John McKenzie and Shaun Reynolds – memories of Tom Thurber

(From John McKenzie)
Okay, Man of Steel, I have rambled enough. You were an enigma, a hyperbole,
a paramount, a huge tribute to life itself of which you were bigger than, a
gentle Man with tattooed hands, a motorcycle rider who wrote beautiful songs
in the key of life, which was usually limited to one, or, at most, two
chords, in the fashion of Lou Reed and Neil Young. You married a beautiful
woman and have a beautiful daughter. I will find that picture someday of
Tiana when she was two, with those blazing eyes and perfect countenance and
send it to you.
I Love You, Tom. 
Your Pal, Johnnie Angel
(From Shaun Reynolds)
Dear All,
I just wanted to pass along a couple of favorite Thurber memories for you fellow e-wakers.  After Mike(Farnam) and I moved back to the Bend in the mid 70's, Tom and his then family were living on a rented farm in North Liberty about 20 miles outside of town. Not that he was tilling the land or anything, he just liked the life of the country squire. And he had a barn. It was big enough that Tom had mounted a basketball hoop on one wall and we would cop a buzz and play ball in the dimly lit barn until we had to quit because we were all wheezing too badly from the opaque cloud of dust we had kicked up. But the most memorable event there was a New Years party he threw ('76?,77?). We all drank the kool-aid and sang songs and opened presents, one of which turned to be a game of Rock'em Sock'em Robots (which of course was for one of the kids). So we immediately proceeded to play it for the next two and a half hours, until a particularly crushing left actually decapitated one of the contestants. I have never laughed so hard and so long before or since. And it wasn't just the kool-aid.  Sensei Tom had shown me the truly zen possibilities of martial arts I had never imagined until then. I'm sure all of us who knew him are nodding in recognition of similar intangibles we got from him, but you just can't explain him to someone who didn't…
Shaun Reynolds

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