It’s taken me a while to get ready . . . no, to be able, to write about this.
Greg’s passing has hit me much harder than I thought it might. I was aware for quite some time that he was infected with the corona virus, and that it was not going well. I spoke to both Sandy and his brother to seek their permission to post the information to the Shake’n’Take and RealSTMFC lists. Both were grateful for my reaching out to do that.
I don’t remember the first SnT kit that I signed up for. It was quite a few years ago. I found some of them relatively straightforward, built them and brought them back to Cocoa. Some I am still intending to go back and finish. One I have to finish again. But I got to know Greg well after I think the second one I took to build. I had struggled through his somewhat vague instructions and after his presentation, I simply said “Give me that set of instructions.” He didn’t understand at first that I didn’t mean another paper copy, I meant the computer file, but when I explained that I wanted to, with his permission, rewrite it so it would be more readable, he gave them to me immediately.
I’ve rewritten many of the instructions for the various SnT projects ever since. And in doing so I got to know Greg quite well, for someone who lived 2600 miles away, and who, with one exception, I only saw annually in Cocoa Beach. Lots of late-night phone calls to initially talk about the next SnT project, or other potential projects for future years, which generally wandered off into our working lives and family successes and . . . difficulties. Some of Greg’s instructions, it turned out, were written very after the fact, sometimes months later. I’d occasionally have to ask him if he really did it that way, because it seemed to me that a different sequence simply had to be better. He’d sheepishly agree and acknowledge that he didn’t remember it correctly when he wrote the instructions.
Greg’s kits also made me a much better modeler, an effect others have mentioned. Greg also got me to do something I really never thought I could: he insisted that I needed to do a SnT clinic. He gave me multiple Lackawanna and ERIE examples of ‘bashable prototypes. I eventually got him to understand that the Lackawanna car he was proposing would require two or three donor kits, and that seemed a little much. But the ERIE car I did came about because he pushed me to do it. BTW, that Lackawanna car became Yarmouth’s DL&W Auto Box kit.
Greg would call me his “partner” in SnT, which I never quite agreed with. He often called me “my brother,” and I felt much the same way about him. As I wrote above, the loss of Greg has really hit me very hard.
As it has many of us, I know. The posts over the last two days show how well regarded he was, and how I am not the only person whose modeling benefitted from knowing him
Greg, I miss you now, and I am sure I will miss you very much for years.