More than ten years. Over 300 columns. Gerry Ayers was one of Webb Weekly’s most dedicated columnists. His columns were smart, funny and well written. He will be missed. Missed by the Webb staff. Missed by the folks at the Country Club. Missed by those at Fairfield. Missed by everyone he played tennis with or taught. And missed by the readers of Webb Weekly.
I knew last week’s column would be his last, but I didn’t expect him to leave us so soon. But in true Gerry fashion he did it his way.
Never one to shy away from tough subjects he allowed our community and beyond deep into his life when most of us would not. I thought WNEP did a great job of allowing Gerry to talk about death in a ‘positive’ way while respecting him and his dignity. It’s a tough subject to broach, but leave it Gerry to be the one to take it on.
We all know that Gerry loved cars and tennis more than most things, but he also loved his family. I never met Mrs. Ayers, but reading Gerry’s stories about his mother, I almost feel like I knew her. His dad, brother, sister-in-law, nephew, and niece were beside him until the end.
We will never have another Gerry in Webb Weekly, but we’ll always remember the fun, laughs and bit of oddball-ness that he brought to our pages. Gerry was a little quirky, but you couldn’t help but like him.
Our thoughts and condolences go out to the Ayers family. Gerry’s family asks that donations in Gerry’s memory may be made to the United States Tennis Association Foundation, or Ellie’s Heart Foundation (at any local Woodlands Bank branch).
A public memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 28, at Trinity Episcopal Church located at 844 West Fourth Street in Williamsport. A reception immediately after the service will be held at the Williamsport Country Club.
Before I move on to lighter subjects, because as I’ve said before, Gerry wouldn’t put up with much more sap from me, I want to use this opportunity to remind everyone to talk to their doctors about if or when colonoscopies are appropriate. Gerry had stage-4 colon cancer and while he lived a healthy and active life, he admittedly never had a colonoscopy. Prevention and early detection are so important regardless of the cancer type. It’s recommended that the average-risk patient get their first colonoscopy at age 50. People with a first-degree relative (like your mom, dad, or sister) who had colon cancer at age 60 or younger should start colon cancer screening either at age 40 or 10 years before the age that their family member was diagnosed.
OK, let’s get some holiday spirit shall we? We are in week two of our Blaise Alexander Family Dealership Christmas Fun Coloring Contest! The elves have arrived and are gearing up for sorting and judging the entries.
This year we have three new elves joining us from the North Pole. While working for Santa, Tiramisu Cuddlelights makes slightly scary toy clowns and monkeys for all the good little children. She wears a fluffy jacket with rabbit ears, and she is a quick-witted elf who helps all of the other elves with their problems! We think she’s going to make an excellent lead-elf while in town. Tiramisu brought along her two assistants: Marzipan Greenpie and Chestnut Ivylights.
Marzipan makes kaleidoscopes and telescopes for all the good little children. She wears a bright green hat with a bell on the end, and she loves to cook in the kitchen and make mince pies to feed to Santa’s reindeer!
Chestnut makes awesome pirate ships. He wears a tunic embroidered with green ivy leaves, and he is a clever elf, and he is looked up to by all of the other elves for being so wise!
I do not doubt that we are ready for all the Coloring Contest entries! So find all your crayons, colored pencils, paint, and glitter and send in your best work! You can find the coloring page, along with everything you need to know to enter on pages 18 and 19!