By LARRY VAUGHT
It has been heartwarming to see so many wonderful social media posts about my long-time friend Gary Moyers after his unexpected passing early Thursday.
He was a friend to so many and I just have a feeling he never knew just how many lives he touched during his journalistic career with newspapers in Bowling Green, Richmond, Harrodsburg and Danville before joining the Cats’ Pause just a few years ago.
What I liked best about Gary is that he never met a stranger and had a big, big heart that apparently just wore out from all the love he poured out.
I asked Alex Otte, now a research associate at National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and a UK graduate, to share a few of her memories of Gary. She spent time as a freelance photographer for vaughtsviews.com during her collegiate years
“I met Gary through you nearly 10 years ago. We always talked when we saw each other around UK sports and in 2014 he and his wife took me to lunch to catch up. We stayed close after that,” Otte said.
“He knew that I wanted to be a sports photographer just like him and I’ll never forget my first year shooting football in 2015 he came up to me on the sideline and said, ‘You’re not shooting using the sportsman setting, are you?’ I was. He helped me fix my settings to be just like his.
“From then on, he found me on the sidelines at every game just to say hi. He always took pictures of me from afar at the UK games, which was always a lot of fun to see my facial expressions when I’m not paying attention, and I will cherish those pictures forever.
“He always introduced me to photographers around us that I didn’t know, and every time he introduced me as his hero. Nearly 10 years after meeting him, there wasn’t a single time I saw him that he didn’t be sure and tell me he was proud of me.
“He was so excited when I told him I had gotten engaged last season, and knew for sure he’d be at my wedding. I’m genuinely heartbroken that he won’t get to be there.”
If you don’t know Alex Otte’s inspiring story, just do a Google search with her name and boating accident. Gary and I talked often about her determination. But no matter the story, Gary just enjoyed helping others as Otte noted.
“And you were absolutely right in saying his grandchildren were his whole world. He talked about them all the time and I remember him telling everyone that (his daughter) Stephanie was having a little girl like it was yesterday,’ Otte said.
I remember, too, just like I will always remember the day a friend I never expected to leave before me did just that without really knowing just how special he had been to so many people like Alex, me and many, many more.