In Memoriam - Cary Lawrence Talbot (JD ’97)

We mourn the loss of our good friend, Cary Lawrence Talbot, who passed away on November 9, 2008 after a heroic struggle with a rare and extremely aggressive form of cancer.  While we mourn, we celebrate the life of an exceptional friend.

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Cary truly loved his time at Washington University School of Law and he made the class of 1997 very special.  Our class had many diverse groups - the artsy, the geeks, the brainy, the jocks and the ‘in’ crowd.  Cary’s ability to bridge these groups helped make it so we all knew each other (at least a little) and we were all “in it” together.  While he made sure we were bound by a common sense of impending doom, whether it be final exams or being called by Greenfield in Contracts, but Cary also made sure we laughed through much of it. 

Cary might be remembered by his classmates for conveying a sense of worry and a lack of confidence.  He easily spent more time with friends shopping for study aids than actually studying for finals.  Around exam time, Cary spent hour upon neurotic hour in the Mudd Hall library taking up residence along the aisle of carrels along the back wall past the old Quarterly office in what he dubbed the Gold Coast.  And who could forget that “uh-oh” look of Cary when he realized that maybe he should have spent just a little more time actually using those study-aids instead of questing for the best Korean food in St. Louis County or pursuing a rare Spiderman comic book at the local dealer?

But this outward appearance belied an inner strength.  While he would never admit it (even to himself), Cary never backed down from the challenges that lay before him.  The evidence of this is in his accomplishments.  Law school graduate.  Quarterly member.  Successful ‘big-firm’ attorney, going it alone and carving a niche for himself in NYC.  And never were these true colors more evident than in his intense and methodical approach to his final fight – which of course he mixed with his self deprecating sense of humor.

These accomplishments notwithstanding, the true gift of Cary was his interactions with other people.  He was a gifted communicator because he possessed that rarest trait among law school students - Talbot listened to others.  Finding out what other people might have to say fascinated him.  This is why he loved to drive around with others searching for study aids.  This is why he spent so many hours in the library (for everyone knew he easily had the lowest ratio of time spent in the library versus time actually spent studying there).  This is why he loved to search for the best Korean food, or find that comic book.  He did these things because he got to spend time with other people - listening, learning, searching and sharing.

Experiences like this were at least as important to him as were law school lessons, and there is a certain grace to this point of view which we should all take time to consider.  If the ability to reach out and really communicate with other human beings is a gift then Cary was a savant.  It is this gift, or some portion of it, that we should carry with us as we go forward in a world made less rich by Talbot’s absence.  He will be remembered fondly by all he met.

On the lighter side, this remembrance would not be complete without mentioning that Talbot possessed an amazing sense of humor and a disturbingly encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture circa 1970 and forward.  His expertise in this area ranged from junk food to movies to comic books.  Video games to music to Japanese anime.  Rest assured that in some obscure corner of the world the creator of Bosconian  has one less fan to be remembered by.

1 Bosconian is a multi-directional shooter arcade game that was made by Namco in 1981. It runs on Namco Galaga hardware but with a video system like that used in Rally-X. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bosconian)

Submitted by friends of Cary Talbot