0
skyesspot

Blue Skies Tommy D

Recommended Posts

Quote

I wonder what these two are up to right now....


Sandi


What a great shot....so true to who they were and will always be to us.

It's hard to believe everytime this happens that you're never going to see your friend again in this life time - puts it into perspective, everytime, how important everyone around me is and that making that evident is so important.

I'm going to miss walking into Byron, seeing Tom crashed out on his side of the couch near the video area and his cute/graceful leg thing he did on landing. His mumbling will be missed and the "ch-ch-ch ca-ca-ca" sound he would make over the intercom at random times of the day. But I will mostly miss your understanding of me - you always put me into check with one glance when you weren't sure what I was doing, it always made me think..thanks for that.

Kisses to Cumi and a HUGE hug to Shanny. Love you Tom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've not spoken up for several days hoping to make sense of the weekend's events. I'll still haven't accepted that Tom is gone and don't know how long it will take. I can't seem to convince myself.

Tommy...what can I say? The mumbling charmer. From the Byron Boogie to LP to Bon Gustos and back, we have had many adventures. But mostly, it's seeing him every weekend for the past however-many-years. Sure, he wasn't the most punctual video guy, but it was part of that charm thing. Showing up at the crack of 11, but there nonetheless. The memories are too myriad to even begin recounting, so I will not even try right now.

Needless to say, I'll miss him terribly. We all will.

Sorry about all the Byron Love in the airplane, Tom. You never made good on your threats of nausea, but the shades of green on your face were always impressive.

Peace.
--Q

PS: The canonical version:

So these two muffins are sitting in an oven. The first muffin looks over to the second muffin and says "Boy, it's getting hot in here!"
The second one looks back to the first and says:

"Holy shit, a talking muffin!"
-----
Chris "Q" Quaintance
ccqquaintance.com
D-23345

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Blue skies Tommy. I only talked to you once or twice, but even watching you do your thing from afar, you made a lasting impression on me. The calm, controlled manner in which you did your gear checks and practice EP's definately stuck with me, expecially because I could expect to see you doing them on every jump, without fail. Know you had a lasting influence on a new jumper at Byron. I only wish I had hustled more to get my license so that I could jump with you, or at least spend more time at the DZ getting to know you.

Much Byron Love to you and Blue Skies,
-bryan (unibrow)
A dolor netus non dui aliquet, sagittis felis sodales, dolor sociis mauris, vel eu libero cras. Interdum at. Eget habitasse elementum est.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This has been quite a mindnumber, what more can I say. I met Tom for the first time when I came to do a tandem. He was videoing my friend and no one could understand what he was mumbling.

Over the years, as I came to learn how to listen to Tom, I realized that he was definitely a man worth listening to. I don't know how much advice I took from Tom or how many dumb jokes I suffered through, but Tom was definitely one of my mentors. Scratch that....he wasn't just a mentor, I have considered him almost like a quiet older brother for some time now. Byron was made much brighter for me while working there on the weekdays because of Tom. When I managed to coerce him into a fun jump, it was always my best jump of the day. A jump with Tom without video was sometimes a rare thing and he always made it worth the wait.

I went out to Byron today, only to find it deserted. The first thing that caught my eye was Tom's skateboard. Its not going to be the same now that Tom won't be going back and forth along the road during sunset load, with a beer in one hand and who knows how many stashed in his pockets.

The Cessna is going to be the hardest for me. No offense to Clay but on days when there were only a few tandems and just a couple Cessna loads, I always got on the load where Tom was doing video because I knew I'd have someone to chat with on the loonngg way up. You didn't know how bad Tom's mumbling was until you tried to carry on a conversation with him in the Cessna. Muuuummbbllerr!

I'm going to miss gagging down those booze berries, Gusto. And while we'll definitely miss you down here, Cumulus will be happy to see his dad. I am lucky to call you a friend Tom.

-Aaron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

The first thing that caught my eye was Tom's skateboard. Its not going to be the same now that Tom won't be going back and forth along the road during sunset load, with a beer in one hand and who knows how many stashed in his pockets.



Thank you for reminding me Aaron.
Here you go Tom.. another one for you....
_______________________________________________
My mind is like a parachute...it functions only when open.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks, Q.

