My last conversation with him was reminiscing about school days. We both were so excited to get back in touch and looked forward to some sort of reunion to see each other at again. He was always a joker with me. I had taken auto shop with him for two years and in those final years of school we became super close. He was one of the absolute best guys I had ever met or had the honor to have in my life. We rebuilt a mustang motor together…I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that some guy shot him dead. It is just so crazy stupid it feels like a dream or a very bad facebook prank.
We toured a school our senior year while in auto mechanics. Strange thing about that trip I only remember Gary being there because most of that trip we were together joking, dreaming, and showing up the rest of the class. OK, OK we thought we were showing up the rest of them….we were the clown posse. He made that class bearable because I was the only girl there…and well he helped me fit in. He was a great friend and support for me. Some of the guys, sometimes they made me feel inferior to them because I was a girl and fixing cars were for guys. They might not have meant to make me feel that way but they did. Not Gary. He would joke that I signed up for the class because I had a secret crush on him. Or he’d joke I signed up due to another crush on someone else. He was always joking about me being a girl in the class but he always reassured me when we’d have an assignment together that he thought it was very cool I was in the class.
I remember one time we were told by Jim Cushing to change the oil in this car. So Gary drove the car into the garage and put it on the lift. I was such an airhead that day I had forgot to put the pan to catch the draining oil underneath the darn thing before I took the plug out. Well needless to say Gary and I were drenched in oil that day. The whole time rushing around trying to get the pan under the draining oil laughing at the fact I forgot such a simple task. Man those were the best years of my school experience and Gary is a dominate memory in them. I was blessed to have had him back then.
I loved all of Gary. But there were a few things I loved most that I looked forward to experiencing again when I made a trip into my hometown for the reunion. One was his great smile. It was infectious! The other was his sense of humor…he kept things light. We had a lot of classes together but auto mechanics was the best one.
It is going to be very hard walking in that reunion with Gary gone…he was one in particular I wanted to catch up with again. He has been the third friend from my class that has left me before I got to meet up with them one more time in person. Life just isn’t the way it is supposed to be. Things haven’t turned out the way they should have been…he was taken too soon…it was a mistake…and now it’s too late and there is no going back.
I miss you Gary. I can’t wait to see you again when we can have our reunion on the other side bro. I will remember you always! 2012