Saint in Seattle tells a lot about him. Apparently he had a prodigious memory. Was he a practitioner? He didn't walk around with a mala like Jeffrey Hopkins, right?
Gene was a practitioner. He definitely didnt advertise it though.
His root teachers were Deshung Rinpoche and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
My personal impression of Gene was that he was not only a practitioner but a very accomplished one at that.
He was tremendously enjoyable to be around and always ready to share his experiences and insights.
I loved Gene Smith, and will always consider him to have been a great mentor to me. We lost a very special friend when Gene passed.