Paris residents are grieving the loss of a legend to our community and the culture of downtown Paris, Texas. Gerald Hutchings passed away around noon Sunday.
Below are a few stories from friends of Gerald’s.
“Gerald Hutchings was more than ‘That Guy’ to us,” said Paris Bakery owner Kit Lindsay. “He started out as a loyal patron of ours at the Bakery and one day came to me to see if I was interested in selling locally roasted beans and I said absolutely. The following week he brought me three types of roasted beans that he made in a homemade roaster that consisted of a grill, a drill and two colanders. The coffee, of course, was outstanding.”
Gerald and Kit decided on the roast they would use at Paris Bakery and so the story began. “Every since then we just hit it off,” said Kit.
“We started chatting about coffee and our friendship grew from there. We learned that we both had an interest in brewing beer and just had a lot in common. We had dinner with Gerald and his wife Laura and we all became close friends, I have nothing but great things to say.”
Kit also reflected of how giving Gerald was in that he would stop by the shop and even work on the espresso machine from time to time without asking for a penny in return. “It’s just the kind of guy he was. He will be greatly missed,” said Kit.
Another dear friend of Gerald’s is Julia Trigg Crawford who credits Gerald’s Listening Room as the first music scene she found after moving to Paris from the Houston area. “Through Laura, Gerald and their amazing family I got plugged in,” said Julia. “It felt like I’d been invited to join the cool kid’s table. Whenever possible, I would stop by his shop when the scent of roasting beans would waft through the downtown. I am heartbroken our community has lost ‘That Guy’ Gerald”
Cody Head, Theatre Director at North Lamar High School, remembers Gerald as a friend and a second father. “He was a masterful set designer,” said Cody. “Laura would tell him what she wanted and that’s exactly what she would get! Gerald would work days in Oklahoma and come in right when we would finish night rehearsal around 9 p.m. to begin set building. When we would get to school the next morning he would have it all set. He was a perfectionist about his work and sometimes he would work right up until the curtain was going up. Gerald was a kind man with a quiet strength. I love him and Laura and he will truly leave a hole in the heart of our community. Gerald was one of a kind.”
We know there are many stories that could be told about the life of Gerald Hutchings.
While he was known as ‘That Guy’ to many, he was so much more to those who were fortunate enough to cross his path. Gerald brought our community great coffee, a great music environment and great friendship.
To Gerald’s family, we are thinking of you and praying for you during this time.
We were able to chat with Gerald during one of the last Farmer’s Market weekends when we happened to be filming for the #loveParisTexas video. We find it very fitting that Gerald is the face of the Farmer’s Market in a video that displays the heart of Paris.
Gerald, it was an honor to know you.