Posted by Anonymous (Tully's regular), a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Mar 5, 2013 at 5:05 pm
I'm already missing Gene.
Upon my multiple daily trips downtown I found myself automatically scanning for Gene's whereabouts as one would do for a fixture. Over the years I enjoyed his stories and his waving hello. I miss that.
Once I saw a questionable individual approach Gene and say "Come on, let's go hang out and roll together" of which Gene replied, "No, I walk alone and don't roll with anyone". I thought that was cool seeing and hearing Gene stand for himself.
Just this last Thanksgiving my son and I brought Gene a Thanksgiving basket which included a turkey to be cooked. Gene was thankful and said, "Would it be okay if I give it to someone who needs it more than me?"
Posted by Ptown Dad, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Mar 5, 2013 at 9:08 pm
It's sad to come here to finally learn the name of the guy I always saw at Cafe Main. I wasn't sure if he was homeless or not, but I try to be friendly to everyone so I'd say hi to him and he was friendly back. With just the few things that have been written about him on this forum, I wish I had stopped and chatted with him before. Lesson learned - I'll try to reach out to more people.
Posted by Jackie, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Mar 6, 2013 at 9:16 am
Sorry to be mean here. I am shocked to learn that he was only 64. That's my parents age! Thankfully, they are super healthy having never smoked a day in their life. I think this should be a reminder not to smoke. Yes, his cigarettes were a staple. Looks like I was the only one annoyed at him for smoking next to my kids while we tried to eat at Cafe Main. I never knew why the employees at Cafe Main would never ask him stop smoking outside, eventhough it is a law. For any adult to blantantly smoke next to children is deplorable.
Posted by Claudette , a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 6, 2013 at 9:23 am
There is a comfort we all get, from seeing the same people around the community, throughout the day & night. It means all was well. It means that there are some things we can count on in this moment in time. So Gene, you gave comfort to those that said a brief hello, for those that lingered and chatted, for those that just sent smiles your way even if you didn't see them. You will be missed and thought of for years to come, and I'm sure you're smiling down on us now ~ Aloha Gene! RIP ~
Posted by Alex, a resident of the Ruby Hill neighborhood, on Mar 6, 2013 at 9:28 am
Jackie, people like you are the reason for many of the problems in our community. You insult a dead, impoverished man for enjoying a small vice. Secondhand smoke is generally harmless in small doses so unless you were bringing your kids to stand downwind from Gene for hours at a time it probably didn't hurt them in the least. Also do you drive a car? Are you familiar with the effects of car exhaust on humans? Do you use electricity? Where do you think it comes from?
Posted by Jackie Martinez, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Mar 6, 2013 at 9:52 am
Beautifuly said a Dolores Fox Ciardelli from the Pleasanton Weekly. Gene was definitely a fixture on Main St. all who new him or who took a moment to speak to him, would know he never wanted to bother anyone always willing to share his stories and even lend a helping hand, yes he smoked like a chimney, but if asked he would graciously step away if it bothered anyone. Gene we will miss seeing you around Main St. God Bless
Posted by VP Cheney, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Mar 6, 2013 at 10:06 am
Gene was a gentale giant and a little odd. That being said I like alot of what has been said for him in the above comments. He was always friendly and we would exchange a wave in my passing of him, as I drive by, or the hello when I walked by. He had been looking for a rental space and filled out an application for one I had available but it didn't work out. RIP GENE
Jackie, Gene would have likely moved away from your eating area if you asked him too. I believe that "MOST" people that smoke if asked will move away from people eating if asked. Expecially if kids are involved and they are asked nicely.
Posted by Bill, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Mar 6, 2013 at 12:59 pm
Almost everyday for the past three years, I passed Gene on my bike ride through downtown and exchanged "hello's" and a wave with him. Once-in-a-while I'd stop and we'd have a brief conversation. I think he had a lot of casual friendships like this. He was an easy-going and good guy, and I know I'll still be looking for him as I ride by.
Posted by Samantha, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 6, 2013 at 7:20 pm
There are few people in this world that grace us with just the purest of hearts. Gene was one of these people. My sister, Julie introduced me to Gene when she was just a teenage girl working in a downtown coffee shop. He was a dear friend to her. Since then I have been married and have had children of which he always remembers each one by name.
Gene....I already miss you...as Robert will miss you calling him "Bobby"...and Ellie will miss your smile. We loved you, dear friend. RIP
Posted by John Ribovich, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Mar 6, 2013 at 7:21 pm
Gene was a street character, someone who defined Main Street and added to its identity. He and I would talk about old houses, the History Channel and our family's dog, AJ, who adored him. AJ would run to him on mornings when we walked downtown. Gene knew him, as he knew so many people, by name.
Posted by LK, a resident of the Ironwood neighborhood, on Mar 7, 2013 at 8:18 am
We enjoyed seeing Gene and wondered about him but it didn't bother us to see him, in fact we looked around to see if we could see him around town, kind of like looking for Waldo. :) We are all given an expiration date, God willing Gene is with the LORD. In seeing how many people enjoyed Gene around town, it is good to know he leaves a lovely legacy of being a friendly, gentle soul and a part of Pleasanton's history.
Posted by Nickie H, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on Mar 7, 2013 at 9:44 am
It is heartwarming to read so many positive comments about Gene. He was a very nice man and I will miss seeing him downtown. I had heard he was ill but did not realize he did not recover...may he rest in peace.
Posted by Tricia Ann, a resident of the Valley Trails neighborhood, on Mar 7, 2013 at 10:43 am
I was told once that Gene served in Vietnam, if this is so, did anyone ever thank him for his service, he sure paid a high price for it. If the statues ever came back to Pleasanton, the very first one should be of Gene. He represented so much. At any time any one of us could be in that circumstance. It would be a shame to forget, and a good thing to teach generations to come.
Posted by John, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Mar 8, 2013 at 8:35 am
Gene was such a friendly guy who never wanted to bother anyone. I go to Cafe Main a lot and would always see him, say hello and a little conversation. He remembered things we would talk about and refer back to them later. One time I introduced him to my mom and he would always ask about her and how she was doing. I always wondered more about his "story", but for some reason I felt like I would be prying and that he didn't want people to feel sorry for him.
To Jackie who wrote that horrible post, yes you are entitled to your opinion but to post something like that right now was inappropriate. There is a name for people like you and it is called an "Internet Troll" - people who have nothing better to do than criticize people while hiding behind the Internet.
I hate to say this, but now that he is gone I wish I would have gotten to know him better as he was a rarity - a truly kind soul who did not ask for anything in return. RIP GENE.
Posted by Sue Flash, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Mar 8, 2013 at 8:56 am
Gene had become one of those fixtures that we would see downtown. He kept an eye on all of us at the Keller Williams office and often asked about a colleague if they deviated from their normal routine. Our children all new him by name and often chatted with him. We will all miss Gene and hope that his peaceful soul might still visit us on the bench out front of our Main Street office.
Posted by Davie, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 9, 2013 at 12:23 pm
Gene was a constant reminder of how True friendship should always be! It would be 6 am on a weekday and Gene would be waiting for his first cup of coffee. As I would stroll by Tully's on my way to work I would here my name, good morning Davie from across the street. Gene was my guarding Angel as he made sure I made it to the bus stop everyday.
Through the tears as I write this I will miss my friend but know God has a better place for him to be!