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No. of Recommendations: 9
I would like to nominate IllinoisGEM for the Feste Award. For myself, he has contributed to both my investing research, and the Humor and Urban Legends board, a board which I founded several months ago. He is probably best well known on the Mechanical Investing and BBQ, Art of, boards. I will let others express their feelings about him in their own words.

"I never met Gerry personally, and didn't know him except through a few phone calls, some emails, and his posts to the board, but it is clear to me that he had a great deal of passion for MI (and, it seems, barbequeing), and he put great effort into those interests. He was, quite simply, a 'giver', not a 'taker'. He enjoyed sharing a laugh, and he made sure to offer congratulations and kind words often, and with sincerity. He made the Fool a more positive experience for many of us, and for that he will be sorely missed." -- deanwoodward

"I think we most certainly must continue his work and assure that his work continues." -- MoeBruin

"It's strange, feeling so sad about someone I've never met." -- mrtoast

"Oh, but you had met him. Perhaps not physically but you had met him. We all had. Just like you've met me and I've met you. I read your posts. I listen to what you have to say and I imagine that you read mine. In this way we meet each other. And in a very real sense, we come to know one another." -- DoLoop

"If I was on a soapbox, on many occasions, I was talking to IllinoisGEM. One of the first columns I wrote here was pretty controversial, all about whether or not an investment I had in Indonesia was helping kill people. OK, perhaps it was a bit melodramatic, but some of the responses I received were pretty unkind. That was the first time I got some correspondence from Gerry. It said "Atta boy!", and then he'd offer me some more stuff to think about. We corresponded some -- a fair bit for a while. But I would always know when I bowled a strike when I'd get an "atta boy!" from IllinoisGEM." -- Bill Mann, TMFOtter

"Just a little while ago IllinoisGEM replied to one of my posts and wrote, "Count your blessings."" -- Holg

"Gem was a gem, indeed, he is well loved here. I have no idea how to pay tribute, I never even knew his real name. I only know that he spread a lot of warmth and care around here, and a lot of humor, a lot of kindness.-- blackmare

"GEM was such a lovely person, and so thoughtful in his posts." -- 3blackdogs

"GEM, I'm so glad I had a chance to get to know you." -- chezjohn

****

Links:

The above quotes were taken from the following threads. Hopefully, they will show what IllinoisGEM meant to us as a community. I'll end with a post quoted by 3blackdogs.

Mechanical Investing:
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=17693493&sort=whole#17700496

Art of BBQ:
http://fireboards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=17693563&sort=whole

Post quoted by 3blackdogs:
http://fireboards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=17465402

*****

Blackdogs asked: "From one who is tentatively in the crosshairs of the marital rifle, I'd appreciate whatever words of wisdom, warning or humor you can offer!!"

Blackdogs,

This is a good question, and one my wife and I have pondered frequently during our relationship. Essentially, we continually wonder why we are blessed with the same feeling about each other today, which we had when we first began dating.

I haven't responded to your question until now, mainly because my wife and I have yet to come up with a definitive answer. But in spite of that (and at the risk of sounding corny, being way off topic, and boring the heck out of everyone), here are our collective thoughts.

First and foremost we believe a major contributing factor is that we have been each other's best friend since before we began dating. In addition, we each share a group of people that we each consider as friends (some of them since our teen years).

We've noticed that we share a common trait in how we pick our friends. We don't choose friends based on what they can do for us. Instead, our friends are people with whom we share common interests, enjoy being with, and whom we accept regardless of their faults. In other words we focus on their good traits and accept their faults without being judgmental.

We've also noticed that we each get excitement out of the others accomplishments or excitement, even if its in areas that are of little individual interest to the other. For example my wife has little interest in fishing, but will accompany me on fishing trips. This is because she enjoys the outdoors, nature, canoeing, scenery, etc.. While I'm fishing, she is right along side me knitting, or reading, etc..

Likewise, I do not enjoy sewing or knitting, but I enjoy the results. When she is in a fabric shop looking at sewing and knitting things, I'm right along side looking at scissors, needle threaders, thread, etc.. that I can use to add to my fly tying tool kit.

In other words neither of us has ever attempted to force our individual likes or dislikes on the other, but we both go overboard in an attempt to find ways we can share in (and enjoy) the other's interests. This helps to build on to the number of interests we share in common.

On the other hand, we each recognize the need to give the other space, so that neither of us ever feels smothered by the other.

We each respect the others feelings, and monitor our own actions to guard against being responsible for actions which will cause the other embarrassment, concern or disappointment.

We also share the same love for children, and agree on how to raise them. We treat each of our boys as individuals, and never ever attempt to mold them into extensions of us, or into a "model child" we may have read about in a book. Also, we never compare any of the boys against the other. We enjoy their positive traits, and attempt to "coach" them in improving their weaker traits (only if it was important for them to improve, or they seriously want to improve).

Hopefully you aren't bored to tears by now, but you asked and I tried to give you an honest answer. There are many other things my wife and I thought of, but those above (in addition to those listed by blford (a.k.a Bill F.) in his response to you at <http://fireboards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=17463858> ) should cover the major points.

I do know one thing. We feel blessed that we do feel this way about each other, and that we share the same thoughts on how to treat each other, as well as other people.

Together, we have been able to cope with life's continual surprises as a team. We're in it together, for life. So far it has been a fabulous ride.

Best of luck in your journey. If you are lucky enough to be half as happy and my wife and I are, you will be doing good.

Hope this helps,
IllinoisGEM
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