Wednesday, March 07, 2007

From Our "Circle Of Life" Department: Tommy Moore Is Dead

Tommy Moore died Sunday. I don't have any details other than what they had in the obit at

It sorta broke my heart to hear about his death. Wade called tonight just as I was delivering a pizza, and as it was slightly before 7:00 I figured I'd wait until after 7:00 to call him back (and thus avoid using minutes), but by the time 7:00 arrived I was back at the store, and then I forgot to call him until I was on my way home.

He asked if I'd gotten his e-mail, and I hadn't, so he told me over the phone. And, again, it sorta broke my heart.

Don't get me wrong; Tommy and I weren't best buds or anything. But, in addition to attending Junior High and High School with him, we spent some time at Center Elementary together. We were two of... what, maybe 30? You spend seven years in a classroom with the same 30 kids or so, you feel as if you know them very well--even if that was--brace yourselves--28 years ago.

Tommy wasn't in our class from kindergarten on, however. He started going to Center in 5th grade, I think--maybe earlier. He was a big boy. He was as big as I thought I was.

He was the first person who ever told me what was obviously a complete and total insane lie where I thought, "That is obviously a complete and total insane lie." The lie had to do with Linda Carter having a wardrobe malfunction in an episode of Wonder Woman, and her subsequent running "offstage" while covering her nakedness.

The "offstage" part is what cued me in to the total-lie-ed-ness of his story. Any 5th-grader knows they don't have a "stage" in a television series. The "stage" is what they have in the gym.

I remember being totally taken aback, trying to figure out if it was my responsibility to say, "That's such a total crock! That didn't happen!" or if I should just say "Wow," and move on with my life. I chose the latter. Come to think of it, that was a very formative moment for me.

And the point of that story isn't to say, "What a liar-head that Tommy was," as we were in fifth grade at the time...

In high school--or maybe jr. high--Tommy went out for basketball. One of the coaches called him "Massive", and this kinda cruel nickname stuck. I, thinking I was as large as he, was never really comfortable using the name.

Now I'm left wondering how he felt about the nickname--both at the time and as an adult. Odd how you think of things you'd like to ask after it's too late to do so, isn't it? Or is that just run-of-the-mill human nature?

Tommy was a pretty nice guy in high school. I have vague memories of not-as-nice moments, but nothing abnormal for a adolescent male in the 1980s.

He was so excited about our 10-year reunion... I got in touch with him and he ran with the ideas we'd discussed on the phone. He'd lost a lot of weight and seemed to really have his life together. I'm thinking that reunion in 1995 is the last time I saw him. We had a night gathering at what used to be the Holiday Inn in Hannibal. We also had a picnic out at Mark Twain Lake. He organized the food was very much the in-control guy.

So, based on that reunion and the phone calls preparing for it, last I knew, he'd turned out to be a pretty great guy.

I'm trying to see if I can remember all of my classmates who have passed away since graduation... Brian Schoeneman passed away from the same thing that almost killed me about a week beforehand back in 2005. Chad Laird died several years back. I'm thinking that's it... at least the ones I know of.

How fun to be the age where you start keeping track of who from your childhood is now gone.

Anyway, Tommy's moved over to the "moved on" column. And it sorta breaks my heart.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Melissa Bird and Les Huston died our sophomore year, and hopefully that is it for the "moved on" list for a long while. Tommy actually liked his nickname because it made him feel accepted, at least that's what he told me (I asked about the use of it in the yearbook, I objected, but he said it was okay). He was a great guy, and MTHS class of 85 now has a Massive whole were he should be.