Greg Hayes: The soul of Jack London State Historic Park
Jack London Society members were saddened this week to hear of the death of Greg Hayes, London scholar and ranger at the Jack London Ranch in Sonoma. Here is an excerpt from the Sonoma Index-Tribune’s obituary (via Susan Nuernberg on the Jack London listserv):
Greg Hayes, the retired ranger many called the soul of Jack London State Historic Park, died Wednesday at the age of 62, after a long struggle with cancer.
Hayes was a rare combination of park ranger and scholar, who earned a master’s degree in American literature from Sonoma State University with a thesis on the subject of his life’s work, entitled, “Jack London’s Agrarian Superheroes.”
Hayes was a writer and poet himself, and, according to his wife, Robin Fautley, “a pretty special guy.”
Fautley and Hayes met, appropriately enough, at Jack London State Historic Park, where they fell in love, married and lived – for 21 years – in the ranger’s house inside the park.
He retired in 2003, but continued seamlessly as a docent, training other docents, writing interpretive text and providing an ongoing presence.
Generations of docents and park staff came to depend on Hayes for both his encyclopedic knowledge of London, and for his compelling calmness in any circumstance, the gentle authority he wore as a senior spokesman for the park.
Fautley describes Hayes as “a loving and supportive husband and father. He gave me the ability to grow into the person I became. And he cared deeply about social justice and the environmental attacks against Earth.”
During a day-long television shoot in the 1990s, Hayes led a video crew through the interior of London’s Wolf House ruins, filling each stone room with a story and an image of what it looked and felt like until it was hard to believe he had not been there as the doomed home was being built. [Read the rest at the link above]
A celebration of Greg Hayes’ life will be held inside the winery ruins at Jack London State Historic Park at 10 a.m. on Sunday, July 20. Fautley suggests that those so inclined may make contributions to jacklondonpark.com/jack-london-be-a-partner.html; to the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation; to Environmental Traveling Companions; or to Tiffany Beth’s cause in her fight against caner with Relay for Life at go.Relay.Org/Y8Rlc.