When friends remember Nick Gomez-Hall, they remember his kindness, creativity and passion for music.
A 25-year-old San Diego native, Gomez-Hall was an employee at Counterpoint Press at the time of the Ghost Ship fire. The Berkeley-based book publisher posted a statement on its Facebook page about Gomez-Hall, saying he became a part of their family the second he started working there.
“Whether he was recommending new music to listen to (and it was always so good), regaling us with tales of the bowling alley, offering his beloved truck for a ride if anyone needed it, or sharing his much appreciated opinions about a book jacket or manuscript, he made everyone feel like they were his friend,” the post says.
Before moving to the Bay Area, Gomez-Hall graduated from Brown University. He was active in the music scene in Providence, Rhode Island, playing in a band called Nightmom with fellow Brown student Travis Lloyd. In tribute to Gomez-Hall after his death, Lloyd posted two tracks the band recorded on Bandcamp. In a Facebook post about the songs, Lloyd wrote that he hoped the music “makes everyone feel closer to you in this time of deep sadness and shock.”
“If there’s one thing you taught me it’s to feel this deeply right now, to share it, and to grow closer with the world in the process,” Lloyd writes.
Gomez-Hall’s creative outlets went beyond music: his photography can be seen on Tumblr, and he was a published short story writer. One of his stories is on the website for the Indy, Providence’s alternative weekly newspaper. The story is told from the viewpoint of a carpenter watching his lifetime of work — houses he built — crumbling away over the years.
“You can be a fine carpenter but things still might not work out,” Gomez-Hall writes. “That was the case for me. The wind was always just so much stronger than my work.”
For more of our tributes to the victims of the Oakland warehouse fire, please visit our remembrances page here.
For a printable poster of the illustration above, see here.