RIP Paradox :(

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Oct 4, 2006
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New Hampshire
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It's with a heavy heart that the family of John Messinger (known here as Paradox) has asked me to write this post to inform everyone that yesterday while doing what John loved he suffered a fatal heart attack.
As soon as anymore information comes available I will post here for services and such.
Thank you for your understanding while Sue and Adam grieve for the loss of such a wonderful husband and father. — feeling heartbroken.


John (on a trip with many VFTTers) on Bond, with his friend "Karen Onatopp", February, 2012


John (on a trip with many VFTTers) on WestBond, Flags on the 48, 2011


John (on a trip with many VFTTers) on Adams, Flags on the 48, 2010


John, Ed (OldMan) and Tim, Moriah, January, 2010

I will miss you, my punny friend!



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Sue (his wife) posted that "A memorial service will be held on Saturday at 11am at St. Mathews Church Plymouth, NH. All are welcome."
I must relate a story about John. We had not met yet, but out of the blue, John invited us to come to the whites, and stay for a weekend at his house. As it turned out, he was not even going to be home when we arrived, but he simply told us that he had placed 2 dog biscuits on the door step, and to give them to Zippy and Chip (his Black and Chocolate labs), and they would love us forever. So, when we arrived, we fed the dogs, and made ourselves "at home" in a "stranger's" house. We were never strangers after that. John spent numerous weekends at our house and vice versa. He was generous, friendly and as many of you know, once a pun war got started, few could match his wits!

Tim's pictures bring back fond memories of our several trips together for Flags on the 48.

FWIW, John was a 115'er, W48'er, and did trail maintenance. He also enjoyed biking, kayaking, and woodworking.

He will be missed.
It happened at a kayak race in CT. He was about 1/2 mile from the finish when he collapsed and capsized. I was three boats behind him. The two closest to him pulled him from his boat and then four or five us took turns providing CPR near the shore until the rescue boat could get to us and transport him to the boat ramp.

I’d raced with him over the past two years but only recently realized we had a similar passion for the mountains. Then I learned he was the famed jmmdds - poster of great gps tracks on Wikiloc. Now learning he was paradox - someone I used as a reference quite often when I was starting out. It truly is a small world.

He was always upbeat and positive and I enjoyed talking with him and was looking forward to more conversations about our mountain pursuits.
I am very saddened to learn the news of John's premature passing. John was a friend of all things hiking and that included the ADK High Peaks Foundation to which he made generous donations. I will never forget when he learned of my and Glen Bladholm's (mastergrasshopper) attempt of a Pemi loop in March 2010. Between Galehead and Garfield he showed up with Zippy the "water dog" and filled our parched stomachs and
hydration units with Gator Aid and water. That was the kind of great guy John was.
I am shocked. John was my dentist the past few years in Plymouth and we've hiked in winter to Isolation and Hale via Firewarden's Trail. I saw him a couple of months ago sharing his enjoyment of his new passion, kayaking, as I looked on at the pictures he proudly posted on the wall in his office. He was funny with a fantastic sense of humor. I really did not know that I would miss him until now.
FWIW, John was a 115'er, W48'er, and did trail maintenance. He also enjoyed biking, kayaking, and woodworking.

John also holds the distinction of telling some of the worst puns I've ever heard in my entire life.

One of my favorite facts about John is his "Paradox" screen name is actually in reference to his "Pair-of-Doc(torates)" - John was not only a doctor of Dentistry, but also a PhD Chemical Engineer!

John was an incredibly smart and caring man and will be sorely missed by our family.

In memory of John, here's one of his terrible puns that always stuck with me:

Paradox said:
Q: What is the best time of day for a Dentist?
A: 2:30

<long pause with a bewildered audience>

A: Get it - Tooth-hurty!

<audience groans>

Image is John's 115 completion on Big Slide in 2014.

Very sad to hear this. John was a very friendly man. I appreciated his puns, as well as his contributions to the mountains (including trail maintenance on a local trail, as well as experiments with new canister design). May he rest in peace.
I met John on a winter hike up Hale some years ago. It was there that he told me what his username meant. Funny guy. He will be sorely missed. RIP, John. I offer my condolences to his family and friends.
I am deeply saddened to hear about this.

I first met John on the summit of Moosilauke several years ago, as we were among the many hikers joining Jay H on his Northeast 115 finish. Because John and I corresponded so much on VFTT, it was like meeting an old friend. We exchanged a big bear hug and later hiked the South Peak and down the Carriage Road, along with Puck and Bobby. I learned quickly about John and his many puns that day.

About 18 months later, I hiked with John up Monroe, Washington and Jefferson on a bluebird day in January, along with Jason Berard and Rocket 21. Later that day, John, Jason and I watched the Pats squeak by the Ravens in the AFC Championship game. We miraculously found a table there, right in front of the TV. Many beers were drunk and a mountain of comfort food was devoured. Jason and I witnessed John pounding down a whole bunch of hot dogs. Think he could have competed with Joey Chestnut or Kobayashi in the Coney Island hot dog eating contest.

The last time I hiked with John was a Bonds-Zealand traverse, as mentioned earlier by Tim. Later that night, John, Jason, Larry D and I had dinner in Lincoln and drove to the car spot on Route 302 near Zealand Road. John and Larry D exchanged some rather "interesting" jokes on that drive, much to the delight of Jason and me. I don't know if I ever laughed harder than on that 40 minute drive.

John was a great guy. Am fortunate to have met him. He will be sorely missed.
RIP Paradox. As Marty stated, the last (and I think only) time I hiked with John was the winter B-Z traverse. Despite the long day, we still had time after the hike to share pizza and beer and (as Marty also notes) some very inappropriate jokes. Wish I had hiked with him more often. A couple of my friends hiked Flags with him this year, on Eisenhower. Sorry I could not join them.

Always sad when an old Views friend passes. It has happened too often.
I forget when I met John. We were working NEHH at same time so we teamed up to tag some of the HH peaks in Maine. I recall one weekend visiting the Crockers and Reddington one rainy day and visiting E Kennebago the next day together. Here is silly selfie of two knuckleheads looking very damp coming off Reddington at end of our excursion.


I may have met him at Annual Crawford Notch Bird Count. John participated in that event most years. We did some three bird watching trips up Mount Crawford, Stairs, and Dome. We never booked too many bird sightings. I think his bad puns scared the birds away. Here is snapshot of John ready to go at trail head for Crawford 18 December 2012


Here is nice snap shot of John on Stairs Mountain Ledges on 17 Dec 2011 with Rocky Branch Valley in background.


John was a true craftsman. I had good fortune to have him show me projects he was working on in his work shop – a kayak, a canoe, and camper trailer. Last time I saw him was in his workshop in December 2016. He was working on teardrop camper. I hope he got to use it some before he passed.


A canoe in progress



I send my sincere condolences to his wife and family.


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