I can't say I knew him very well since I only met him for the first time less than 10 years ago but he was a good friend and always had a positive view on life (including mine). He was always supportive of PND and frequently had something to say about my photos. I tried to encourage him to scan and catalog his own collection but he never got to it, but Gene always seemed to have a lot going on - especially for someone in his twilight years. Back in 2009, Gene wrote a post for PND which happily got me a lot of traffic.
About a month ago, I asked him for some advice about reaching out to military communities to promote a new website I've been working on (TheGlassFiles) and his advice was perfect. Gene was one of the 'great generation' who served in world war 2 which is why I wanted his advice. We also occasionally spoke about politics and the world generally and I am happy to report that Gene's last sentences to me were of hope about our prospects under this new administration.
I hope he is right.PS regarding the election, now that the results are in, thinking out of the box may be in order. I have great faith in the foundations of our republic that our founders left us with, and the ultimate common sense of human nature given the opportunity to exercise it. Given the poor choices we had, It may not be as bad as you fear.
All the best Gene.