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sangiro

Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend

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I was just going through my old messages looking for something, and ran across one that made me smile:


***From: Tonto
Date Sent: May 15, 2007, 5:53 AM

Title: You already HAVE a backup for your alti. It's called "your eyes".


You are SO unamerican! [Laugh]

t

ciel bleu,
Saskia

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Wow, been a year since t's death yet it still feals like yesterday.

Thought I would like to share some of the good and bad stuff following t's demise. First the bad.

Losing t was a bad thing, no two ways around that fact, it schocked most poeple in ways they did not expect. t was well loved all over and he touched a lot of people in many ways. Losing t we lost a lot of confidence in SA regrading wingsuiting, canopy piloting and a great person with whom i learned a lot from. But from all this we were taught how to pick this back up

So finally the good. Having somebody die is bad but I would like to tell of the few things that I was given by t following his death.

Firstoff I realised how I can help people who are simply put, breaking apart. I obtained t's last student as a great new friend, t's girlfriend Taya has become a truly great friend.

But the greatestthing I got which I will carry with me is how he taught people in all walks of life, from skydiving to the lowest class, shack living people to the overly rich, important people. He taught me how to teach people.

I am proud to say that that I was taught by one of the greates teachers the world ever had the preveledge to have.

Finally to Taya, this day will propably and most knowingly be very hard on you. I do not have the picture so can someone please post it but I want you to remember the outlanding on Sat with the 100+ kids all grabbing and smiling, not a hint of aggression all loving, screaming TONTO!!!!!

t, thanks.

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Well said Dian.

The last year has been hard on a lot of people, and i think we've all dealt, or tried to deal with it in our own way - some of us have coped through the support of friends and others haven't.

For me, going through six months of injury without tonto was especially hard, he was always a pillar of support and his constant phone calls made a difference and without him there this time i went through some really dark times.

Even now, whenever i drive out to the DZ and see a car that looks like his i still catch myself driving up to the window ready to wave and see that smile, and then i realise that it's not him and never will be.

Still, even though he is gone, we all keep his spirit alive inside of us in the way that we teach students like you're doing, in the way that when i swoop i imagine walking off the landing area and having him compliment me on a job well done, or in the way we live our lives. And that i think is the greatest lesson he taught all of us.

Advertisio Rodriguez / Sky

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Today is Eric's birthday. It's the second year I've celebrated his birthday without him. Some things get better with time and other feelings still sting just as much. I miss him a lot, and that hasn't changed. I don't think it ever will. Today I am managing to feel grateful for the time I had, and for the love of someone who was not just a partner but also my best friend.

He was his own man. He was a good man. Happy birthday, t.

Love, -T

PS Here is Silindi, growing up - in her new school uniform! I know he would have loved to see this.
It's the Year of the Dragon.

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I miss him a lot, and that hasn't changed.



I know what you mean, I miss him too. Things he said or did often pop up every now and then that remind me of him that make me smile or reflect back on advise he had given to someone. T was a very good man. Happy Birthday t.


Silindi is getting big. If I know t, he's still watching over her.
"It's just skydiving..additional drama is not required"
Some people dream about flying, I live my dream
SKYMONKEY PUBLISHING

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Thanks for the pictures t.

My side, I've only had about a gazillion times wanted to ask his advice but more recently I have learned what is the difference between a good teacher and a bad teacher.

The bad teacher either knows too much, usually do, or think they do, they overflow the amount of work to the student, aka give them too much info.

A good teacher knows that he does not know everything, sees the world from his student's perspective and most importantly is still and will always be a student.

t was a student up till the day he died. I know cause he asked for advice just the previous evening.

From this I can hopefully be a fraction of how good he was

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A good teacher knows that he does not know everything, sees the world from his student's perspective and most importantly is still and will always be a student.



"To teach; is to learn twice."
Nobody has time to listen; because they're desperately chasing the need of being heard.

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A good teacher knows that he does not know everything, sees the world from his student's perspective and most importantly is still and will always be a student.



"To teach; is to learn twice."


------------------------------------------------------------
Amen Brother
____________________________________
I'm back in the USA!!

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7 years today.... we still miss you like it was yesterday and will raise a glass to you together tonight.

"Blue Skies. This sport glows brightly, and burns incomparably beautiful images into our memories. That brightness comes at a very high cost. It's the lives of our friends, the blood and the bones of our sky family. That's the dark side, the Black Death.

There is no one without the other."

A few days after doing our wingsuit course, I obviously changed my profile and got this pm from t:

"Haha!

You put Wingsuit flight up as your 1st choice! You must have it BAD!".

Yes - I got it, and still have it bad, thanks to you - our dirty nylon crack dealer;). Thank you for giving me the gift of wingsuiting - something that makes me happier than pretty much everything else!
____________________________
"If there is doubt, there is no doubt." - Tonto

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Some asshole hacked t's jsc email address and was demanding $100 to not disclose stuff on his computer, so I had to come here to send the douchbad the thread.

Now I am crying all over again, I cannot believe it is 11 years on already.

The great are never forgotten. 

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