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blair700

Tom Manship

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I didn't know Tom very well either, but I was very impressed when he remembered my name the second time I ran into him, five months after taking my first FJC. He came up to me, shook my hand and talked to me as one of the BASE jumpers instead of treating me like a beginner intruding the scene.

We never talked too much, but nonetheless I owe Tom a lot. When people ask me about BASE jumping, I often told them about this 58 year old guy I knew that wakes up at five AM every day and does three jumps and hikes before others even wake up.

It contributed to a different image of BASE than what most people think initially. And for that, I thank you Tom...

...for the fact that you were the great and friendly 58 year old guy that woke up at five AM every day and did three jumps and hikes before others even woke up.

Fly...

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Tom was one of the nicest people I've ever known and today I got to meet his family and learned that his kindness runs in the family.



I agree, Toms family was extremely kind and gracious to the the jumpers that showed up at the Funeral today. His sister especially went out of her way to make us feel welcomed. A great group of people. Thanks to all the family members. I see where Tom got his kind heart from. It showed from his aunts down to his nephews, and everyone in between. They have my deepest condolences and sympathies and my upmost respect.
Sincerely
Mike Bartlett



I agree with everything Mike and Tony have stated above, Tom's entire family made us feel as though we were one of their family. This has been a very difficult few days... watching a friend go in and then having to meet with family members to explain what happened and why their loved one has died. You have no idea how they(the family) will receive you. Will they feel your pain and greef? Will they hate you and blame you for the accident? Will they scream and yell or listen and understand? These are just some of the questions going through yopur head before you have a meeting like this.
When Blair and I arrived at their home, they welcomed us with open arms. They felt our pain and we felt theirs, we laughed and cried. They felt no ill will towards us and that made it much easier to deal with. Which brings me to a point I would like to make...
Why do you think Tom's family was so understanding?

Part of the reason is because they knew what Tom loved to do. They have for a long time. I'm sure he had this talk http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?do%3Dpost_view_threaded%3Bpost_latest_reply%3Bso%3DASC%3Bpost%3D487476=View+Threaded with his family long ago and they understood where he was coming from and accepted him for it. I could see that in their actions and words these last few days.
That being said, I URGE everyone who has not spoken with their families about their BASE jumping to do so as soon as possible. It will help both your family and friends deal with the grieving process and keep hard feelings at bay. And not cause any unecessary blame on jumpers, structure owners, athorities, etc.

One last thing I want to say is thank you to my 3 friends who were there. They all exhibited the kind of brotherhood you look for in a friend and BASE companion. They stood by each other through the good or bad, they came together as a team in rough times, everyone kept a cool head about themselves and dealt with the situation, and they also have been there for each other after the accident. I would gladly have them by my side in any battle having no reservations about whether or not they can handle the worst possible crisis... although I knew this beforehand, now it has been proven. Thank you Mike, Blair and TJ. Mark, I thank you too. You have gone above and beyond what you needed to do and i thank you just as the whole family does.
Also, Blair made a great speech today at the funeral on behalf of the jumping community. Maybe he'll post it, although I'm not sure if he wrote it out or not.

A quote used at Tom's service:(long version)
"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure."
Helen Keller

Nerdgirl: nice quote about Buddhism.
Tom was a Buddhist(how strict?? we'll never know) so if anyone is interested in their philosophy on life and death, here is a short essay.
http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma5/viewdeath.html
I think Tom was doing pretty good in the Karma department:)
I like this quote from the article"
"Just as a well spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings a happy death.
Leonardo Da Vinci

Miss you Tom...
Jason

send me your pictures of Tom (pm for address)

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Thank you. Thank you for your kind words and for taking a great man for everything he was worth.

Tom was a very dear friend of mine. In a skydiviving sense he was not only there for my first two-way, but also my first kiss pass, my first naked jump, my first beacon ride, my first PRO-rated demo, and my first tandem (from the instructor point-of-view). I have proudly owed a lot of beer because of that man.

