My friend Gary

Dateline: Mon 02 May 2016

    By now, those who followed Gary Welsh's blog Advance Indiana, or were his legal clients or his friends, know that he has died. The tragedy is that he apparently took his own life.

     Indianapolis Business Journal reported Sunday early evening that the 53-year-old Republican lawyer was found at the bottom of the stairwell at the Lockerbie Glove Factory Lofts at 430 N. Park, before 8 a.m. Sunday. 

      Media and friends have speculated on the possible source of his depression. IBJ has updated its story to include information that an attorney colleague who worked across the hall from Welsh Downtown noted that Gary was down because his blog took a lot of work yet generated little income. Another friend, Paul K. Ogden on Facebook, wrote that Welsh was troubled by "professional challenges" in his law career. 

     Ogden says it is a not uncommon phenomenon among attorneys. "You reach a point in your legal career where your experiences and abilities are of no value to law firms which are only interested in older attorneys if they are rainmakers, people (who) can bring business with them to the firm."

     Yet when one reads Welsh's own Facebook bio, he was a firecracker: he graduated magna cum laude from the Indiana University Indianapolis School of Law, he had a prominent job in Illinois GOP politics early on, he was a lobbyist with a major law firm in Indy, and he was active in his Lockerbie Glove Factory Lofts homeowners association.

      I knew Gary as a tenacious blogger, willing to take calculated aim at both Republicans and Democrats -- I always suspected that his early disappointment in the Ballard administration, and perhaps the fact that he did not land a job with that administration, was a blow, yet he was incapable of calling it other than how he saw it (he became a tireless critic of Greg Ballard and Co., calling him "the most corrupt mayor" the city ever had.) Like many bloggers and journalists who write opinion, he alternated between keen insight and blunderbuss. His weak spot was conspiracy theories, but, like other mavericks, he almost never failed to entertain and often enlighten his readers.

      I also knew Gary as a friend, and I am proud to call him that. By friend, I mean he was a journalist of whom I could ask hard questions, and he would answer honestly. He often knew the underpinnings of the city in a way few bloggers/columnists do anymore. He never minced words. He was foreceful, blunt and a ferociously hard worker.

      It has been noted that Indianapolis is not especially kind to its iconoclasts. As a city, we are "nice," we are full to the brim with "Hoosier hospitality," and we don't always take kindly to angry prophets, stone-throwers, and outliers. Well, maybe if they are artsy. But Gary was often up to his eyeballs with "Hoosier hostility"  -- but he always had a clear-cut reason for what he believed. Sometimes, maybe, others thought his reasons were nutty, but there they were. And when he was good, he was very, very good.

      Others have noted that it's sad we recently lost Amos Brown of the Recorder and WTLC-AM radio to a heart attack; Amos also did not suffer fools. Gary is cut from the same bold cloth, and so he will be missed. He is already missed, and may he rest in peace. 


Karen Celestino-Horseman [unverified] said:

Well-said, Ruth, well-said. Gary would be flattered.

2016-05-02 09:03:17

Jim Reidelbach [unverified] said:

Ruth, I got to know Greg Ballard persoanally, and to call him "the most corrupt mayor" we have ever had, is well, ludicrous. He was tireless in support of veterans, and makinmg the city more attractive to "millenials"(I'm almost surprised he ran as a Republican). I was involved with his campaigns, and he never failed to engage any of our WWII vets at the World War II Roundtable each month, staying until the last one left. He used to even skewer the Marine Corps a bit. I know the backstories to a lot of "allegations" that were made. I thought(and think) the world of him(the last time I heard him speak at my fraternity conclave,which Luger usually attends when possible, he stuck it to Pence hard w/o mentioning him by name. . ).

2016-05-02 11:59:16

Gene Poole [unverified] said:

Thank you Ruth, well said. Gary was a friend & firebrand with encyclopedic recall. His loss is a blow to anti-corruption forces...

2016-05-02 13:04:45

Marie Siroky [unverified] said:

Thank you.. for your boldness in putting things out there without sensationalizing nor neutralizing. And yes, using Gary's own words is essential. Holding you and those who knew him better than I in my prayers

2016-05-03 01:36:59

Douglas [unverified] said:

I appreciate your words about Gary, Ruth. I miss his blog already and the ability to read about issues that otherwise I really wouldn't know about at all or at least the parts of the issue that others weren't reporting.

I don't know you, personally, but I appreciate reading what you have to write here, about the various issues surrounding your viewpoints on the ever changing media landscape. I imagine keeping up a blog is challenging work, but I for one looked forward to your sparking the next conversation.

2016-05-08 19:32:26

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