Sunday, May 8, 2016

Thank You, Gary.

It is hard to believe that we will not hear from Gary Welsh again.  His Advance Indiana blog was a true asset to the Indianapolis community.

Unquestionably, he loved a good conspiracy theory.  But, I cannot recall him applying those to local government.

He had an outstanding ability to remember people and their relationships to each other, and to events, places and policies.  His talent in this area astounded me.

He was a really good writer.  When he was frustrated, you felt it.  When he was pissed off, you knew it and why.  He could weave together a complex series of events so that it was comprehensible.

He cared about good government.  He wanted elected officials to rise to the occasion and do their jobs in the best interest of the public - not feather their friends' and donors' nests.  He held decision makers feet to the fire; whether those decision makers were in the limelight or in the shadows,  He was often disappointed, frustrated, or angry at the frequency with which personal ambitions won out over the public good.

He cared about a responsible press.  He desperately wanted real investigative journalism - which he saw as the true role of the media - to dig into the backroom deals and pay-to-play politics that run like a current through Indiana government.

He had a shit list and nearly everyone was on it, at least from time to time.  My take was that he had special relationships with a couple of elected officials who he admired for how they did their job; Christine Scales and Angela Mansfield come to mind.  He touted the journalism of Kara Kenney and Russ McQuaid.  He had high expectations, but he wasn't unrealistic.

He had a huge readership and what he said mattered.  He also had an impressive pipeline of contacts who would feed him information - stuff that either they had no way to circulate themselves, or stuff that their public position would preclude having their name tied to.

Certainly members of traditional media followed Gary; some trolling for leads.  Only rarely did he get attribution, which says more about them than about Gary.

Gary was a prolific blogger, no doubt.  He used his talents to let our community know what our government was doing and who it was benefiting.  He was passionate about it.  He did it like no other.

I like to think that Gary has taken up a spot near the Pearly Gates and is setting about critiquing the alacrity with which St. Peter allows entry to certain folks and watching closely who exactly is being given the golden harps.

Thank you, Gary.  For all that you did for our community for so long.  You made a mark and there is a void left in your passing.


IFDFIRE said...

Thanks for what you do!

Anonymous said...

Pat, your wonderful tribute to Gary is greatly appreciated. He added so much to our community in ways that most may not be aware. I wish he knew how much he was respected and appreciated. Hopefully he is at peace.

Christine Scales said...

Thank you Pat. You and others have wonderfully captured the essence of Gary in your public tributes to him. I attended Gary's funeral service last week and sought approval from his family members to host a memorial service here locally so that more individuals would have an opportunity to come together and offer their respects for Gary.
Today is a very busy day, but I plan to contact you and some of Gary's other friends about the service tomorrow. Those who might read this comment, please monitor my facebook page for further information.

Had Enough Indy? said...

I'm glad you went. I'm sure that meant a lot to his family.

I'll keep an eye on facebook. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

He was a racist who hurt a lot of people. I shed not one dam tear.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful tribute to Gary, may he rest in peace. I and many friends have come to greatly miss his blog.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for working alongside him. It is hard to understand this.

Phil Hinkle said...

Well said Pat. I had a lot of respect for Gary. He did not care whose toes he stepped on, that is why people call his a "racist" when they cannot refute his facts. He care about what was right. Thank you for summing it up so well.

Dave Crutchfield said...

I miss reading Gary's observations and his willingness to take a stand. I didn't always agree, probably nobody did all the time, but you knew where he stood. He seemed a combustible, contradictory package of ideology, politics, sexuality, and emotion- and maybe that didn't serve him being with us any longer than he did. But, I guarantee, for 3 years living on the outskirts of Detroit, I've found nobody that could carry Gary's water up here in exposing all manner of corruption. May he rest in peace, but better yet raise hell on whatever needs fixing in the hereafter.