Thursday, November 26, 2015 • 01:29

Slusser was a Valley Center original

August 07, 2013
Gerald H. Slusser, one of the great men of Valley Center, died last week.

Dr. Slusser, or Gerry as so many people knew him, was undoubtedly a Valley Center original of the best kind. He was a theologian, college professor, author, intellectual and lifelong learner who was always stimulating to talk to and to hear speak. He was able to speak knowledgably on a wide range of topics. For many years he was both the president of the County Friends of the Library and of the Valley Center Friends of the Library. He would frequently give talks on a variety of subjects and his depth of knowledge was always remarkable.

Gerry did a lot for books and libraries — especially the Valley Center Library. I have heard a rumor that some thought has been given to dedicating a wing of the library to this great and good man, but I found out that it's nothing but a rumor at this point. That's too bad. It would be nice, in my opinion, if it became more than a rumor.

Bob Lerner, Valley Center Historian, credits Gerry with having planted the seed that eventually became the VC History Museum (see our story, front page). He was definitely a visionary.

Gerry Slusser was a columnist for many years for The Roadrunner commenting on politics and the world scene. And though I don't think I ever agreed with a single thing that he ever wrote on those subjects — including any asterisks he might have included — he was an eloquent and provocative proponent for his point of view. There are people in the community for whom an opinion piece from Slusser would immediately send their blood pressures to dangerous levels and their fingers into spasms on their computer keyboards. There are also people out there who are offended at those who have opinions they don't share. To which I say, tough cookies! Move to a country where they don't allow contrary points of view. Or skip the opinion page that week.

I suspect that I, and before me Van Quackenbush, occupy a similar niche in the hearts of people on the other side of the political spectrum. So I always empathized with the feelings Gerry provoked and felt a certain kinship with him, even if I didn't agree with him. That's what newspaper columns are for: to provoke! To annoy. Occasionally to inform.

Gerry Slusser will be missed.

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