I was there when Tommy showed up. He was in what I was told was his Granpa's RV, and he just pulled in and went to work. He was my first trusted packer. I was already on the video wheel, and Tom showed up and began asking questions about video in a way that no current EGO-centric :P video flyer ever does anymore. He could pack at a hellion's pace and most importantly, he NEVER complained. He could do it or not, but no bitching.

Like all of us, Tom got his break when there just weren't enough other video flyers around. He had these cookie-monster wobbly-eyes on his helmet that truly inspired me. Anybody have a photo? He was just cool. None of his stuff was new, back then. Used borrowed or recovered from broken, he just made it happen. I had huge respect for him. I just couldn't have done it. He had field mice in his RV, but they didn't seem to bug him. He said he'd kill them, but then they'd die somewhere inconvienient and then stink the place up, so he'd just as soon live with the live ones.

He was a good skydiver. He was safe, and fun, and predictable to others in the pattern He had no problem diverting from a swoop, and unlike many other swoopers, never bitched about the problems of sharing the airspace with "boats".

He had a crazy mercurial relationship a while ago. Big on drinking, big on fighting, big on making up. It was fun to watch. He handled the stress of the situation DrPhilariffic.

He was a really good guy.

One winded out, or weathered out day me and him decided to mount the skateboard behind the golf cart and "ski" behind it. I lost a whole lot of skin off my elbow "that Mad John" licked off in contradiction of all contagion. But from which Tommy recieved a severe concussion. He never sought comprehensive treatment for. He was concerned about the cost. I think that hurt him. I showed him how to get no-cost care but he wanted nothing to do with it.

He continued to work, and work well. I sold out and got my Tandem rating, and was videod a ton of times by Tom. He refused to get a tandem rating.

I loved him.

I did, he was as pure a spirit as I have ever encountered, and I'm old by skydiving standards.

He wanted to work for Mike McGowan, and I told him I'd cash in whatever cache I had with McG to get him to Eloy, but he opted not to go.

He was what I term a "pure type", a kind of person we don't encounter that much anymore. Most of us have to compromise ourselves to make our living or our lifestyle.

Tommy, by chance or by fate, never compromised in my time of knowing him (all of it) at Byron.

Dying sucks.

How we go?

Well, Ilea is a complete package hottie. Ask her for a kiss, she enthusiatically says "YES!" and you go.

60 seconds later you joyfully deploy your parachute feeling love and significance.

Wheeeeeee!

Boom, parachute out, brakes out, all is well in the world.

Clear airspace, KAWABUNGA!........OH FUCK!!!!!!!............BLAM.

People, I have more jumps with Tomgusto than just about anybody else. I loved him. My kids loved him, cause he gave great elevator rides. It's been hard to explain to them that gentle Tom is gone.

Oh, Argh.

More later, I guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
All,

I just heard back from the family.
There will be a wake this Sunday in Chicago.
The times are 3pm-9pm, and details on the funeral home will follow shortly. The family is emailing those to me.

I will keep you informed.
If any of you have nice recent pictures of Tom that you would like to share with the family, please send them to me and I will forward them on to them. Please send them in full resolution so they can be printed.

Notes, funny events, nice memories of Tom.. anything. If you don't want to send them through me, that is fine, let me know and I will share their email address with you.

email them to: iwanvdschoor (at) gmail.com

at this time I am not pointing them to this website yet, the family is not really ready to read all the details of what happened, specially not the off topic discussions that are going on in his incident thread.

Iwan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If there is anything that I can do to help from back this way let me know. I will be there and I know his old friends from here will be there too. As usual I will have my copy of Jonathan Livingston Seagull with me. It seems to help (at least me) in times like this. Those of you that loved him may want to read it again, you'll find Tom in there, as well as other of our friends.
Rainbo
TheSpeedTriple - Speed is everything
"Blessed are those who can give without remembering, and take without forgetting."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't post much (maybe never)- but I wanted to say a few things about Tom. I think Bon-Bon and Tall Guy very eloquently hit the nail on the heaad in relating what a great person Tom was.

I was fortunate to get to jump with Tom on a whole bunch of tandems--and he was a CLASS ACT. Like TG said--Tom NEVER had a bad word for anyone. I will always remember him for that--and try to integrate that trait into my own life.

