Letters to the Editor

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TNT: My unrepressed memories of Gary Reese

Letter by Kevin E. Gent, Tacoma on Sep. 12, 2011 at 1:24 pm with 5 Comments »
September 12, 2011 1:57 pm

Re: “Pair accuse Lakewood ex-Scout leader, librarian of sexual abuse” (TNT, 9-9).

I am a lifelong resident of Tacoma. I have known Gary Reese for more than 30 years now. When I was a young man (in the late 1970s and up until 1986), I was a regular at the Tacoma Public Library’s Northwest Room. Tacoma history was my passion, and I would frequent the little corner back then, and had access to the Boland Collection, which I would help catalog and organize.

I spent countless hours in that room and cave-like archive, often alone with Reese. In all those years, he was a consummate gentleman and mentor. He was always encouraging and polite, and never once made me feel at all uncomfortable.

In my adult life, I have been a professional youth worker for more than 20 years and have developed a finely tuned radar for youth protection. Reese has never even been a blip on that radar.

I have had occasion, more recently, to have Reese lecture for several Masonic organizations and still find him to be the gentleman he ever was. I stand in full support of my mentor and friend, Gary Reese.

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. Kevin….a “finely tuned professional youth worker” would not make light of the issue.

    Since this is the second time you’ve chosen to air this out in public, I’m starting to question your motives. We all might be better served – public, victims and accused – to let this play itself out in a court of law.

  2. Kevin – I understand your feelings. As a teen I was befriended by a priest who was very helpful to me during the various “crises” of growing up – I had nothing but positive experiences. When I turned 40 I was contacted by a lawyer who was collecting witnesses for his case dealing with the priest’s sexual abuse of young boys – I was bewildered, having had no hint that this man was an abuser in my experiences.

    My assessment of him is paradoxical – he was a strong positive influence upon my life yet the evidence is undeniable that he was a predator on others who, perhaps, were more vulnerable than I was. There are those who wish to dismiss him as a total monster (and I understand their feelings) but I know that there was more to him than that.

  3. It is much easier to demonize these folks than it is to recognize that people are generally bundles of contradiction. The good and the bad in us tumbles out in a variety of ways.

    When we demonize another, we do it so we don’t have to look to deeply at some of the ugliness that lies within.

  4. Kardnos, I am not making light of the situation at all. I am simply stating my experiences. I did not discount anyone elses.

    As to my motives, they are simple. Let this man remain innocent until proven guilty. When this is resolved, the chips may fall where they may.The court of public opinion often destroys peoples lives, many times needlessly.

  5. aislander says:

    Ray Donovan: “Where do I go to get my reputation back?”

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