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by Jay Gallagher

Friday, May 28, 2010

Good-bye Jay Gallagher, League friend and blogger

Barbara Bartoletti

Not often in one's professional life, especially in politics, do you work with someone who epitomizes integrity and professionalism. Over the past 26 years I have had the privilege of working with Jay Gallagher, former Gannett Albany Bureau Chief and recent League blogger who died peacefully Monday night after an 11 month battle with pancreatic cancer.

Jay was not just a reporter to me but a friend and a mentor. Early on in my tenure as the League's Legislator Director, Jay taught me the in's and out's of dealing with the press, such things as "off the record" and "background." We had a symbiotic work relationship as his paper was read in places where the League had many, many members and I needed to show League visibility in the places where we had many, many members. It worked well for us both and along the way we became good friends. He used to call me a "good quote" and I knew he would always get it right. Jay and I also shared a love for raw Albany politics, and sports (I was the dreaded Yankee fan and he was the ardent Red Sox fan). We had children the same age and so shared family stories as our children grew up and went out into life. He was one of the people I could turn to in the legislature during those awful years when my son was in Iraq.

After Jay was diagnosed and his treatment permitted, he came to me and asked if perhaps the League could use a blogger. I said yes immediately and after conversations with the board, Jay put his rare talent to work for the League. It was so important for him to be involved again in state politics and it was so wonderful for the League to have this "Albany institution" bogging for us. It was also very special for me to be able to work with this good man in the last months of his life.

Our thoughts and love are with his wife and daughters. And from me, thank you, dear friend, travel well down this new road.

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