Along with all of that, Tom and I made our first BASE jump together off the New River Gorge Brigde with the expertise of BASE 105 to guide us. I remember having long discussions in a bar beforehand about the danger of that first jump. I've got a precious picture of tom and me before the jump that tells the truth as to how he felt about the whole adventure. Who knew at that time where it would lead him....

The last time I saw tom was in Mexico. Ernie and I were not able to catch up with him at Twin because of our work schedules so we drove our Jeep to Mexico to see him jump the cave. We got to spend quite a bit of quality time with him there. He was a different man than I remembered. Self-assured and confident with his way of life. Something of an example to live by. I found it funny that some of the new BASE jumpers in the cave base group thought he was old and odd. Had they only known that he had finally found whatever he wanted in life.

Since then it seems that he had found a lot of commaderie in the BASE community. I am so happy that he once again picked up the role of mentor for those of you that wanted to learn.

Go with peace, tom. There was so much in life that you conquered. I am grateful to be one of the people that you blessed.

-mandy

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Man...
I just don't know what to say.

Tom Manship was one hell of a good man, and I am richer in my life for having the priviledge to have known him...

RIP brother[:/]

edited to add:
I also couldn't agree more with all the positive comments on Tom's family. They made us feel as though we belonged there, and were just as much "family" as everyone else.
They indeed, did understand what base meant to Tom.
Thanx to all...
You can get a lot more done with a kind word and a gun than with a kind word alone.

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One last thing I want to say is thank you to my 3 friends who were there. They all exhibited the kind of brotherhood you look for in a friend and BASE companion. They stood by each other through the good or bad, they came together as a team in rough times, everyone kept a cool head about themselves and dealt with the situation, and they also have been there for each other after the accident. I would gladly have them by my side in any battle having no reservations about whether or not they can handle the worst possible crisis... although I knew this beforehand, now it has been proven.



Thank you Mike, Blair and Jason.

(i couldn't think of a better way to say that...or much of anything else for that matter)
You can get a lot more done with a kind word and a gun than with a kind word alone.

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Someone started a thread "it's hard to find a mentor"....

It's even harder to lose one.



That exact thought has been swimming around in my head for days now.

Tom was my biggest support and mentor in base. He even came to see me in California when I was learning how to skydive. Unfortunately, he went back to Texas a little early this last summer, and I never even got to jump with him.

Last night Coy was telling me that when he was in Norway with Tom(before I had met Coy) Tom was telling every one that he had this great chick packing for him in Twin, who was going to be one hell of a base jumper.

That really made me smile.

I'm just glad I got him over to my house last summer for some proper dinner every once in awhile.

All our love-holly joan and Coy

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I showed up to Twin awhile back, very undercurrent and scared stiff. Tom took me on my first few jumps of the day. Every time we hiked out of the canyon, he would notice me lagging along, and pretended to be out of breath as well so I could rest. He said that his old bones weren't what they used to be, but we both knew he was lying through his teeth. Tom was a class act that I am thankful to have met.

Trina

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I can't sleep so I was sitting here looking through Tom's last logbook and thought everyone might like to see some of his jump stats. He kept meticulous records of all of his jumps.
Total of 1869 Jumps
of that..
1697 were Potato Bridge jumps and he climbed out over 1315 times (640,000ft or over 121miles!). In August he jumped almost every day totalling over 105 jumps so that makes about 51,000ft climbed for the month.
B-2
A-82
S-1729
E-54
O-6
46 Objects
His jump #'s under his canopies...
Fox-538
Dagger-506
Black Jack1-390
Black Jack2-61
Rock Dragon-40
Stratocloud-9
And there is still 300 or so that are not mentioned in this logbook.

miss you Tom[:/]

