I’ve known plenty of outsized, outrageous personalities in my lifetime, but Gordon was different, Gordon was special.
He used to joke that he was born looking 35 years old, and the truth was that his physical appearance changed very little in the 35 years I knew him…except for the very end when cancer finally took him.
He was always Gordon, and while he was funny and witty and a tremendous writer and cartoonist, he was also the nicest, sweetest, most gentle, most balanced person I’ve known in my life.
He was a mensch, one of the Lamed-Vav Tzadikim, the 36 righteous people who, according to Jewish folklore, stave off judgment day simply by being alive, by being decent human beings in a world filled with deceit and greed.
Oh, he could get angry and irritated and he would stand firm for what he believed was right, but that was always tempered with love and compassion.
(And I should know: More than once I’d drop some lunatic idea in the middle of a story conference and Gordon’s reaction was always “BuzZZZZZZz!!!” but always with a smile.)
He never hated, he never bore a grudge. If someone harmed him or double crossed him, he’d be more disappointed than anything else, but he would move on, and as often as not he would feel some sort of pity for the person who couldn’t live their life without harming others.
He was, in army lingo, a good guy to have in the foxhole with you.
I don’t have any wild, larger-than-life stories to tell about him. He was involved with a lot of wild & crazy people at a lot of wild & crazy companies on a lot of wild & crazy projects, but he was always the anchor, the point of stability.
We saw him in the hospital about three days before he died; he seemed too heavily medicated to be aware of us but that was okay, we were there for him. His wife, the former Donna Daves, was by his side constantly, doing everything she could to be brave in a frightening situation, to hold out hope, to encourage and lift him up.
My God…to have that kind of love for another human being… ...to be the recipient of that kind of love… ...to have inspired that kind of love…
We are all sad, Gordon, because the world is a little bit less of a place without you.
Enjoy your well earned rest.