As you know Martin Gardner passed away on May 22, 2010. I wrote about my own reaction in an earlier post. That post was a direct result of me calling my friend, Mark Setteducati, and expressing to him my deep sadness with Martin’s passing and not knowing how to deal with it. Mark’s response was extremely wise and one thing he recommended was that I write about Martin and try to express what he meant to me.
My celebration of Martin would not end there. You can imagine how honored I was when I received an email from Tom Rodgers (the main person behind the Gathering 4 Gardner in Atlanta) asking me if I would help organize a global event to occur on Martin’s birthday – October 21st. I was thrilled to be involved.
Those of you who knew Martin would know that he wanted no memorials, but he expressed a humble desire for the Gatherings for Gardner to continue. I remember talking to him about the G4G’s and I expressed how fantastic it would be if he’d attend. People come from all over the world to join in this exclusive event and I knew they would be thrilled to actually meet the man himself. Martin’s response was always the same. He didn’t like to travel and although he was honored that people would hold him in such high regard, he was very humble and very private so the thought of being center of attention at an event like this didn’t appeal to him. In fact, I think it would have terrified him.
Since G4G9 was just held this year, we had to decide what kind of event should happen this year to honor Martin in the year of his passing. We didn’t want people to have the expense of traveling again in 2010 to one central location – whether that was Atlanta, Oklahoma (Martin’s last place of residence), or anywhere else. So it was decided that we should have a global event on his birthday.
Thus, the Gathering For Gardner Foundation invites you to celebrate Martin’s life and work, and continue his pursuit of a playful and fun approach to Mathematics, Science, Art, Magic, Puzzles and all of his other interests and writings. On October 21, 2010, which would have been Martin’s 96th Birthday, the Martin Gardner Global Celebration of Mind Gatherings will take place in different locations around the world. Information about these events can be found at: http://www.G4G-CoM.org
Everybody is welcome to join this celebration party by signing up to attend an event in your area or to take the lead and host a celebration party. We encourage everyone to bring a magic trick, puzzle, recreational mathematics problem or story about Martin to share at your event. We will host an archive of the events to share with all of the participants.
I am thrilled to have watched this global initiative grow right from its beginning. There are some really incredible events happening all over the world. You really should go to the website and check it out! Personally, I am traveling for business to the Essen Game Fair in Germany on October 21st. So I am hosting an event in Martin’s honor in a place I’ve never visited and with people I’ve never met. But that doesn’t matter. I wasn’t going to miss being involved in a global phenomenon that will celebrate a man that meant the world to me. And I know I’m going to meet some really incredible people and we’re going to share incredible stories and things that Martin would have loved.
The Gathering 4 Gardner Organizers
Elwyn Berlekamp - Mark Setteducati – Thomas Rodgers
The G4G Celebration of Mind Committee
Mark Setteducati, Tom Rodgers, Scott Hudson, Tanya Thompson, Stan Isaacs, Thane Plambeck, Jerry Farrell, Gary Foshee, Bill Ritchie, Jim Gardner and Chris Morgan