© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.
About a month before, I spoke with Pepper on the telephone. His at-home nurse answered, she asked me to hold on, and, after a very long pause, Pepper made his way to the phone. We spoke briefly. It was only a few sentences of conversation. He was very weak. Then he said, "Goodbye, Gary." Taken by the gravity of the moment, I didn't have a chance to respond, and Pepper hung up. I knew that the end was near, he acknowledged as much, but I remain very grateful to this day that he took the time to say goodbye to me. Long live Pepper Adams!