Outside of San Diego, few people have heard of him, but Jerry Schad was a San Diego institution. Though I've never even met him, I feel like I know him through his writing. I've got a dirty, dog-eared copy of his guide book "Afoot & Afield in San Diego County" somewhere, and I've thumbed through others copies a handful of times, in the library, from friends bookshelves, and even the house copy at the local coffee shop.
Jerry wrote a column in the San Diego Reader (a local independent weekly magazine) that I'd read on occasion. I was always struck by the power of his words to enthuse me to put on some walking shoes and explore the outdoors. He was one small component that made the community a little bit cooler.
You can read the article about Jerry in the San Diego Union Tribune.