Gary Staiger died on Thanksgiving day of a suspected heart attack.  He was 62 years old.  Gary was found in his car on W. Third Street, evidently trying to drive himself to the VA hospital. See David Esrati’s post here.

The first time I saw Gary Staiger was during a meeting of the Montgomery County Democratic Party Central Committee. I first became a member of the Committee in 2006. Gary rose to urge the group to take a stand concerning the Iraq War. The passion and urgency of his message impressed me.

Gary Staiger

The last time I spoke with Gary was in his music shop on Main Street — a testimony that we should always follow our best impulses — just this summer. I made a point to go, finally, to his place of business and to make a small purchase — a Neil Young CD.

Gary’s passionate speeches to the MCDP Central Committee are somewhat captured in a post Gary wrote April 8th, 2008. In that post, Gary complained pointedly:  “Where is the Outrage??” He asked: “How is it that we can have such opposition to the Bush Administration’s war policies and yet not be able to get a dozen people to join an anti-war protest here in Dayton?”

He wrote:

Where is the “leadership” of the local Democratic party on this critical issue??? and, please, don’t respond with that lame crap about how “we are LOCAL elected officials and anti-war issues are not our thing…” I’m not buying it, and you should be ashamed to offer it as an excuse for your inactivity.

The War goes on, and the American public, having been lulled into complacency, appears comatose in the face of impending disaster, unable or unwilling to take the time to do the right thing, get off their asses confront our “leadership” and demand an end to this war.

Wake up America. It’s way past time for the wake up call.

Gary, thanks for trying to wake us up. You are gone much too soon.
I thought I’d post a Neil Young video in your honor, and I think I’ve found the right one:

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