We come this way but once so try to enjoy it!

Last week my friend passed away. In the year of Covid he ignored the latest fad and died from the good old heart attack.

Saturday, 27th March 2021, 12:21 pm
RIP Gerry

He wasn’t one for embracing new technology so would be happy with that!

Dealing with grief is still a bit weird for me.

My best friend died before we knew what life was really all about.

After school we would sit in the cafe drinking 10p cups of tea and he would quote The Who and tell me “I hope I die before I get old”. I would look at him and tell him that he did have a passing resemblance to James Dean so he’d probably get his wish. And only three years later he did.

Our other friend, who drove a Vespa whilst wearing a parka with ‘The Who’ emblazoned on the back, died the year before. I guess all my tears were used up far too soon in life.

Gerry Russell wasn't looking to check out early. He was one of life's good guys.

Mr Marathon man would run day after day after day and was even seen running the day before he died.

He was a carer for his mum and anyone else who needed something.

If you wanted to speak to Gerry then you would have to book a spot or get into town early because he was always chatting to someone. Old, young, male or female Gerry was there for the craic.

Mormons used to run when they saw Garry because they knew they couldn’t convert him or anyone else while they were stuck talking with him hour after hour.

He was a force of nature and made the Duracell bunnies look knackered.

To look at him he was a cross between Little Richard and Barry MacGuigan. The MacGuigan bit came to the surface when anyone queried why he looked like Little Richard.

I never saw him hurt a soul but when large groups of men picked on him or anyone else Gerry tore them apart. He once laid out the entire road crew of a band that came to town. Those that witnessed it described him as the Tasmanian Devil on steroids. He took on 8 of them because they laughed at him for going home to be with his mum. It was a while before they ever laughed again.

I can picture the queue at the Pearly Gates waiting for Gerry to just stop talking and take a breath.