These stories are mostly email messages Tom wrote and saved on his computer. A few weeks after Tom passed away, I found these and am posting them in his memory. I have removed the recipient's names.
March 17, 2015, 2:55 AM
Hang in there ... another Tom story.
I have one sister and she had three sons. The youngest has now died, and that was two years ago.
The middle son was in college, in a very religious school, and his car died. He is now an ordained minister.
Not known to me he prayed. "Lord, help me, if I am to do your work, then I need a car to get me there."
His prayer was not known to me or Frank.
I swear, a day or two later I called my sister, and said, "I have a problem."
"I have a car neither Frank or I want." "Do you need it?"
She took it and gave it to her son.
I have never before offered her a car, and never since.
We scarcelly talk of this, but it sure seems amazing.
He needed ... and we gave.
March 25, 2015, 2:54 AM
I saw a minister one time in the middle of her sermon call ushers forward and they were to pass out two pieces of paper to every congregant.
After the papers were passed out, she said I want to take ten minutes and want you to write down changes on the first sheet of paper that you would like to see changed in your spouse/your partner/your significant other.
Then she sat down for ten minutes.
After ten minutes, she started again, and said we will take another ten minutes and I want you to write down changes on the second sheet of paper that you need to make in your life to be a better spouse/partner/or significant other.
She then sat down for ten minutes.
Then she stood, and asked if everyone was finished. When she found all to be completed, she said, ok you now have two sheets of paper. Their changes on paper number one, and your changes on paper number two.
She then shocked the congregation when she said, I want you to take the first sheet of paper, and do it now, I want you to tear it to shreds. You have no control over that person, only they can change .. and only when they want to.
I want to concentrate on the second sheet of paper .. which is about you. That is all you control. Only you can change you! I want you to take that paper with you every day this week, and read it several times a day. Let's see what we can do for you.
A brilliant lady.
End of sermon,
April 10, 2015, 10:09 PM
Dyslexia, Part 1
On my first tour in Vietnam, I had a company of 246 men.
As their Company Commander, I also had a personal driver of my Jeep.
I trained him, carefully, because of my dyslexia.
If he was driving and I said, John, please turn right at the next intersection, John would turn right.
But if I was rushed, and said John, turn right, right, right now .. John was trained to turn left...correctly, where I wanted to go.
Once I had a friend in the back of my Jeep and that happened. I said, John, turn right, right, right now .. and John turned left. I said "good man".
My friend in the back of the Jeep said, you guys are a "nut case".
I cannot make up these stories .. they are all true!!!Tom
July 3, 2015, 10:42 AM
A note you might read when you have time.
I wrote this remembrance last night.
It is of an event 47 years ago. But I remember it vividly.
I sent it to a friend in rodeo in Arizona today.
I thought you might like to read it, as it was where I was coming from, and still is.
Yes, I believe Leadership can be taught. But I truly believe Leadership is inherent.
People matter, and at times, need to be cared for.
Story # 2 .. which may be a repeat.
I had two Viet Nam tours.
On my first I helped generate a company of 245 men form a Company at Fort Carson, in Colorado Springs.
I was a First Lieutenant, and had a Platoon of about 70 men.
Once in Viet Nam, I was promoted to Captain and took over my own Company of 270 men.
But still remained friends with my older Captain who was my commander when we went to Viet Nam.
Bottom line, one man in my old platoon had gone AWOL...twice. We were about twenty miles north of Saigon, and he was horny, and went to a whore house twice.
My friend, his commander, spoke to me, and said he was going to court-martial him. The man who went AWOL's name was Thomas Tzeitchek. A young, blonde, 21 year old man.
My job was to run an open warehouse about 1 mile by ½ mile wide. We had everything from lumber, to trucks, to refrigerators....all in open storage.
And I had many men from several different Companies working for me....including Thomas Tzeichek.
Once I knew from my friend, my old Captain, that he was going to court-martial Thomas,...I went into action.
I drove my Jeep out to the work area...found Thomas.....and said "Tom, I need to talk with you in private. Get in my Jeep ... NOW!!!
He did, and I drove to a perimeter of my work area, with no one around.
I then said to him, "what I am going to say to you is private. It is only between you and me. If you mention it to a soul, I will deny we even had this conversation."
I basically said, "Tom, you have screwed up twice because you were horny. We all are horny. But you are going to be court-martialed in the next two weeks, and that scar will be with you the rest of your life."
"You messed up badly, and I am offering you an out." "You were in my Platoon, and I want to help you."
"I will go back to my company tonight, and type up your personal request to transfer to my Company. Your Commander will agree to your request, cause he wants to get rid of you. I will also type up the approval of the Battalion Commander, cause he does not know you. Then I will type up my approval of your transfer to my Company. All of this done in one day."
"I will be back here tomorrow at the same time with all the paperwork. All you have to do is think my terms over, and save your life from the damage of being court-martialed!!! . Then sign the papers I give you, and I will get all the other signatures needed."
