Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 68

Thread: The true source of VFTT

  1. #1
    Poobah Emeritus darren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    S. Dartmouth, MA

    The true source of VFTT

    Various issues have kept me off of the site lately, but this is a story that I feel needs to be told. So the history lesson begins.

    Where to start…back the old days I guess. I’m the youngest of six kids. That gave me the benefit of having older brothers and sisters that could teach me things. Their experience made me wise beyond my years...although if you asked them they would probably say that I was just a wise ass.

    Tommy's 17th birthday
    l-r Tommy, Linda, Craig, Rick, Jan, me

    Although my sisters gave me invaluable knowledge on how to do things and get away without be caught by my parents, my brother Tommy turned into EF Hutton for me – when he spoke I listened. He was 15 years older than me and was an electrical engineering student when I was just a little boy. He taught me to use his calculator when I was only 4 or 5. He trusted me to use his 8 track player and headphones, and I was amazed to hear his stories about the mainframe computer at college. The memories are a little hazy, but they remain.

    I had always loved playing outdoors, but Tommy opened my eyes to a world of possibilities. When I was 14, I spent nearly the whole summer with Tommy. He had graduated college in 76 and left Southeastern Mass to work and live in Utica, NY. I spent a week with him at his apartment and then we set off on a month long adventure to the Canadian Rockies. We drove all the way across Canada, explored the Canadian Rockies, and then went down to Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and then back across the States. We never had an agenda. We just drove where we wanted and stopped where we wanted to spend some time. We camped, hiked, canoed, and went white water rafting and snorkeling. After the trip I spent another week in Utica before returning home.

    Me and Tommy on the trail

    Deck with a view

    Me and Tommy taking the easy way up in a gondola

    Tommy spent a lot of his free time in the Adirondacks. He was always hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, snorkeling, xc skiing, or white water rafting. He shared his passion for outdoor activities with me, but it was never forced it on me. He always asked me “what do you want to do?” During our Canadian Rockies adventure he would always give me the maps and ask “where should we go next?” and when we got there he would ask “what do you want to do here?” and then give me the guide book and let me pick a trail.

    Yes, we wore cotton and was the 80's

    He taught me to snorkel and how to hold my breath. At my best I could hold my breath for 1.5 minutes, but that was only half of what Tommy could do…3 minutes. He was half fish. He was like that though, he was a master of everything that he did. He designed and built a custom Victorian home – with every detail perfectly planned out, right down to the angles of the rising and setting sun during different seasons.

    What are you looking at?

    Me, our nephew Michael, and Tommy out for a paddle

    Tommy introduced me to the world of electronics and led me down the path of electrical engineering, although once again never pushing it on me. At 15 I was designing and building circuits in the basement. If I had a question, Tommy would give me 10 times the information I needed. He would buy books and magazines and mail them to me. He loaned me a computer for an entire summer. He always went out of his way to help me. 15 years after Tommy did, I graduated from the same school with the same electrical engineering degree.

    VFTT came from my love of both the outdoors and technology. It is a direct result of the influence Tommy had on me. Learn, enjoy, share.

    This past weekend, Tommy lost his long fight with illness at the age of 56. He never gave up and fought to the end. These few pages do not scratch the surface of what Tommy did for me and what he meant to me, but I just felt that part of the story needed to be told.

    Tommy is survived by his daughter Katey, and wife Sarah

    Aloha Tommy, you will always be loved and missed.

    Your little brudda
    Kūlia i ka nu‘u

  2. #2
    Senior Member ADKdremn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Emmaus, PA
    Heart-wrenching, but amazing story! So sorry for your loss. You are fortunate to have so many truely amazing memories....hold on to them in this difficult time.
    Again, sorry for your loss.

  3. #3
    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    My sincerest condolences. He is clearly remembered well and proudly, and will live on in many hearts.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Edward Abbey

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Gorham NH
    My condolences Darren, I was hoping your tough stretch was behind you when we got together at the last gathering. Sounds like we all missed out on meeting quite an individual.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Avatar: Mt Washington
    Thank you for sharing this Darren. We are so sorry for your loss.

