Gary Walker, 61, was well-loved musician, father
Mammoth residents mourned the death of local resident Gary Walker this week, after news of his death on Thursday, the first night of Mammoth’s Bluesapalooza festival, spread through the Eastern Sierra. Walker, 61, died after being struck by two vehicles on a darkened portion of Main Street, according to a press release by the Mammoth Lakes Police Department (MLPD). The incident put a pall on Mammoth’s biggest event of the summer, and left Walker’s many friends wondering how the tragedy could have occurred.
“I remember the first time I met Gary,” said Phil Coconis, a Mammoth musician who often jammed with Walker, who loved to play Blues guitar. “We were at an open mic night and he offered to let me play his guitar. He didn’t even know me. And it was a really nice guitar. I thought what a nice guy he must be to offer that up to me,” Coconis told The Sheet.
“He loved nothing more than playing his guitar and singing, even more so than his job as a machinist,” said Robert Joki, who runs the Twin Lakes Gallery in the Lakes Basin and hosted Walker on many occasions at the musical stage behind the Gallery.
Walker, owner of Resource Pattern and Model, worked at a shop in Mammoth’s Industrial Park, crafting highly specialized machinery parts out of metal and plastic. “It’s really a lost art, what he was doing down there,” said Coconis, who bonded with Walker over their love of British cars. Walker drove a bright red Austin Healy Sprite around Mammoth, said Coconis, and had just manufactured a part for the car himself shortly before his death. He had apprenticed under his father, Graham, as a pattern maker. “It’s a really lost art, what he did for a living,” said Coconis.