Today our friend Gene called us to tell us that Tim passed away this morning. Tim's passing was very sudden. I first met Tim when I was 16. Tim, our friend Chris, my brother and I played many an hour of Risk and chess in high school and college and beyond while listening to music ranging from Jethro Tull to early U2 to Joy Division to Bowie to UFO to Springsteen to Kate Bush to the Sundays to almost anything rock in the 70s (we finished high school in 1977) or rock/post-punk in the 80s. I still remember Tim's baby blue Gremlin with an 8-track player.
When I was in law school, Tim was my roommate for a period of time, but he soon moved back to the small town from which we both finished high school. We drove many a mile for many a hike in the Ouachita or Ozark mountains. We went to chess tournaments and played sandlot sports in almost any season or weather. Tim did not find college to his liking, though he was able to pass courses with very little work. He worked most of his life as a supermarket employee. Tim was one of those guys you meet in life, who charms women, avoids easy labels or trends, and refuses to kowtow to any of the various powers that be. He was a thoughtful, complex man.
Tim and I fell out of touch with one another about seven years ago. We didn't really have a falling out--it just seemed that we drifted apart gradually. I last ran into he and his wife and then very young daughter in a now-defunct cafe in Camden called Tiger Harry's. Ten days ago, Gene had given me his phone number, as I expressed an interest in getting back in touch. I did not yet follow through, though, so we had not spoken in the past several years.
Tim once said to me that some of the best times he ever had were on aimless long drives with me to the middle of nowhere--I'm sure he would have included similar drives with our mutual friend Gene in that description. I felt the same way--those were formative times for me.
Tim was 51. He left behind his wife and daughter. I'm very sorry that he's gone. I am never full of easy words about a passing. I am without many words tonight.