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  1. Thanks Taya, for sharing this with us. Our thoughts are with you, and so too with Caleigh, Shanna, Sue, Eric's parents, sister, et al.
  2. Hey Kaero, you have a wonderful way with words. Been over a month now, hey? Drove through to Carltonville for Eric's memorial service and got absolutely lost. Time against me, just I drove home again. Gotta get myself a GPS. Notwithstanding connotations associated with the movie, Eric had "A Beautiful Mind" That’s how I’ll remember him. Kevin
  3. I wrote earlier that I worked with Eric 20 odd years ago, but since this earlier post have been reminiscing on the past with many fond memories. As an instructor and friend Eric cleared me for free-fall after my 6th SL jump at Citrusdal back in '87, and I remember him saying his only concern was that I seemed so layed back he was worried I might just forget to deploy. Hehehe - I was layed back because he was such a good instructor! I trusted him. Then in '89 there was a boogie in Mmabatho. I was no longer current, so I did a tandem from a Herc at 18,000 ft asl and he did the photo dive. Those pics will now mean a little bit more to me ... But in the shower this morning I just had to pack up laughing ... At work Eric had been asked to assume the responsibilities of somebody on leave, in a desolate location, and understandably found this to be extremely boring. So he decided to while away the time by doing something seemingly constructive. I was asked to accompany the boss to this desolate location, and upon arrival Eric was taken by surprise. The boss found reams and reams of paper that Eric had been writing. But it wasn't a story, it was simply the same line written over and over again ... "All work and no play makes jack a dull boy" Dunno, never quite got out of Eric what he intended doing with this, or can't remember, but methinks he was probably making wallpaper for his bedroom. Kewl concept. But hey, we were young at the time. And it was hilarious at the time. Still is for me today! Since then I've moved on to greener pastures. Have worked in corporate environments and today run my own business. During this time have undergone full psychometric testing and have been pleasantly surprised by my results. But I've always considered Eric to be ... wooaaah ... way above me. There are many kind, compassionate and caring people in this world. But I'll hazard a guess that the underlying reason that drew so many people toward Tonto was his intelligence. And that, for me, is why his death is such a bitter pill to swallow. Luv ya Tonto
  4. I worked with Eric 20 odd years ago, for about 4 years, in Constantia, Cape Town. It was a pretty mundane job where we could chat most of the day. And chat we did - from cycling, archery, running, motorbikes, guns, physics, philosophy to, ummm ... skydiving. He was on crutches initially, having smashed his femur in a skydiving incident in UK. I won't say he convinced me to try skdiving, he wasn't that kinda guy, but I gave it a bash and after 15 jumps my curiosity was satisfied. A very kewl jumpmaster too! We lost contact after he moved to Joburg, but chatted to him on the phone a few years ago and we exchanged quite a few emails thereafter with the intention of hooking up for a beer sometime. Last night I saw an online newspaper headline mentioning the death of a Joburg skydiver. Fearing the worst, I moved away from the computer and made a cup of coffee instead - but upon returning was really gobsmacked to see the name "Eric Stephenson". As has been said, Eric was a wonderful guy - an intelligent, well-read free-thinker, always passionate and focussed in whatever he did, stood his ground well in debate, but yet had a calm, compassionate and caring nature too. I thoroughly enjoyed his company, and learned a lot from him. What a sad loss. My condolences to his partner, daughters and parents. Kevin