In case you haven't already read this elsewhere on the Gear Web, Marshall Hoots of Going Gear passed away on September 25, 2017. He leaves behind a wife and two small children.
I emailed Marshall a few times after he did appearances on the first gear podcast, the long since defunct Personal Armament Podcast. Despite its name, the podcast, thanks largely to Marshall's influence, discussed flashlights a lot. I had always wanted to get Marshall on GGL, but things never lined up.
Marshall loved gear. He was one of us. He marveled a new tech, blinded himself the first second he got a light operational and geeked out over details. His SHOT videos were great, getting lots and lots of information out quickly. His video reviews on his site were even better. He was one for the first people to really show why modern flashlights are worth carrying. And then there was one of his most recent videos--the one where he caught paper on fire with a giant, high powered photon cannon.
But for all of his geeking out, he was different than most of us. Instead of just being passionate about gear, he made it his business. He combined the American entrepreneurial spirit with enthusiast passion. Going Gear is one of the best sites on the web, with fabulous search features that I know Marshall was proud of. These proved that he was not just a Gear Geek, but someone with a keen sense of design. Similarly, but not as obvious or well-known, Marshall helped design and implement the great UI on the oLight S-series, one of my favorite lights in the world.
The more I get to know people in this community the more I realize that the gear is just an icebreaker, a way to start real and digital conversations with cool people. Whether it is Jonathan or Michael, I love talking politics. Whether it is Andrew or other Andrew, I love just riffing about bullshit. Whether it is Dan or Michael from OKC, I love talking law. Austen, Mario, Nick, other Nick, and Aaron...there are tons of people I just like knowing. These are people, all friends, that I met because of a shared love of cool toys/tools. These are friendships I have had for more than a decade now and I cherish all of them. Gear got us here, people keep us here.
So tip your hat and carry that S-series light in honor of our friend, our fellow Gear Geek, and all around good guy Marshall Hoots.
Please consider donating to his children's Go Fund Me. Also, tip of the hat to oLight, who raised more than $40,000 for Marshall's family in one day, by donating 100% of all proceeds to sales of gear on 10/6/17 to Marshall's loved one.