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It's been a while since I put my thoughts to words, and today I felt the urge that I needed to. Tom has been gone for too long already, and taken way too soon from us. But the memory of him, what he did, what we all tried to help with, lives on. Today, after an interview for my "real world" job, I found myself going back to my IT support days for Tom and this wonderful organization. But sometimes, I do feel responsible for what occurred in 2009. 😞 Had I not resigned, had I not decided that my personal life was too busy, I would have remained as the IT staff and the hack in 2009 would have never happened. It haunts me. I had the chance to talk about it with Tom before his passing, he tried to assure me I had NOTHING to do with it. but I still cant get passed it; my choice to quit caused that new person to be "hired."

Today, for some reason, I decided to send the hiring authority for this new job a link to the events of 2009 page still found here on AVSIM. Tom and Mrs. A were like a 3rd set of parents for me. (I am lucky enough to have parents and step parents that ALL get along, thus 3rd.) Even so much as when I developed a HUGE blister between my toes in San Diego at the SimCon there, Mrs. A went into nurse mode and assisted me before our flight back to DCA. 🙂 

Tom and I didn't always see eye to eye, we butted heads, we argued, we shouted. But I never stopped enjoying what I did. Even my day job counter-parts will tell you that I blurt out at times, but in the long run I get it done and enjoy the work. But deep down Tom was a mentor for me. Made me smile, made me laugh way more then we ever argued. One night in a bar in the "unofficial" HQ hotel for AVSIM, after my work at the NOC, we met. Mid conversation Tom looks at me, says, "John, your problem is you don't talk enough about YOURSELF." I don't think I have ever had a larger compliment given to me. 

You see, my adage of HOW I.T. should be done, is if we are doing our jobs right, none of you should know we are even there. It should just work. We didn't always hit that goal, but we sure as heck tried. Which I guess is why I am writing this today. I am still very proud of what we did that day and for years with AVSIM. Maybe Tom was in my mind from above today, and for whatever reason I chose to send the hack-blurb about how we helped recover this amazing site. There was so much going on BEHIND the scenes, some of which I am not now and was not then aware of. The flight sim community owes a tremendous thank you to Tom. I hope we never forget that. I know I won't. 

And if I land this job, I am sure Tom will be smiling, and I will silently thank him for helping me get to here. So, Tom, Mrs. A, Bob K and others, thank you. I'll never forget the fun, work, sweat, tears that we all had together. 🙂 

We miss you Tom.

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