The Motor Press Guild is sad to announce the passing of two members of the automotive journalism community: Holly Reich and Alain Gayot. We asked a few of our friends to share their remembrances.
Brandy Schaffels on Holly Reich:
“The women in the automotive industry have formed a tight circle over the years: It’s a wonderfully loving group of ladies who support and encourage each other in what can sometimes be a challenging industry. In this special sisterhood, Holly was a shining star and her passing will leave a hole in all of our hearts; she was always such a delight, always supportive and friendly, and always radiated joy and happiness, even when she was suffering. It was because of her effervescently positive nature that many colleagues didn’t realize how serious her illness was, and why so many people are shocked at her sudden passing.
“Holly could always be counted on for an uplifting thought, and she never asked for anything in return. Her last words to me expressed her eternally positive nature: ‘I am praying and thinking about you in a happy, healthy, life,’ she said. ‘I know you will have lots of good luck. You have cleared out the toxic to leave space for the positive.’ She did the same in her own life, leaving behind negative energy and embracing the positive, uplifting everyone around her with her joyous, indomitable spirit.
“Wherever our beautiful Holly is now, she is most certainly dancing and angels are laughing. She leaves behind so many lovely memories to celebrate her time with us, and I am thankful to remember her as my friend.”
Lou Ann Hammond on Holly Reich:
“Holly wrote like the woman she was, with a loving, quirky sense of humor. Feminine through and through, she loved to interview the designers and capture the dreams of the car they wanted to build. Holly wrote for such prestigious publications as Harper’s, New York Daily News, Hampton Magazine, Fortune, the Boston Herald, the Washington Post, the New York Daily News, and Redbook. She was also featured on several media outlets, including Lifetime TV, the Discovery Channel ABC Radio, and Fox News. She was recently recognized for her excellence in writing by the Texas Auto Writers Association.
“Holly was an integral part of the Women’s World Car of the Year (WWCOTY), and she reveled in meeting women from around the world who shared her passion for writing about cars from a style and design perspective. And she loved the women: When Turkey was being bombed, she made sure journalist Sevil was okay. She was always concerned about others, and they showed her love and admiration in return. It was Ylle Rajasaar from Estonia that said it best: ‘Each soul leaves a legacy of love that other would not have the courage to live and dream.’
“Holly fought cancer for twenty years, four times successfully. Each time I would ask her why she fought so hard, she would tell me ‘Because if I can help find a cure for cancer, my suffering will have been worth it.’
“Godspeed, girl. Oh, what the hell, go whatever speed you want. I will always miss you.”
Basem Wasef on Alain Gayot:
“Alain Gayot was always quick with a grin, a smile that revealed his exuberance and lust for life. I enjoyed conversations with him because he soaked everything up with delight, in that unmistakably French way. Food, wine, cars, planes, you name it, Alain’s tastes were discerning. Despite his penchant for the finer things, he was always warm and approachable; what some people might consider a contradiction in character was simply who he was. I’ll miss Alain’s enthusiasm and warmth, and like many of his family, friends, and colleagues, I’m sad to see him go.”
Aaron Gold on Alain Gayot:
“Alain was a favorite driving partner of mine, and not just because he managed to keep smiling as I butchered his native language. Alain was, quite literally, a high flyer; besides being a pilot, his web site, Gayot.com, covered the high life, from exquisite food to exclusive automobiles. Not that you would ever know it to talk to him: He was unassuming and down to earth, with a sense of humility that is rare in our business, especially for one so accomplished.
“Shocked and saddened: I remember a famous baseball player describing that as the reaction to a colleague’s sudden passing, and I feel much the same way about the loss of both Alain and Holly. Both were beloved members of my extended auto-journo family, and I miss both of them.”
The Motor Press Guild wishes to convey its deepest condolences to Holly and Alain’s family, friends and colleagues, and we ask that our members keep them in their thoughts and prayers.