We lost two local legends last week — Gilda Stagnaro, matriarch of the wharf, and Gary Lease, scholar, hunter extraordinaire and Professor of History of Consciousness. Gilda made a place at her table for over 35 years for devoted locals and delighted visitors. A warm, graceful woman, she was a link to the founding days of the wharf when Genovese fishermen braved the elements and set a tone for colorful immigrants to follow.

Those who knew Gary knew him to be in every sense larger-than-life. A genuine force of nature. He didn’t know how to do anything small or tentative when it could be done with gusto and bravura. Willing to speak plainly and act boldly in order to be true to his huge heart and brilliant mind, Gary was a gifted mentor, a generous host and a genius with expletives. Colorful to the end, he went out in the midst of a wild storm worthy of the wild west figure that he was.

Goodbye to Gilda and Gary – our local color is dimmed by their passing.