I will miss him very much-and never forget him. As someone told me today Tom was one of those rare people (much like Shannon) who personified "Byron Love".

Blue Skies Tom (& Shannon)...
:-(

Randy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Didn’t know Tom that well only having met him at the boogie, but spoke to him a few times in the bar and around the drop zone. Seemed a top guy and would love to have known him better. All you who did obviously knew a special person.

Blue Skies Tom, and the next jump I do will be for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
With a quiet grin, he pulled me from all-fucked-up-ness just prior to my first few jumps. Tom brushed his thumb against his forefinger (like he was brandishing a few dollar bills) and rolled out the door as easily as some might roll out of bed. On those days, my jumps were “money”.

On other days, I landed out beyond the fence and trudged back in with mud on my knees. Tom greeted me with the same easy smile, seemingly intent only on celebrating the sound of two brown glass bottles clanking together. Those jumps were money, too.

That’s how I knew Tom. I feel for those that lost a friend, a housemate, a son.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To Tom and All of my Byron Family:

I wish I could scoop you all up in my arms and rock away your pain. I wish I had words of enlightenment to offer my "kids" that are suffering right now.

I know all too well that the only way to the other side of this is to go through it. But not one single Byron jumper needs to go it alone. That's what the Byron Love is TRUELY about. (Contrary to popular belief, it's not about the smell in the plane!)

Ya'll know where to reach me. Any time of day or night is appropriate.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Peace and Blue Skies!
Bonnie ==>Gravity Gear!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I echo all those sentiments Bonnie, Marcel and many others made. Love ya all as well.

Hugs for everyone next time I make it to Byron. May be at least a few weeks though, as this month is way busy, I'm finally starting to get a cold and I have car trouble I need to get fixed before I drive more than a few miles away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It was great meeting you in Eloy, Tommy; just wish we had more time to hang out. I wish I would have headed to Mexico with you guys on Thursday.

EgoMike, Ficus, and Iwan, it was great hanging with you guys. Beth, Kristi, and Gia, it was great seeing you ladies again. All of you, and anyone else I've absentmindedly missed, I'm very sorry for your loss.

It's been a rough year... :(

Jeff
Shhh... you hear that sound? That's the sound of nobody caring!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I didn't get to know Tom all that well in the few times I was up at Byron, but I always got the impression he was a great guy.

I remember hacking with him a few times. I remember one of the first times we talked he made a crack at me and then the next time we talked he apologized for making fun of me when he hardly knew me. I was equally amused with both of those interactions.

I'm sad I won't get to see him when I am finally able to come out there again to jump.

Blue skies Tommy.

Stevie
Don't let the fact that I sound like I think that I know what I'm talking about fool you. I know that I don't know what I'm talking about

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
All,

Just to keep you all updated, there will be a wake for Tommy this Sunday in Chicago from 3-9PM.

the location:
Ahlgrim, James - Ahlgrim & Sons Funeral Home
(847) 882-5580
330 W Golf Rd.
Schaumburg, IL 60195

Details about the funeral are not available yet, but it will most likely be on Monday.

I will keep you all posted.

Keep the memories of Tom coming by the way.. the family found dropzone.com and has been reading the kind words you've all shared about Tom.



Another funny memory of Tom.. a big fan of "party boy" from the Jackass videos..
I'd walk into the hangar and ask him.. so um.. you feel like partying?

"Actually.. I feel like partying right now.. " and he'd make the crazy soundtrack noises and started bouncing around..

I miss you tomgusto..

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The only skydive I made with Tom was my recurrency jump after breaking both my arms. The first time I met Tom, he was packing my new canopy and attempting to give me pointers for me to hold my own. I'm a pretty quiet guy, but Tom would always be there with a smile and conversation. I'm stunned that he's gone, and it's going to feel really weird to not see him at Byron this weekend.

Fly free, buddy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Once, on the ride to altitude, I noticed that his Eclipse container said "Brad" on the ring cover. I asked him if he got it in Wisconsin. He has a puzzled look and didn't know what I was talking about. I had to explain him the meaning of "Brad from Wisconsin", you know, the random skydiver on your load at a boogie that you know nothing about and should have the "everyone's out to kill me" attitude. Kinda ruined the joke though that he didn't know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account. It's free!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0