"I make you these promises:
You are the lowest rank an enlisted man can be, and we have four months left on your tour in Viet Nam.
I am allowed to promote you one grade per month, and you will leave Viet Nam an E-4, the same way you entered.
He was 21 and I was 24...his commander.
I never regretted those days, and often wonder how Tom is today.
May 31, 2015, 7:04 PM
I have been having personal thoughts the past few days.
Some of them are:
There are other comments, but I will let them go for now.
I will try this approach to resolve these issues. I may not succeed, but I will never even partially succeed, if I do have a plan.
Day One - Re-read the email to be sure I am understanding it correctly. Put it aside for a few hours, and then re-read it again. Under no circumstance should I respond to an email in anger on Day One. Delay responding.
Day Two - Re-read the email again, and determine if it requires a response. If it does, then develop various alternatives for responding. Anticipate various responses to each alternative. Evaluate everything. Again, no response should be sent on Day Two.
Day Three - Discuss your alternatives and evaluations with trusted friends. Answer their questions directly. Listen to their advice, without any rebuttal. Accept all comments. Do not argue or disagree with them, because they are only trying to help you. Then, alone, determine your own path forward.
Day Three and Beyond. - After listening to the advice from friends, determine my own course of action. My course may be different from the advice provided by friends. First determine if an answer is needed. If not, ignore the email. Ignoring the email could well be the best solution.
Once a course of action is determined, evaluate what is the likely consequences of this course of action. Can I accept those consequences, or should I make changes to my approach?
Finally, in all cases, I must protect Frank and myself. I should never let anyone get to me in which they provoke me to immediate anger. I must take my time, evaluate the nuances of the issue, and then make an intelligent choice in answering. Never will I allow others to control my emotions.
Finally, IGRA is only a very small part of my relationships and my being. Place bothersome emails and bothersome individuals in perspective Tom, and if they seem to be in the gutter, do not descend to their level. Take the higher ground .. all of the time.
Tom to Tom .. Amen!!!
June 16, 2015, 3:38 PM
As a kid, I had beagles which my dad hunted with. I still love beagles.
One day I gave my favorite beagle, named Sandy, two steak bones, and I watched him.
He immediately devoured one steak bone, but placed the other steak bone aside.
I thought he would eat it later, but he did not. I watched him, but tried not to let him see me watching.
After he devoured his own steak bone, he picked up the other steak bone in his mouth and walked one block, as I followed him. He shoved the steak bone through the wire fence/kennel to his best friend Joey...also a male beagle.
I saw it happen, did not influence it, and to this day am amazed at what I saw.
My dog taught me a life-time lesson.
June 16, 2015, 3:42 PM
Last November I was at a meeting in Denver and I had stayed in a local hotel. The next morning at -5 degrees below zero I moved my Honda from the parking lot of the hotel to their service road, and stopped the car because something did not sound right. I checked the car and one tire was totally flat.
I turned on the emergency blinkers, but did not move the car for fear of damaging the wheel rim.
On the elevator going back to my room to call AAA, a woman in the elevator asked me, "How is your day going?"
I answered, "Terribly. My car has a flat tire, it is very cold outside, and I am blocking the service road to this hotel."
Her only comment was, "Please come with me." And I did. She entered a hotel employee's only room, picked up a Walkie /Talkie and said, "Maintenance .. we have a guest with a flat tire .. and he is blocking our service road, change his tire now!!!"
I thanked her and immediately took the elevator down to walk to my car. The Maintenance man was already there.
I told him I do not know what money I have in my wallet, but I will give him every dollar I have if he changed my tire.
He said he worked for the hotel and was not allowed to accept money. Another Maintenance man came out and placed orange cones in front of and behind my car for safety.
He began changing my tire and did it expertly, by placing the flat tire under the car in case the jack slipped.
I looked in my wallet as he worked. I had exactly $80. After the tire was changed I asked him to take the $ 80, and he said no. I insisted, I said only you and I are here now, and its damn cold outside, no one at the hotel can see this, take it and then take your wife to dinner tonight at my expense.
And he did.
Case closed. A true story, and you can't make this stuff up.
September 20, 2015, 11:04 AM
To: Tom Lott
Subject: Things That Bother Me
I normally sleep very soundly, but two nights ago I had two very troubling dreams. I cannot say they were nightmares, but can say they were disturbing.
My health is almost excellent, so that is not the worry.
I am trying to rationalize why they occurred and my mind seems to drift to my life's timing this year.
Let me give you three examples.
All of life can be dangerous and fragile, and I have been here before many times. But is sure brings one up short. The timing of us and the events made the difference.
It is just that some events in life are indeed disturbing.
Hope all is well there,
PS - We expect to return home Saturday afternoon. You might place a sign on your garbage cans saying, "Mr./Mrs. Bear. Frank and Tom are expected home this weekend, so you can go back to disturbing their trash cans, and leave Warren and mine alone for a while."
LOL .. I hope they can read.