|Rep. Carl Gatto - Memorial Day 2009 - Wasilla Tea Party event. image by Philip Munger|
After I spoke with Gatto at Young's memorial service in Anchorage in late 1984, I lost track of him until both our sons played on the same recreational basketball team in 2001 (coached by now Alaska Senator Charlie Huggins). Soon afterward, Carl was knocking on our door, campaigning for the Alaska House in what has been District 13.
I subscribed to Carl's newsletter, as he was my state representative. I attended a couple of his "Coffee with Carl" sessions when he was home on break from the Juneau session. The last major public service Carl provided that was beneficial to a lot of District 13 constituents was his series of notices on when we could go collect free firewood at the site of the ongoing Hatcher Pass Expressway (my term for the Trunk Road rebuild project).
The last time I spoke with Carl in person (as opposed to over the phone) was at the 2011 Memorial Day ceremony at the Mat-Su Valley Veterans Wall of Honor. Carl came over to shake my hand. I was in a foul mood, and lambasted him over the sheer stupidity and waste of time of his House Bill 88, the "anti-Sharia Law " bill he was trying to shepherd through the legislature. I suppose I would have had more contact with him this session had the bill been going anywhere, but it seems to be as dead as Carl now is. May they both rest in peace.
There will probably be some sort of memorial address regarding Carl Gatto at Saturday's annual Tea Party Patriots group Tax Day event, as Carl was very supportive of the goals of this conservative bunch. It will be held this upcoming Saturday at Newcomb Park on Wasilla Lake, between 1:00 and 3:30 pm:
Jill Burke has posted a thoughtful remembrance of Rep. Carl Gatto at The Alaska Dispatch.