Interview with Allyson Latta

Thursday, April 17, 2008

An overdue farewell

For certain writers, and maybe not,the things that are closest to us take a little longer to write; call it the gestation period, the incubation period, whatever. Or maybe we need time to distance ourselves from things that really matter before writing them down so that the feeling doesn't leave us too soon. Recently, I was offered a job where I get to follow in my dad's footsteps, not on the pitch but to report on football like he did. I can utilize my writing skills and my love for football and exercise everything I've learned and admired about my dad's many talents, and my mum's because her views and memories of the football life are equally as brilliant. The thing is I couldn't wait to tell another really influential person in my life how excited I was about this new prospect. The day I was about to pick up the phone and call George Gross to tell him my news, my parents left a message that he had passed away. Mr Gross had always, always encouraged me and my writing endeavours and I couldn't wait to tell him of my new gig. I couldn't believe that he was gone. There are some people that you don't think will ever go, like Mr Gross, who are so enigmatic, vivacious,kind and positive. He lived his life to the fullest, was wonderful to be around, had an awesome attitude, sense of humour and was brilliant at his job - the best damn sports writer out there.

I'd just finished writing a blog entry about another family friend that had passed away, the late Johnny Haynes and it took me a while to write this entry knowing it was going to be of the same nature. I wanted to put forth how much my family appreciated and loved George Gross. Since the day we moved to this country, he was a true friend to our family, my dad, my mum and to me and our hearts go out to his lovely family. What do you say about a man that could say anything more eloquently than you, that lit up a room, made you smile, always, always made you feel good, encouraged you and whose work you admired. I guess all you can say is thank you and know that he is probably as amazing now as he always was. I'm sure a man like Mr George Gross, who knew any sport inside out, will be making the best of the next realm of things as much as he did this one.

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