He was a theater geek in High School (Aside: the woman who played the mother in Gilmore Girls went to school with us. I wonder if she's heard yet?), also other kinds of geek. Had a great home stereo, with a mixing board so he could make mix tapes. Mixing boards weren't all that common in the early 80's. Only a few of us had them, and he was the first. He had multiple tape decks (including an 8-track recorder he'd picked up somewhere), multiple turntables (mounted to isolate them as much as possible), and a receiver. When the CD player came out he was the first of us to get one.
For many years he was a VW enthusiast. His first car was a Microbus, his last VW (20 years later) was a 67 or 8 with a 2.4 liter turbocharged engine. Having exhausted all he could do with VWs he went the other way and got as fuel efficient as he could. He and his wife (of 20 years) were a 2 Prius family.
He was one of the few friends (fewer than 10) I've had since (or before) high school. A few I see regularly because they still live in town, or visit frequently. Others I see once a decade or so if one of us is passing through the other's town, but we still keep in touch. E-mail, cards at Christmas and birthdays, phone calls now and then. One fewer in that crowd now.
Between getting out of the Army and going to rehab I went to his wedding in 89. Stayed sober all day and really enjoyed the day. One of the few days like that for me before AA. He still lived in Va then. He lived near Williamsburg for awhile, then stayed in Winchester until 2003 or so. I saw him every month or two during that period. Heck, Winchester was only an hour away. I'd drive up for the afternoon.
In 03 he moved to Miami. Visited him there when I was in town on business. In 06 he moved to Dallas to help take care of his brother who was in really poor health. His brother is still alive. Still in poor health. Better health than TJ...
He was always a strange dude. Nice guy. Really nice. But strange. Not a bad sort of strange, just very very different.
He was also rich. Not "Live in a mansion, with servants" rich, but he had enough that, if he was careful, he would never have to work. So he lived in lower-middle class neighborhoods in Winchester, or outside of Miami, or near Dallas. Lived modestly. He used his money to support his wife and to do good works. Not the flashy Good Works of so many, but the sort of thing that improves a community without drawing attention. Humble guy.
Raised Catholic, he became a born again Christian. But he read the parts of the Bible that said "Do unto others..." and "Turn the other cheek" and was thus at least as left wing as DailyKos. A left wing born again Christian.
He's gonna be missed.
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