I met Gary in my first writing class. He'd mostly finished his book, "Governor of Peter Creek", and participate in the writing class for any rewriting that might need to be done. I got to see Gary off and on over a few years, especially during the actual publishing of his book. I got to go to his first book signing, and bought a signed copy. The Five Florida Writers would see Gary at various book and author events.
Gary was the type that didn't talk much about himself. He didn't need to; his reputation preceded him, pretty much every where he went. Other talked about him. "Do you know where Gary's been lately?" "He was in India last month, or was it Guyana," When I saw Gary at the book signing, he'd been to Syria. Yes, That Syria. Gary did volunteer work with Remote Area Medical. He did free surgery work in those areas, and in the States too. Anytime I talked with Gary, he'd always want to hear about me, and what I'd been doing lately. Only if you asked, would he talk about himself. He loved to talk about anything that involved adventure. Most of the times I saw him, he looked dressed for adventure. I have no idea of his professional accomplishments -though I'm sure they are many- he didn't seem to care to hear or talk about that. To me, Gary loved to talk about what impassioned a person; our writing, my affair with technology, stuff like that. I don't recall ever hearing him ask someone, "What do you do?". In so many words, his questions were more like, "What do you love? What could you not live without doing?".
As you can probably tell by the past tense of my descriptions of Gary, he passed away. Monday April 9, 2007.
If I could say I had a role model, it would be my Grandfather; Elmer Thompson. As I got to know Gary Dotson, he was another role model. I even began wearing adventure clothing, somewhat like his. Gary's website seems to be down right now, but here's a link to his book:
It's a murder mystery, a true story. A good read. Hopefully, Gary's website will be back up, and people will get to see more about him.