I can call him 'local' because I would often meet Gerry walking through Muff village or around Culmore Point. He always had a bright 'hello' for you and a smile on his face! So he was indeed a local man and always made himself 'one of us'! But Gerry was never 'one of us'...Gerry was a man in a league of his own.
Mark Patterson from Radio Foyle has said: 'All of us are a bit numb in here today. We are all too aware that this brilliant, intelligent, mischievous, funny, irreverent man meant the world to thousands and thousands of people here and far beyond. A brilliant writer and essayist...and the finest broadcaster any of us will ever know.'
Gerry did indeed entertain many people and he will be missed by all of them and more. Our airwaves will never be the same. But how fortunate are we to have had such immense talent on those airwaves for so many years.
One of my last memories of meeting Gerry was at our local shop, Spar, in Muff village. There I said 'hi' to him as he was leaving the shop and I was entering. Gerry said 'hello' and sauntered out. I turned my head to look after him....there he was, a man of 60+ in his skinny jeans and open laced ankle boots. I just thought 'whao, one cool guy'! And I guess that's how I'll remember him, 'One Cool Guy'! Rest in Peace Gerry. The airwaves above are truly blessed today!
Thoughts and prayers are with Gerry's family at this time.