I was saddened to learn in 2014 of my old friend Gary Scott's death and wish that he and I had kept in touch over the last few years. We just had to get on with our lives in our different ways.
I treasure the memories of many happy times together with Gary all over the North East and in places as far apart as Edinburgh and Peterlee’s twin town of Nordenham, Germany.
I first met him in Peterlee at an East Durham Writers’ group meeting and I like to think I helped him with the development of his writing. He was the only member of the group who was inspired by the works of Franz Kafka!
I shared his passion for politics, travel, pubs and cricket and he will forever remain in my thoughts.
I particularly respect his work abroad teaching English in places as far apart as Poland, Oman and Kurdistan - a very brave and committed thing to do.
We should all be proud of Gary and his very genuine socialism.
In his honour, I have written a short poem to share with his family and friends. It is my small way of paying tribute to him.
I especially remember his engaging smile and sparkling humour.
POEM FOR MY FRIEND GARY (1962-2014)
Your thoughts ran deep by the Wear.
You were the only one
who brought Franz Kafka to the writers’ group meeting.
The Durham mines were your veins
and you took your genuine heritage onto the Horden bus.
Many’s the drink we poured over
our thoughts and dreams of Socialism.
In lots of ways, our hopes were cruelly dashed
but you strode on
with that serious chuckle of yours,
nobly bearing your ideals
for all the passengers to see
on your daring journey
through this dangerous life.
You took your reading abroad
to share with others
in worlds as far apart
as Poland, Oman and Kurdistan.
Teaching was your calling
and you had divine patience for it,
a love of times of being together
like those golden days I remember with you
listening to Dollar Brand in a Bremen concert,
washing down the day with apfelkorn,
talking cricket with you in Chester-le-Street
and laughing at NewcastleGateshead on a tourist bus
as the sun set on a New Town
and another Empire died.
Gary, I wish
I’d got to see you again
before your sweet smile left our streets and avenues.
One thing I know though:
when I googled you today,
all I found was kindness.
SCOTT Gary On March 2, of Newcastle Avenue, Horden, Gary aged 52 years. Dearly beloved son of Sonia and the late Walter, loving brother of Graeme, Michael and Christine, also a dearest brother-in-law and uncle. Cremation, Durham Crematorium, Monday, March 10. Friends please accept this intimation and meet for service at St. Mary's Church, Horden, at 2.30pm.