I found out about Gilbert Morris' death this past weekend. I was surprised by the announcement as I had heard he was doing very well, enjoying life and still writing in longhand on a legal pad.
I am sure I am not the only reader who will say this. Gilbert Morris is part of the reason I started reading Christian fiction. It was long before I started working for Baker, I stumbled on his Winslow series at the library. Of course it wasn't 40 books long then, but reading through America's history was fun.
They were the type of read that I could find myself lost in without having to worry about being interrupted by the small children running around the house. He made his story's interesting and yet they were such gentle reads.
I can remember when I went to my grandparents house to visit and noticed a Gilbert Morris books sitting on an end table. I asked my grandfather about the book and his answer still makes me smile. He said he had been reading the book aloud to my grandmother. Neither one of them had trouble reading at the time, but it was something they would do. Read books aloud. They loved to read Gilbert because of his historical content but also the people he included. They loved finding out about the Winslow family as their legacy continued through America's story.
There is a story that floats around the store every once and awhile. One afternoon a older gentleman walked in the door and introduced himself as Gil. Yup it was Gilbert Morris. He was in town visiting a publishing house, but wanted to visit as many local stores as he could to thank the employees for selling his books. He did it with little fanfare and no warning as he didn't want it to be about him. He just wanted to take the time the time to visit and get to know those who were 'doing the work' for him. That was the kind of guy he was. You heard that from any and all that had meet him.
We lost a good man this past week, but it has been a privilege to read and sell his books over the years. I hope he knew how much he has meant to us all.
Rest in Peace Mr. Morris.