Laszlo's On Lex Blog Author, Gerald Stewart, Has Died

I can't stop crying. I've only just learned that Gerald Stewart of the Laszlo's on Lex blog died this summer. You can read Gerald's last post "Closing Time" here.

There have been a number of tributes.

I first began reading Laszlo's last November when someone's sidebar showcased the  Veteran's Day post. It is a very well-written tribute to Gerald's brothers-in-arms. I left a comment mentioning my recently deceased uncle - an Army veteran who introduced me to the joys of Gracie Allen- and Gerald reciprocated on my blog:
I came by to follow up on the story that you had told me about your relative whom you had not known was a veteran. They are and were the true guardians of our heritage. If he also influenced you in the direction of classic films, he has served more than one cause.
Gerald's words stayed with me for a long while.
The Deanna Durbin Photo that begat a generous email

The Stewarts noticed my Deanna Durbin blog header and I asked to pick Gerald's brain about what he remembered of Universal Studio's number one box office draw and how she influenced the culture. He replied that he wasn't into girls at the time, but his female relatives liked her movies. In lieu of a personal story, he emailed me the cover story of a film fan magazine that featured Ms. Durbin.

Dear Java:

I scanned in the Durbin article.... I did a test Emailing to myself and had trouble mailing given the size. 

I then went back and reduced the size of each graphic by half and did another test Emailing....

As I am unsure what you have on your device, I will do a test Emailing of the first four pages and wait until you advise if they have been received free of trouble....

If not, I can always download the pages to a CD and send by mail.

Hope it works. Best.

Gerald (Laszlo’s)

emphasis mine

That's right! Gerald - a complete stranger - scanned and uploaded seventeen pages of a fan magazine, tested and retested the email, and offered to send a CD just because he knew I had an interest in a particular film star's career.  The very next month Tom invited me to write for the Amazing Deanna Durbin blog, so Gerald's efforts helped me even before I knew I would need it.

I could not believe the generosity that was coming my way! I recall thinking, "This is how I would like my classic movie blogging to be - generous, beyond  the call of duty and thoroughly engaged."  Gerald inspired me not only in his well-written memories on Laszlo's but in the munificence behind a simple email.

You go about typing words into cyberspace and it feels like a game. Sometimes you forget that there are real people behind the blogs; that email was a reminder, as was the news of a fellow blogger's passing.

I'll leave you with a part of Gerald's Veteran's Day post that stayed with me last year:

Those at work, those in my family, those in that neighborhood bar, and those under whom I served in Germany are all gone now. But I will think about them for a while today...


  1. This is beautiful. I so regret time running out and not having the chance to know him even better.

    I've added the link to this post to my own post about Gerald. I'd like as many people as possible to learn more about him. The world needs more kind and thoughtful people like Gerald.

    Best wishes,

  2. Thank you.

    It hasn't even been a full year since stumbling across Laszlo's; I cannot believe the profound impact Gerald has had on me in such a short amount of time.

    Thanks again, Laura.


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