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Gary Sperling remembered...

I wrote this whole thing up yesterday, before I realized that the server (or whatever) was down... So I'll try to recreate it now. I hate recreating things that I write. You can take for granted it was much better written yesterday. *Anyway, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.*


On Sunday, I went to the unveiling of Gary Sperling's grave marker. It's nearly impossible for me to believe that he's been gone an entire year.

The day, the weather, was very reminiscent of the day of his funeral, i.e. hot, hot, hot. Gary's family seems to be doing well, to have found some equilibrium. They miss him, but it's also clear that he is an ongoing and wonderful presence in their lives.

I still catch myself, have to remind myself that he's gone.

Spent some time with some old Disney buddies. We talked about Gary. Talked about Disney (then & now). It was really kind of great. But many of them I hadn't seen since his funeral, and it's a bit appalling that we haven't gotten together for a year, and that the only thing that brings us in contact is another bittersweet occasion.

I ask myself what I've done with this year. What Gary might have done with another year. I don't really feel like I've achieved much, have much to show for being on this planet for twelve months longer than my friend. Except for this: I got to spend that time with my kids. Not that I'm that spectacular a father, but I think my mere presence (fairly active presence) in their lives has to be a good thing. I'm guessing if Gary ever envied me anything (cuz that wasn't his nature at all), he'd envy me that. It's damn hard not to conclude therefore that I am one lucky sonovabitch.

And that conclusion, I think, is worth the price of admission right there. Another thing to thank Gary for, I guess.


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Gary Sperling has passed away.

It wasn't a surprise. Though he never smoked a day in his life, he had lung cancer. Surgery to remove one of his lungs failed to halt the spread of the cancer, and a few minutes ago he passed away with his wife beside him.

Some of you may have met Gary at the 2001 Gathering in Los Angeles. I hope you did. I hope you got a chance to talk to him or at least listen to him. He was a phenomenally intelligent, reasonable and wonderful human being.

Gary was a lawyer by training, who gave up a lucrative career to do something he loved. Write. Specifically, he wrote cartoons. A lot of cartoons, mostly for Disney TV Animation. A very incomplete list of shows he worked on would include: Darkwing Duck, Gargoyles, Nightmare Ned, Hercules, Buzz Lightyear, Max Steel and Kim Possible. (And those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.)

He was a terrific writer and story editor, and a great friend. His contributions to Gargoyles are hard to measure. He was truly a rock on that show. Someone I could always count on. Listing his Gargoyles credits will give you a partial idea of just how much your enjoyment of the series was based on Gary's work...

UPGRADE - Story Editor
PROTECTION - Story Editor & Writer
HERITAGE - Story Editor
KINGDOM - Story Editor
GOLEM - Story Editor & Writer
M.I.A. - Story Editor
BUSHIDO - Story Editor & Writer
THE GATHERING, PART TWO - Co-Story Editor & Co-Teleplay Writer
TURF - Story Editor
THE RECKONING - Co-Story Editor & Teleplay Writer

In addition, he helped develop BAD GUYS and was the writer on the BAD GUYS Story Reel which I show every year at the Gathering.

Among other things, Gary turned Brooklyn into a leader, turned Dingo into a good guy, created both the London and Ishimura Clans and set the stage for Broadway and Angela to fall in love. If any of those things helped to make you a fan, then he's the reason.

Gary leaves behind a wife and two young children. Plus many other friends and family members who will miss him tremendously.