About Webb Weekly

Webb Weekly is a family-oriented newspaper direct mailed to over 58,000 homes each week.

Webb Weekly

280 Kane St. STE #2
South Williamsport, PA
United States

Phone & Fax

Phone: 570-326-9322
Fax: 570-326-9383

Get In Touch With Us

Latest Posts

Latest Issue


An Appreciation of The Jaded Eyed: Gerry Ayers

Last week the Webb Weekly family experienced the terrible loss of Gerry Ayers, known to his readers as “The Jaded Eye.” I was lucky enough to have known Gerry many years before he became associated with Webb Weekly. Gerry and I worked together as part-time clerks at “Jocks” sporting goods store on the Golden Strip

Last week the Webb Weekly family experienced the terrible loss of Gerry Ayers, known to his readers as “The Jaded Eye.” I was lucky enough to have known Gerry many years before he became associated with Webb Weekly.

Gerry and I worked together as part-time clerks at “Jocks” sporting goods store on the Golden Strip in 1993 and 1994. You really get to know someone when you work with them, and that was certainly the case with Gerry and I. Gerry kind of took me under his wing. It was the first time I had ever worked at a retail establishment, and he impressed upon the importance of keeping the customer satisfied. Gerry was four years younger than me, but he had this wisdom about doing the job that we were doing, and he was a great help to me.

It was never dull working with him. I thought of him as kind of a quirky fellow. He loved heavy metal rock and was particularly fond of bands such as Nine Inch Nails. He reminded me very much of a short-haired version of Garth from the film “Wayne’s World,” only much smarter.

You couldn’t be around Gerry very long before he would start talking about one of the main passions of his life — classic cars. He spoke with pride of the ones that he owned. I remember very well when he brought his Viper to work one time and was showing it off with great pride. He loved those cars and was an avid attendee of the Classic Car Shows held in Carlisle twice a year, in the spring and fall. Even as he was starting to enter his final days, he summoned up the strength in early October to walk the more than 15 miles that covered the Car Show. He loved his cars right to the end. It must have been an excruciatingly, tiring experience for him to do this. My younger sister, Kathy and my brother-in-law, who are also avid Carlisle goers, found it very tiring and they are perfectly healthy. I can’t imagine the reservoirs of strength and courage that Gerry must have summoned forth in order to go to his beloved car show for one last time.

One of the other great passions in his life was tennis. To look at Gerry you would not necessarily think of him as the athletic type, but he was an excellent tennis player who had a strong aptitude for the game. He could be seen on area tennis courts playing or giving lessons to youngsters and promoting the sport he loved so much to a new generation of players. I believe that it was his competitiveness and athletic prowess that served him well in his final illness, against a foe he was determined to beat.

As all the readers of Gerry’s column, “The Jaded Eye” can attest, he loved writing. It is the reason he majored in journalism at Lycoming. When we worked together at Jocks, he always enjoyed talking about writing. When I told him that I was working on writing a history of baseball in Williamsport, he seemed very interested in the project, even though he was not a big baseball fan. I showed him some of the early drafts of my work, and he was genuinely pleased to be able to review it and offer some comments and suggestions. He was always very generous and encouraging with his comments. I could see at that time why he would be so good when he started writing “The Jaded Eye.” Writing about yourself can be difficult. I find it that way, but Gerry made an art of it.

In Gerry’s columns, you could sense his humanity. He wrote about his hopes, his fears, his dreams, his fun, and all the things in between that moved him. He did it with humor, profundity, and a sense of fun. You can see all of this in his final column, which ran last week. You can’t help but be moved by it.

There is a Jim Croce song called “Learned the Hard Way Every Time,” that I think might sum up in some ways what Gerry felt, even though he was no great fan of the folky, singer-songwriters. Some of it may or may not be totally appropriate to him, but I think there is enough that is.

Yeah, I’ve had my share of broken dreams
And more than a couple of falls
And in chasin’ what I thought were moonbeams
I have run into a couple of walls
But in looking back at the places I’ve been
The changes that I’ve left behind
I just look at myself to find
I’ve learned the hard way every time
‘Cause I’ve had my share of good intentions
And I’ve made my share of mistakes
And I’ve learned at times it’s best to bend
‘Cause if you don’t well those are the breaks
Should have listened to all the things I was told
But I was young and too proud at the time
Now I look at myself to find
I learn the hard way ev’ry time
But in looking back at the lessons I’ve learned
And the mountains I wanted to climb
I just look at myself to find
I’ve learned the hard way ev’ry time
‘Cause I’ve had my share of broken dreams
And more than a couple of falls
And in chasin’ what I thought were moonbeams
I have run into a couple of walls
But in looking back at the faces I’ve been
I would sure be the first one to say
When I look at myself today
Wouldn’ta done it any other way

In Gerry’s final days, he might have performed his greatest service by sharing with Kristina Papa of WNEP Channel 16 and its viewers, his final struggle, and letting people know the preciousness of life and how you should always seek to make a difference and make every minute count.

Some people show us how to live. Gerry showed us how to die.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply