A Different Egg

My mom lost her favorite cousin Gary last month. He was 69 and died of a stroke suffered after the removal of a brain tumor.

Gary was the son of Paul “Rusty” Rostock, my mom’s uncle and oldest child of Elizabeth and Paul Rostock.  Rusty was an entrepreneur and a very formal gentleman who was married his entire life to his college sweetheart. Gary was gregarious, informal, and very laid back.  I have to think Rusty saw his oldest son as hatched from an entirely different egg.

Married three times, Gary could exhaust someone who operated on a strict schedule. His third wife would channel his talents when she put him to work as a sales person in her appliance store.  He had recently retired from the business when he passed away.

When I lived in Boise, ID briefly after graduate school, my mom and I spent a day with Gary that would become my favorite memory. He was selling insurance at the time and had to visit a vacation home in McCall to assess its insurance risk. We drove the hour north to a lovely A-frame home with a spacious deck, which stopped about twenty feet from the edge of a meandering creek. After walking around the house, Gary announced he was tired and was going to take a nap in the loft before we departed. To be clear, this wasn’t a friend’s house. It was a potential client’s house. However, the mood struck him, and he wanted to nap to the sound of the water. And so he did. It was the kind of informal, off the cuff decision that I think of when I think of him.

As a person, I’m more like Rusty, who was one of my very favorite relatives and a great mentor and friend. I’m more structured and tend not to make snap decisions. Despite my best efforts, I am not laid back. I have an admiration for those who take life at a more relaxed pace though. There are different paths, and different speeds, for all.

Rest in peace, Gary.

Gary Rostock
Gary with his then-wife Linda in our living room on Sunset Avenue, Boise, Idaho. The back of the print photo says, “We had a birthday party for Gary, and the children gave him a hat.” January, 1982