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Thanks Jason,
I'm up too :ph34r:
Those are impressive #'s....its clear to me why 516 insisted we visit TF in August :)I'm honored to KNOW 1 of his B's intimately, and the other I 'think' has a great Rod&Tom adventure to it :)Anyways, there is alot I want to say, maybe I can post it soon, maybe not. But thanks to everyone, especially Tom's family, and TJ, Mike, and Jason. I learned the hardest lesson in BASE, the worst way, but it motivates me to give back....to my family, my friends, and the BASE jumpers....its what Tom did all along.....teach, share, live. I miss you Tom, thank you for being you, and being my friend.
C-ya
Blair

edited to add: MUCH grattitude and respect for Mark and Dave, look forward to sharing that exit, beer, and many a story......Thank you both, I'm sorry for YOUR loss. Much respect ....

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Yo, I'd really like to do a jump with something that belonged to him. It could be a T-shirt, or just some token item he carried around. Actually one of his pilot chutes would be realy cool. I would just make one jump with the item and then ship it back. You know, one last 2-way.[:/] Let me know if this is possible.

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Summer in Twin will never be the same. Even though I was never up early enough to catch anything but packing for the next morning. It was quite inspiring to have jumpers hitting the sunrise load, only to find Tom was already hiking out... from his third jump of the day. You, my friend, are a hero. Thank you.

Adam
921

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After I was injured at Moab, I received an email from Tom stating that he was up there at the launch point with me. He asked how I was recovering. He was a really thoughtful guy.
One of my last mornings at Twin Falls I arose early to go out on the bridge to say goodby to Tom and to watch him make his first jump of the day.
I always considered him not only a friend but a gentleman. My thanks to #700 for calling me New Year's morning to give me the sad news.
Jim

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Just got back from Europe and heard the news. Sucks big time.

I remember my first time at TF...I made a jump at 5:00 AM. Then I was looking for a way to get on top. Nobody showed it to me and I did not bother asking anyone. Nobody was around that early anyhow.

I went too far to the right and found myself vertical climbing like a mother. Few minutes later I heard an opening and by the time I climbed just few extra feet I saw Tom hiking on my left on the "normal" path. I go "quite a hike". He goes "Yes, especially the way you do it!" The next jump he showed me the right way to get up after a two way.

Few days later was windy as shit but few were jumping. I go "I already broke my back once, I don't need this". He goes "I live here, I don't need this so bad either!"

Tom was cool through and through. He'll be truly missed.
Memento Audere Semper

903

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Although I've been reading this thread every day, my heart has been too heavy to post until now.

The first time I met Tom was several years ago in Moab. He only had a handful of jumps, perhaps around fifty or so. Myself, Tom, and two Swedish girls, Anne-Marie and Lena, hiked up together and jumped from Tombie. I took a liking to Tom right away. He was kind and very non-assuming of others. And I also found out that he was a sucker for pretty girls!:P

Four months later, I ran into Tom during a visit to Idaho. He had moved there for the summer just to jump, and I was surprised to find out that he had made 350 jumps since I had last seen him. We hung out together for several days and developed a friendship that would grow in the years to come.

Random memories over the last 3 or 4 years:

1) I remember the first time I climbed up and out from the Perrine. Tom stayed right behind me, calm and quiet, but was always there to lend me a hand if I needed it. Fearing that I was holding him up, I encouraged him to go ahead, but he insisted that he always went slow and the pace was perfect for him. Like others have posted here, I knew he was lying through his teeth...and was just making sure that I was ok.

2) On another random trip, I rolled into town and called to see if he wanted to grab dinner. Tom was irritated because he had a downwind landing and "jammed his ankle pretty good". I went over to the Holiday to check out his ankle and sure enough, it was definitely broken. Finally accepting the fact that he needed to medical care, Tom decided to head home to Ft. Worth to get it checked out. I tried to talk him into going to the hospital in Twin, but he insisted on going home first. So I helped him load up his car and the next morning, he drove 24 hours straight through to Ft. Worth (with a broken tib/fib!). He hobbled into the emergency room and calmly said, "Excuse me, I've broken my leg. Can you put it back together please?" I called him the next day to see how he was doing and when I asked him about his leg he said, "Aggh, I'm not thinking about my leg -- I'm thinking about the pretty doctor that fixed it!

