Stephen Oleszek
remembers
Gus
 

The Jim Morrison of Words

    I never met Gus.  But I felt as though I had the experience of going to Viet Nam through the books he wrote.  I can still remember the day that I found a beat-up copy of The Short Timers.  I was standing in a used bookstore, and wearing a shit-eating grin as the cashier rang it up.  The tag price on the book had been $2.95, and it was 50% off.  I couldn't believe it that this store would actually sell it to me, because of what it meant to so many people.  I was smart enough to keep my mouth shut when I thought of telling her, "Hey.  This should be worth a whole lot more."  But I wasn't a complete moron.  And I walked out of the store $1.50 poorer, but a whole lot richer than I could imagine.  Anyone who has ever read at least one of his books will tell you the same. Gus wrote better and sharper than any other author I've ever come across.  He was the Jim Morrison of words.  There it is.
 
 

Written by Stephen Oleszek
December 2000
 

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