  6. #6
    Senior Member erugs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Manchester, NH
    I so appreciate your sharing some of your life with your brother and the way you two interacted. Good lessons for us all and I'm sure some of the attributes you told us about will be passed along through the telling. Sending good thoughts your way, for you and your family during this most challenging time.

    Volunteer Maintainer: East Pond Trail

    "Through winter-time we call on spring/And through the spring on summer call/And when abounding hedges ring/Declare that winter's best of all/And after that there's nothing good/Because the spring-time has not come... William Butler Yeats

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Our most sincere condolences Darren. Tommy sounded like one heck of a guy.

  8. #8
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Somerville, MA
    I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for taking the time to share with us when you are dealing with this.
    You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. -- Dr. Seuss

  9. #9
    Senior Member Puck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Amazing story. so sorry for your loss. He sounds like he is an amazing, unique man.

  10. #10
    Senior Member marty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Boxford, MA. Avatar: I heart South Twin

    what a beautiful story about a very unique relationship. Sounds like your big brother was an amazing person. My condolences to you.

    So when you reach the bottom line
    The only thing to do is climb
    Pick yourself up off the floor
    Anything ya want is yours

    Song: Bottom Line
    Artist: Big Audio Dynamite
    Album: This is Big Audio Dynamite
    Year: 1985

  11. #11
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    New Hampshire
    Our condolences, Darren. Thanks for the history lesson... it is a good one.

    Tim and family
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  12. #12
    Senior Member una_dogger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Waltham, MA
    What a beautiful tribute, Darren. His profound impact on you is evident in everything you wrote and each wonderful memory and picture you've shared.
    So sorry. Godspeed, Tommy.
    ADK 46'r NE115'r NEHH NH 48 x 6 NH48W NH 331/576
    Terra NH 48 x 6+ ~93/100 NEHH ~ ADK 35/46 ~RIP~
    Pemi NH4K~ Gem NH4K

  13. #13
    Senior Member SAR-EMT40's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Eastern Connecticut Avatar:I Like my Jeep
    My sincerest condolences Darren. I am very sorry for your loss but also consider yourself lucky you had such a mentor in your life.

    "The real work of men was hunting meat. The invention of agriculture was a giant step in the wrong direction, leading to serfdom, cities, and empire. From a race of hunters, artists, warriors, and tamers of horses, we degraded ourselves to what we are now: clerks, functionaries, laborers, entertainers, processors of information."- Ed Abbey

  14. #14
    Senior Member spider solo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Darren sorry to hear of your brothers passing, he sounded like a heck of a nice fellow to take you under his wing and all.
    Very nice writing of what he meant to you and how it all fits together with this website.
    Thanks for letting us know.
    Many condolences to the rest of your family as well.
    "you've got to stand for something'll fall for anything"

  15. #15
    Senior Member Fisher Cat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Thanks for getting right to the root of what makes family and friends, the relationships we share, so valuable to us. Its sad to be mortal, its unique to be loved, and have the opportunity to show love as well.

    Deepest sympathies on the loss to both you and his wonderful family.
    " by reason of much foule weather and Extreme Bad Woods to travel in.."- From the letter of my great uncle Samuel Willard (accompanied by my grandfather Henry) to Governor Dummer on August 16, 1725, explaining the reason for his return, being instructed to "range all the country", of the Wawobadenik (White Mountains) July 19-August 16, 1725. I am a 13th generation New Englander and proud of it.

    Gen. John Stark July 1809

Similar Threads

  1. Big Slide water source
    By TonyL in forum Q&A - New England
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 09-10-2005, 08:59 PM
  2. Source of the Sudbury
    By Tramper Al in forum Trip Reports
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-03-2005, 02:05 PM
  3. True confessions - They're funny cuz they're true.
    By McRat in forum General Backcountry
    Replies: 54
    Last Post: 03-14-2005, 12:09 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts