See you soon, Gary Henderson!

Gary Henderson

Gary Henderson

I just did a little Google search on Gary Henderson.

There’s a Gary Henderson that coaches the Kentucky Wildcats baseball team. There’s a realtor Gary Henderson in Homewood, AL. There’s a broadcaster Gary Henderson with the bluegrass-themed “Gary Henderson Show” in Washington DC.

And then there’s the real Gary Henderson of Spartanburg–writer, journalist, volunteer, friend, founder.

Here’s the bio that came up from his time as a reporter with the Spartanburg Journal:

Gary Henderson’s first job in journalism was an afternoon paper route with 85 customers north of downtown Spartanburg that he delivered from a red bicycle he bought at Western Auto for $35. The wire basket for the front was another 10 bucks. He has always loved to read newspapers. However, at 14, he never considered that someday his byline would appear above stories. But since he returned home to Spartanburg in 1992, that’s happened nearly 4,000 times. To him, his name on a story is an awesome responsibility, and it says, “Readers, you can trust what I’m reporting here.”  College, military service and jobs kept Henderson away from Spartanburg for 15 years. He lived in six other states, from the eastern seaboard to the Rockies, but he was a native son of this place in the Piedmont. He considers himself lucky to have received some honors for his work, including South Carolina print Journalist of the Year in 2000 and first place for investigative coverage in the Suburban Newspapers and America contest. But wall plaques aside, what really matters is that for 16 years Spartanburg readers have allowed him to write their stories.

To that, we say, “Gary, you can trust that we’re going to miss you in more ways than you know.” You see, Gary and his wife Carmella are moving to Costa Rica at the end of the month. Over the last six months, they’ve been learning Spanish and selling nearly everything they own. And now they’re saying their goodbyes.

It doesn’t say in that bio, but Gary was the one who brought John Lane and Betsy Teter together in 1995 and kept the discussion going about an anthology of Spartanburg writers to preserve a sense of place in his hometown. He was the catalyst for the Hub City Writers Project, one of the three founders, and he’s had a hand as writer, advisory committee member, volunteer, and HubCulture board member ever since. So, without Gary, there would have been no Hub City Writers Project, and, then, no HUB-BUB. That’s impact, no?

It’s a little surreal when your friend decides he’s moving to another country, to a fully furnished rental house outside San Jose with a full view of the mountains. You get jealous of all the time he’s going to have to write, to explore, to just…watch the clouds move across grassy and jagged peaks. You think, wow, it’s really possible to start over, no matter where you’ve been or where you are in life.

In a conversation we had last night, Gary referred to himself as a “nomad.” Granted, a nomad who lived other places and then returned to his hometown for the last 20 years, but a nomad who is up for any adventure.

We love you, Gary, and we’ll miss you!

Have some well-wishes for the Hendersons as they prepare for Costa Rica? Please share them here in the comments!

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14 Comments

Filed under Kari Jackson

14 responses to “See you soon, Gary Henderson!

  1. Paul Desmond

    Farewell to you and your wife, Gary! Good will and relaxation! You, and your energy for our City, will be greatly missed.

  2. Barbara Latham

    I wish you and Carmella well, Gary, but I hate to see you go .

  3. Buen viaje, Gary y Carmella! Te vamos a extrañar.
    I just got to know you last summer and wanted to explore our Johnson lines. I have a feeling they cross way back yonder. Best wishes to you both.

  4. Susan Baker

    I can’t imagine Spartanburg without you! Wishing you both well, and hoping that you will continue to write for our reading pleasure.

  5. Tom Craig

    Thank you for your many and enduring contributions to this community. I admire your courage to pursue this new venture. Best wishes and keep on posting! Tom

  6. Zerno Martin

    Gary and Carmella: You will both be missed but not forgotten in Spartanburg. Gary, we have all enjoyed your writings over the years and Spartanburg will miss your well written articles, many times about people in the community whom we should have known but didn’t till you decided to expose them. Thanks, Zerno Martin

  7. Ed Epps

    Happy trails, you guys, from Roy Rogers and me. In my thirty-one years in Sparkle City, I have never met a more decent, more real, more likeable guy–or one I enjoy reading more. Best wishes for happiness and productivity and peace in your lives. As soon as William becomes more proficient in his Spanish, we’ll mosey on down.

  8. Bob Wynn

    You have been so very good for our town. We will miss you greatly, but we extend our best wishes for your new adventure.

    Bob Wynn

  9. Bea Hill

    Way to go Gary, I’m sure they will love as we do. I wish you and Carmella much success as you pursue this next chapter in your lives, I’m sure we all will miss reading your articles.
    Bea Hill

  10. Ellen VanDervort and Ted Blumenfeld

    Ted and I wish you both much happiness in your new adventure. He will miss the good conversations he had with you at the Coffee Bar in the mornings and I will miss your writings. I always enjoyed reading your articles and hope you will still send articles to Spartanburg to let us all know how you are doing. I esp liked the article about your Christmas Trees. It was so funny! So good luck for the future.
    Ellen VanDervort and Ted Blumenfeld

  11. Nancy Corbin

    Best wishes to you and Carmella. I will always remember the afternoon in the old lobby of the Spartanburg Day School where you held a group of teenage Griffins spellbound in the world of a the short story you were reading. Through your words we were all transported to a US Navy vessel where your character flew a kite in moonlight. Thank you for all your contributions to this community.You will both be missed.

  12. Pam Datwyler

    A safe journey to you both as you begin a new chapter in your lives. What an interesting story it is! You will be missed.

    David and Pam Datwyler

  13. Angela Viney

    As a fellow nomad, I appreciate your decision to move on to a new chapter in your lives. I know that you and Carmella will become very familiar with your new home and its residents, making new friends and enjoying the opportunity to take in the natural world that Costa Rica offers.
    Each time I have moved I have taken with me many friends – they remain in my heart no matter the distance. You and Carmella will do the same and besides, I am going to come visit. Enjoy!!

  14. Paula B Baker

    Gosh, Gary it has been a long time since our Spartanburg High School days!! And what a nice long path of inroads you have made in our town since then! Thank you for your wonderful talent which you have shared over all these years. I will miss seeing you “around and about” but send the very, very best of wishes for you and Carmella and your new life in Costa Rica. Just don’t forget about “the burg” and come back to visit often.
    Life is Good!!

    your longtime friend, Paula Black Baker !!!

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