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Let us be among the first to heap praise onto Erin Shawn for her new website honoring former Fountain Valey Mayor and behind-the-scenes force for good in the world Gus Ayer, the late, loved, and lamented political whirlwind who died a week ago today.
We have already had a lot of coverage of Gus — and we’re going to have more, so just either live with it or move on to the next story if you’re not interested.
But how could you not be interested? After all, Gus Ayer was awesome!
Erin’s site is, accordingly, entitled GusAyerWasAwesome.com. It’s going to be the go-to place to collect information and remembrances about Gus — from photos to writings to even voice recordings. Check it out, become its friend, help her fill it full of goodies, help her fund it. (The e-mail address she’s using for this site is over there through those links.)
One good service that Erin is already providing is information about Gus’s memorial service, which takes place this Sunday in his beloved Mile Square Park.
Gus Ayer’s Memorial Service will be Sunday, February 24 from 2-4 pm at the Nature Center at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley.
Gus’ son, Eliot, has put together a site with more info about the memorial here: The Ayer Family
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Bolsa Chica Land Trust. Gus fought to protect the Bolsa Chica Wetlands from developers, which is an ongoing battle.
If you’re interested in attending, there’s a sign-up page on Facebook. You can probably find it through one of his friends. Eliot Ayer’s has one piece on his linked site about the site of the service that’s just too good not to copy:
The Nature Area was established during Gus’s tenure as Councilman. This part of the park formerly belonged to Mile Square Field, a Marine helicopter base which closed in 1974, and lay unused except for coyotes and by mini-plane hobbyists. The land was returned to the county, but the county planned to lease it to golf courses. Before being a councilman, Gus was opposed to what he saw as a sweetheart deal granted to the expansion of the golf courses, turning a large swath of Mile Square Park into nearly exclusive use for private companies instead of reserving it for public use.
As part of the development, this nearly 20 acre plot of land was set aside to create a natural habitat with California native plants, which attract natural wildlife such as Monarch butterflies, hummingbirds, red-shouldered hawk and coyotes. Gus loved both the native plants, and the significance of the site being saved from private development. He often made the short walk there from his home. Around the same time, he planned and oversaw an extensive renovation of his own backyard into one with California native plants. He always excitedly pointed out to guests how the flowers enabled bees, hummingbirds and butterflies to thrive in the backyard.
So, come join in the awesome! Thanks again to Erin — and in advance to all who will contribute to remembering Gus’s legacy and advancing his agenda.