience in all of its manifestations that he was as comfortable speaking with statesmen as he was with beggars. In some kind of way, Gary used his writing to create a bridge between the powerful and the powerless.
Humility was his most enduring trait, humour his most generous gift.
He understood that it was a privilege to have access to the halls of power and he treated that access with utmost delicacy, always humanising the political characters he had come to know in both their private and public lives.
From his gauntly limp you could tell that life had dealt him its fair share of blows, but he stood up to life and kept on moving.
In the last few weeks of his life, Gary emptied the ink of his soul on to the pages of The Gleaner with a heavy heart. Life had threw him a curve ball but even in those moments he still had a bag of laughter that he would burst open in the newsroom.
Rest in peace, my mentor and friend.