I mentioned Warriner Gilbert elsewhere. He was quite a character (as most of us were). Fun guy, good controller, a half bubble off plumb. He even quit ATC in the early '70s to become an over-the-road trucker. He was either unaware of the economic realities of OTR trucking or was unfazed by them. In any event, after a couple of years, he came back.
He took up where he left off—fun guy, good controller, general goofball. Like many other controllers he took up motorcycling, but sadly, wound up in a serious accident. He suffered a traumatic head injury and ultimately was removed from life support after a couple of days and expired.
The news hadn't made the rounds of the facility yet, when my old roommate, Len Williams, a good friend of Gilbert's came into work after a couple of RDOs. Someone came into the café, sat down in the group Len was in and announced, “Gilbert's brain dead.”
Not missing a beat (and unaware of the circumstances), Len said, “hell, I've known that for years.”
Lest you think that's disrespectful of the departed, let me, or anyone else who knew Gilbert, tell you—he'd have been the first one telling the story if he were around. Incidentally, I don't think I ever heard anyone refer to him by his first name. It didn't sound right to say it and it had no diminuitive (like Bob or Ted). Everyone called him Gilbert.
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