Personal Reminiscences and Appreciations

(Click on the Name for the full comments)

Newest Reminiscances


Morris Wolff
"I can see him and hear him in front "me, sleeves rolled up for work, and mind ever ready to engage."

Florence Roiseman
“If it is too hot an issue to discuss here,” he said, “we are in serious trouble.  If it is too hot an issue for the profession to discuss then we ought to get the hell out of the kitchen.”  This was of course a theme that he sounded throughout his life.

Myron Goldenberg
"We were adversaries in a matter that the J.P. Legal Services was handling. . . . He earned my respect as and advocate and a person."

Previously Posted

Maria Jimena Albarracin
"In stories like these, Professor Bellow made me proud that I had chosen to attend law school."

John Brittain
". . . I was a young lawyer in 1969-70 who trained under Gary while a Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellow assigned to an OEO Legal Services Program in North Mississippi. . . ."

Bonnie Bellow
(Speech at Funeral on behalf of Bonnie Bellow and Helaine Gould, Gary's sisters)
". . . He was my mentor and my guide to a scary new world.  He offered advice: Never give up; Be curious; Take risks, but avoid danger; Always answer a question with confidence; Find the humor; Speak your mind; Trust your instincts. He encouraged my involvement in dance and challenged me to question authority. . . ."

Judy Bigby
(Remarks  at the Funeral)
" . . . On one occasion sitting in our kitchen Gary wondered out loud how it was the four of us were able to have what he considered honest discussions about race. Well one reason was that Jeanne was always mindful to keep Gary honest.  But Gary was one of those rare people who were able to see things through the eyes of the other ---the black, the poor, the immigrant, the woman. And often he didn't like what he saw. . . ."

Sophie Bryan
" . . . . Gary relayed some advice that his grandmother had bestowed on her grandchildren: 'Wherever you go, try to make what you find better than it was before you came.'  No question, Gary.  No question. . . ."

Pam Burton
"I remember when Jeanne and Gary said they were going to cut down a bit on working.  They were both work-a-holics.
'Only you Gary, would work till the end!'"

Edgar Cahn
"Among so many other things, I will always owe to Gary the special smile that spread across [my very sick wife's] face on hearing those words [of the moment when we realized that legal services was going to happen]. And the timeless moment we three shared, skipping down the street that night under the stars."

Pamela Cameron, Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project.
"Gary Bellow:  Of the people, by the people, for the people."

Jeanne Charn, Thoughts on Gary Bellow for CLEA and AALS Clinical Conference Memorial
"Gary’s bright, shining light is gone now.  Our challenge is not so much to act in his script or to pick up his projects and run with them, though many of us will.  Whether we agree or differ with his visions and approaches is not the issue,  we will honor him best by being as smart, savvy, opportunistic, eloquent and dedicated as we can be, in whatever large or small way, to making our society fairer and better than we found it.  Gary certainly did that and he had a great time doing it!  So should we."

Thorns Craven
"[O]ne of the workshops was to be directed by Johnny Weiss.  . . . When I got to the assigned room at the assigned time, there was a note stuck on the door:  'Anyone who would rather listen to me than Gary Bellow is not worth talking to.' So I went to the concurrent workshop and I heard Gary for the first time."

Bernardine Dohrn
"Not surprisingly, he stayed the course, striving to live a life in harmony with his values, speaking truth to power, and reflecting on even his own  received wisdom.  His absence is an unspeakable loss."

Cheri Grennan-Smith
"He [my uncle] was just a very special man who could differentiate between family life and business life and could do it well  enough to keep the two separate when needed and obviously made each feel that they were the most important thing in his life."

Cheryl Grennan, Gary's Sister-in-Law
"[A] wonderful man who became my very special friend."

David Grossman
(Remarks at Funeral)
"I doubt that there has ever been a law professor who has had such a profound influence on so many students and inspired so many others to a life of mitzvot, of tikkun olam."

Frank Handelman (Gary's Brother in Law)
"Gary always accepted me for who I was, yet never stopped challenging me to be better at it.  I would guess he did that for all of us, another aspect of his particular genius."

Alan Houseman
"There is no person working in legal services today that deserves this special tribute more than you. I am glad that I have been your friend, for it means much to me."

Judge Roderick Ireland
 "He was great man."

Greg Johnson
"'No Greg,' he replied. 'I haven't changed my patterns at all because I couldn't imagine a better way of living.'

Marc Lauritsen
"He was like a kid in a candy shop when imaging how machines might help us humans change the world for the better."

Penny Marshall
"It was really sad to know that those who helped to formulate your ideas and visions are now gone."

Richard Michaels
"Gary was my first friend in the world.  It was second grade and we were 7."

Frank Michelman
(Remarks  at the Funeral)
"Gary did not have a transplanted heart.  If there was ever a man whose heart was his own special heart, all of the
time, it was Gary.  It was the heart of a pioneer and fighter for justice and real freedom."

Kim O'Leary
"Every act he took, every decision he made, every idea he explored was based on an integrity so deeply ingrained he made you feel that there was no
other way of being."

Charles Ogletree
"We have suffered a great loss in the clinical legal education family, and I have loss a dear friend."

Class Day Tribute by Aleander Rabb
"One of the things that made Gary so special as a teacher was his closeness to and care for his students.  It is especially telling that he died after collapsing on his way to teach a class."

Alexander Rabb
"As a result, he established such an intense and intimate rapport with his clients that, even when they could not speak, he could understand their wishes simply by taking hold of their hands."

Bob Sable
"I would see you after that every few years, often for only ten or fifteen minutes.  I would tell folks that those few minutes gave me enough to think about for the next few years. (Although sometimes, after spending the next years trying to implement an idea I had gotten from you, I would see you again and find out you had changed your mind!!)

Lauralee Saddick
"Gary's passion and analytical ability influenced many young attorneys in their efforts to provide equal justice."

Bill Simon
"Gary was never a patsy.  He could be as tough with adversaries as any lawyer I've known.  But he had an extraordinary capacity to recognize and respect
people's humanity, even when they were sitting on the other side of the table."

Gerry Singsen
(Article written for the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Reporter)
" . . . . The second story, “California Rural Legal Assistance,” is a tale of Gary’s CRLA work for farmworkers. The book quotes Gary regarding a fundamental theme of his teaching — that “the worst think a lawyer can do . . . is to take an issue that could be won by political organization and win it  in the courts.”

David Wilkins
"This is too much to bear!"

Zipporah Wiseman
"It is indeed almost unbearable to think of Gary no longer being around to continue the fight that was his life and to poke fun at cant and pomposity . . ."

Richard Zorza
"The world is indeed a less bright place today, in many senses of the term."

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