Sometimes we all gripe about Facebook gremlins or having to un-friend someone for some reason or the other. Where situations arise where we are left unfortunate and unwelcome comments demanding that we delete that individual from our friends list. Sadly, this does take place.
But we also have a platform at our fingertips that enables us to connect with people all over the world to discuss stuff we like, things that get on our nerves, share our stories…kind of like old fashioned pen-pals. And when you find people who are like minded, perhaps having similar histories, points of view and such, that’s a wonderful thing!
I feel very fortunate to have “met” a number of people that I do consider to be friends, sharing all sorts of stuff, funny, weird or otherwise. I have even found, at times, that I have much more in common with these friends than a lot of my real life friends who are not food people!
So, when the news starting appearing on Facebook a few days ago that Gareth Jones, one of our “tribe,” as Julia della Croce calls her Facebook friends, passed away very suddenly, while enjoying a vacation with family in Puglia, Italy, it brought home to me just how important the connections I have made through Facebook are and how very, very lucky I have been to meet amazing people such as Gareth Jones. His blog was called “The Last of the Independents,” one I had followed for at least a year. I wish it had been much longer. Gareth seemed to have an amazing amount of information at his fingertips about the food industry and cooking and happily shared that information with those of us who followed him. While writing this I feel close to tears and have been so for days every time I think of him and how much he meant to us. We talked about the music we liked, concerts attended in the past and food stuff, of course, (I think we were of a similar age). And ever generous, he extended an invitation to us to visit at #19 when next we were in London. Gareth, was funny, cheeky (I loved that) smart, and from comments I have read about him, a great friend. He was a Brit…who loved travelling to France and Italy. He didn’t compromise on his principles and was not afraid to be critical if he saw or read something that was, in his opinion, haywire…got to love that in a person.
The upshot is that there are a whole lot of people out here in FB land who Gareth struck a cord with, who appreciated his sense of humour and idiosyncrasies and really enjoyed seeing his posts on FB. Sometimes I just wanted to reach out and give him a big hug!
I for one, will never again be able to enjoy a Negroni without thinking of Gareth, nor will I ever, ever sit down to a plate of oxtails without thinking of him. Gareth liked to call oxtails “foxtails,” we both had a passion for them. Once he told me that if your lips didn’t stick together after eating them they weren’t cooked properly! He was right.
So, with that, I want to say a heartfelt ciao to you Gareth and I can only pray you know how much we are going to miss what you shared, so willingly, with us. I am going to miss the possibility of seeing you in Rome in the fall. I raise my glass to you! May you rest in peace.