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Remembering Larry Gunn

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By Kathleen Hudson

Larry Gunn died from a heart attack on Tuesday morning, June 26, 2018. He was in my house in Mountain Home, Texas, taking care of my animals while I traveled. We had helped each other out this trip to Texas.

I brought him to San Miguel de Allende 20 years ago. He visited here often with my students, my music foundation trips, and my own journeys. Then he moved here about ten years ago. He was a bookdealer. Born in Texas in 1943, married and divorced with two children, David and Tanya, he finally pursued his first passion, books. Four years ago, he opened up his last dream, a bookstore, One Thousand Books and A Book on Zacateros in San Miguel. He was only open from 1–4pm on Friday and Saturday. “I don’t want a job,” he explained. The rest of the time he looked for books, bought books, carefully covered and priced the books he had, sometimes taking a break to visit with me when I arrived. We both lived on Callejon de San Antonio.

Now, on July 14, I am writing this on the last day of his book estate sale. We often talked about the “end” days as we both passed 70 years of age. He loved the Biblioteca in San Miguel, often paying more for his used books at the library sale so he could contribute. Now we are donating his books back to the Biblioteca, a collection of esoteric, unique, historical, philosophical, spiritual, art, and eclectic works. Yes, I can attest after a week with the books that he had 1,000 books and a book. I collected the stories of people who knew him for his son and his daughter, a final gift from San Miguel for them.

His rituals in San Miguel included a daily visit to the coffee shop of our dear friend, Marisela Patterson, at Casa de Café. Then he started walking up Zacateros to his bookstore and became a fan of La Mesa Grande. We are donating some of his books to these coffee shops. If you knew him, you knew he loved his pastries with his coffee. Amber at La Mesa Grande knew when he walked in what he would order—a man of routine at times.

I found some of his poetry when I cleaned out his apartment. I had always encouraged him to write when he visited my creative writing classes. Often he was a NO, but I was thrilled to find this secret life. I knew the writer who lived inside him.

Larry Gunn had a BA in economics from SMU and a master’s in humanities. I met him when he was in Texas, living in his van and proud of the fact that his life was dedicated to his books. He loved Beckett and wanted to tour Ireland. His favorite song was “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin, but he loved “The Wall” by Pink Floyd, Japanese aesthetics of wabi sabi, the New Atheism of Dawkins and Hitchens, Dylan, Leonard Cohen, dark movies, silence and solitude, and the Willie Nelson picnic he attended with me. The last month of his life, he did visit all his family in Texas. Is that coincidence, or did he know something?

To share a Larry Gunn story with me, with his family, contact me at kathleenhudson123@hotmail.com or 830 377 3186.

Note from the Volunteers at the Biblioteca:

We were very saddened to hear of Larry’s passing. He had become a friend, teacher, and supporter at the Biblioteca. He would buy books he wanted for his store and help with advice on donations we received from others. His family has kindly donated his collection that was left after the estate sale. We will try to have a sale in his name at some time in the future and will be selling some books in the Tesoros tienda on an ongoing basis. This support in sales will help for scholarships and purchase of new books for the Biblioteca. Our condolences are with his family and friends.

 

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