I first got acquainted with Jerry working in the Forest Service fighting forest fires in northern Idaho. We both shared a love for the mountains and outdoors and had shared experiences that were serious and sometimes even dangerous. You learned who you could depend on in those situations, and Jerry was dependable, calm, and a hard worker. His dry wit and sense of humor along with his "philosophizing" made him a great companion. He was always unflappable which is illustrated by an incident that happened in the small town of Avery's beer joint.
About once every two weeks we had the equivalent of a church social in the beer joint when the Forest Service boys would save up the trout they had caught and the townsfolks would provide the side dishes. The lumberjacks bought the beer. Jerry was a good country guitar player, and one night was playing with several locals at one of these socials. A drunk lumber truck driver burst in the door, and the place went quiet for a minute. Word spread that he was wanted for murder and had been hiding out in the mountains since spring. He decided he wanted to dance to Jerry's music, and stumbled around and stepped through Jerry's amp. While he was trying to extricate his foot the sheriff came in and slapped handcuffs on him. Jerry kept playing through the whole thing and didn't miss a beat.
The last few years Jerry and I both have endured serious illnesses and we would talk to each other on the phone about them. Every time I came up with a new condition Jerry would come up with one to top me, and I learned to appreciate his endurance and his steady wit. I admired him for this, and it gave me hope to go on. He was a great friend, and I will certainly miss him. Our deepest sympathy to Linda and Chris. Neal Taylor