By Diane McGovern aka Mountain Mama
An editor at RVtravel.com
As all who knew Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, are aware, he was truly one of a kind. (To learn what people thought of him, read this article by Chuck Woodbury and the more than 300 heartfelt comments left by his friends and our readers, where there is not one negative word about him.) I didn’t know him very well, but I considered him my friend.
We met in 2013 when I first started working at RVtravel.com, back when we were in a warehouse selling books in addition to producing newsletters and videos. We spoke for a few minutes as he was leaving, after he was done visiting with Chuck Woodbury. Gary mentioned something about an interest of his (I can’t remember exactly what it was), but I mentioned my dad had the same interest. My dad had recently died and I had written a short biography about him as a memorial. Gary said he would like to read it, so I sent it to him.
A couple of months later when Gary went to visit Chuck at the warehouse again, I was in there filling book orders. As Gary came through the door and was still about 50 feet away, he yelled, “You didn’t tell me your dad was a Seabee!!!” (Gary had also been a Seabee.) Well, Gary, we had only ever spoken for maybe five minutes, and that wasn’t right at the top of my list of things to relate to you at that time. I later sent an old Seabees book to Gary that my dad had, which Gary seemed to appreciate.
When Gary and his wife, Debbie, lived in downtown Seattle, Gary would often travel 25 miles north to Everett to go shooting at a gun range. (I live between Seattle and Everett.) Several times he invited me to meet him up there to shoot, after I told him I have a .357-magnum Smith & Wesson which I take with me to my remote 18 acres of mountain property (along with my “bodyguards” – my two 6’8″ sons!).
I never got up to the range to shoot with Gary, but I invited him to go shooting with me at my mountain property sometime. We were thinking about it for last summer, but then my dog broke my leg. So, we were thinking about it for this summer – especially after last fall when I showed Gary the beautiful poster-sized photo my son gave me a couple of years ago of a small portion of my mountain property. Gary exclaimed, “Oh, that’s beautiful! I can’t wait to go see it in person!”
But, tragically, COVID-19 interfered and took Gary from us on April 17, and now he’ll never get to see my property and go shooting up there. So, on Mother’s Day, May 10, I met my sons (my own personal “mountain men”) up at the property and blew up a target marked with COVID-19 in Gary’s memory. My glasses aren’t clear enough and I was shaking too much so I didn’t get as many bull’s eyes as I had hoped, but I think Gary would appreciate my message for the nasty coronavirus anyway.
Gary, this is for you. I’ll think of you each time I go to my 18 gorgeous acres of totally unimproved mountain property – with the black bears, mountain lions, bobcats, deer, and two more small creeks running through it in addition to Index Creek, plus more plants and trees and dozens of types of mushrooms than I can ever identify, not to mention my very own rain forest. Gary, you would have loved it. 😥 —Hugs from Mountain Mama