Berlin loses a storyteller
After more than forty years of stories, sports reporter Mike Gaydo passes away
|Mike Gaydo, sports reporter and teacher extraordinaire will be remembered by friends this Thursday, at 6 p.m. in the Berlin High School gym. (File photo) (click for larger version)|
March 17, 2010BERLIN — Mike Gaydo gave Berlin more than four decades of stories. Now the community prepares to share their stories about him.
Mr. Gaydo died last week, shortly after traveling to the Berlin High boys' basketball championship game. While it may seem strange to tie a man's passing to a sporting event, his friends would call it appropriate.
For 41 years, he was the sports writer for the Berlin Reporter, where every week he filled the pages with photos and stories of almost every team in the region.
"From auto racing to big-time wrestling, he covered it all," said Dan Brigham, Mike's friend of 40 years. "His dedication to that profession for 40 years will never be duplicated."
Ray Losier, who knew mike for 42 years, remembers when Mike was on the fields and courts he later covered.
"He was light on his feet," he said, "an excellent pitcher."
But it was his writing that connected with people, Mr. Losier said. "You could just read it in his writing—he was passionate, he was considerate. He had to have everything done A-plus."
Those A-pluses applied to more than just his sports stories. As a social studies teacher at Berlin High Mr. Gaydo was well known for his passion for history, particularly New Hampshire and modern European.
"He was a master educator," Mr. Brigham said. "I call him a teacher's teacher."
"He was a storyteller," Berlin Principal Gary Bisson said, who taught in the social studies department with Mike when he first worked in Berlin. "Very demanding, yet fair."
"There were lots of connections through the classroom," said Ted McCormick, who also worked with him at Berlin High, connections that went well beyond the sports fields.
Through the high school and the paper, Mr. Gaydo became a fixture in the community.
"He knew how to involve himself and get others involved," Mr. Losier said.
"I read Mike's stories in the paper before I got to know him," Principal Bisson said. Many people in Berlin knew him the same way.
But his two passions intermingled.
"I would see him at every game we had," Principal Bisson said.
And he would always try to get copies of the photos he took to the athletes, Mr. Brigham said, sometimes handing them out to the students at school.
Friends of Mr. Gaydo are holding a memorial service for him at the Berlin High gymnasium tomorrow, Thursday, March 18, at 6 p.m. A few of them will share stories about Mike's life and passions.
His body will then be transported to Claremont, where he will be buried in the family plot.
And while his passing has brought sadness, Mr. Brigham said, it won't just inspire tears.
"He was a character, a unique brand." he said. "People think of Mike and they'll have to smile."