3) Earlier in this post, someone posted a story of Tom's cameo in their video, where he said, "Oh, you want a count before I go? Ok. One" and then he jumped. Well, here's another one: There's a video floating around out there that is classic Manship. On the video, there are about 10 or 12 jumpers standing around on the bridge, all geared up and ready to go (Tom is one of them). Most of the jumpers are young jumpers, with just a few jumps under the belt. Marta is there, and the jumpers are asking her all sorts of questions and gleaning information from her. So the video shows Marta talking for several minutes, with all of the jumpers giving her their undivided attention when all of a sudden, Tom loudly declares, "I can't take it anymore, I gotta go!" And he proceeds to charge to the rail like a rabid animal, and rolls over it completely out of control. The look on everyone's face, and their gasps, were absolutely priceless (they thought Tom was some random old man with only a few jumps under his belt). Tom did an out-of-control barrel roll after catapulting over the rail, but quickly righted himself to a rock-solid position, followed by a dead-on opening...

4) Tom's declaration of his new invention for the BASE community, "GAP Packing" (Gravity Assisted Packing). :P It's interesting to note that he made over 500 jumps with that pack job, with no noticeable degradation in heading performance...

5) One day we were hanging out when some up and coming BASE jumper asked him if he ever got tired of jumping the Perrine. Tom said, "Are you kidding me? I love this place. That's why I wake up and do it every day". Tom Manship loved BASE...simply for what it was. It was obvious that BASE made him happy.

6) Some months later, someone asked him the same question and he responded with, "BASE jumping is like vitamins. I take 4 a day."

7) No matter how hard I tried, I never made Tom's first load of the day. I'd get out there at very first light, only to find his hands gripping the rock wall, pulling himself up from his first jump of the day.

8) With that said, take a moment and imagine jumping and then hiking, 3 or 4 times a day, every single day, for 5 months in a row. Now really imagine it...

Tom Manship was born from the experience.

One of the things that BASE has taught me, is to live and love today, not tomorrow. Live your life unconditionally...and always let people know what they mean to you...now, not later.

Seven weeks ago, I was visiting the Carolinas and paid a visit to Tom. We shared stories for a few hours and then a 300ft exit point at 1am. When I left that evening, we exchanged smiles, and I told him that I was lucky to have a friend like him.

I'm glad I did.

Bryan

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damn i really hate that . tom was a really great guy ,the first person i met on our 1st trip to twin falls and many trips there since and helped us out in quite a few things over the years . you will be sadly missed brother i will see you at that other big launch point upstairs . blue skies brother mb65 johnny gates

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Tom was a BASE jumper that I respected and enjoyed jumping with over the past few years. His passion for the sport of BASE and his knowledge of it never ceased to amaze me. Tom's positive outlook on life and his approach to the sport was something I found commendable. He will be sorely missed!

R.I.P.
Jamie Boutwell

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I had the pleasure of meeting Tom at BD this year during my FJC and he told me about his early morning jumps at TF. He was very polite and courteous while he took time to answer my "beginner" questions and made me feel very at ease.

My condolences to his family and friends. The posts made here are a testimony of just how many lives he touched and how many jumpers he has inspired.

Blue Skies
"I'm not a gynecologist but I will take a look at it"
RB #1295, Smokey Sister #1, HellFish #658, Dirty Sanchez #194, Muff Brothers #3834, POPS #9614, Orfun Foster-Parent?"

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...dont know what color Tom's gear was at the time...



He had this camouflage rig for a long time. I'd bet it's in one of your photos, somewhere. It's probably him jumping it, because the thing is so damn ugly no one else would have wanted to (that's an often repeated joke between friends, for those who are wondering).
-- Tom Aiello

[email protected]
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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