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 Sad news for members of the old Knox board

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LL

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Location : KCMO
Registration date : 2007-12-29

PostSubject: Sad news for members of the old Knox board   Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:24 pm

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jhuggett
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PostSubject: Re: Sad news for members of the old Knox board   Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:42 pm

Quote :
CALIA — Thomas James Calia, 66, of Sonora, died Sunday at Sonora
Regional Medical Center. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling
arrangements.

That is horrible news. Damn it!

Will miss you TJ.

That is two all time greats gone in a short manner of time. Two true mentors of the hobby.

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"Freedom, Security, Convenience: Choose Two"
"For me, I will take freedom over security and I will take security over convenience." ~ Dan Geer
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daveinlax

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PostSubject: Re: Sad news for members of the old Knox board   Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:03 pm

Sad new indeed. RIP TJ Sad
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LL

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PostSubject: Re: Sad news for members of the old Knox board   Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:14 pm

It seems a fitting time to repost my "report" to the KnoxBoard of the Great Sonora Smoke-In at TJ's house in May of 2007.

(each attendee added his thoughts to a growing thread as the event progressed, like a field correspondent)

Quote :


So, a resounding DITTO! To every word of the above. ^^^^ To even try to top those descriptions would be like spray painting a rose.

I would like to add two things only:

The choices available following an "anticipated life event" of any type, from movies and picnics to standing on the top of a mountain are:

-- It fell short of expectations
-- It equalled expectations
-- It exceeded expectations

My trip to Sonora made me realize there's a fourth one:

-- Some things are so far out of your experience that the entire concept of "expectations" doesn't even apply. I'm sure Neil Armstrong felt it, standing on the moon; as did the men who piloted the Trieste to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Life lived at a level so wholly different that your experience provides no reference point.

While those are physical examples, I assure you it applies in the same way to people like me who live primarily in their heads, in a world of ideas. I know because I was immersed in it only 36 hours ago. The combinatorial effect of being in the company of the half-dozen absolute gentlemen at TJ's Smoker---brilliant, warm, passionate, generous, talented, knowledgeable, and articulate, one and all---was easily my lifetime high water mark for such occasions, and is now one of the crown jewels in my Life Memory collection. My only two regrets are that it couldn't last forever, and that everyone who wanted to attend, couldn't.

The other thing I want to add concerns TJ. Because of my good fortune in arriving first, and the luxury of not having a commitment or plane to catch afterward, I had more one-on-one time with TJ and Jonnie than anyone else.

And in those hours, I learned this: True Love exists in the world. I'm not referring to the fact that his Bill O'Reilly-affected board persona is an utter sham, and he is one of the kindest and most gentle people who ever lived---but that it is impossible to speak of TJ without also referring to his wife. They share a Love that makes Hollywood's notion of "love" an embarrassment. Not only two of the finest people I've ever known, they are, truly, Spirit Twins joined at the heart.

To have simply been in the same room with such a thing---the purity and intensity of their devotion to each other radiated from the very walls---makes me feel fortunate beyond description, and has caused me to re-evaluate my entire life. Thank you, Tom and Jonnie, from the bottom of my heart.

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Bub

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PostSubject: Re: Sad news for members of the old Knox board   Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:04 pm

I am so sorry to hear this news.
TJ was the first person to welcome me to the BOB.
I now you Knox guys had a great time the Great Sonora Smoke.
LL-do you still have pictures?
Bub
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PostSubject: Re: Sad news for members of the old Knox board   Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:23 pm

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March 8. 2011 -- Thomas James Calia, 66, of Sonora, died Sunday at Sonora Regional Medical Center. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
Wow.

First reaction is, of course, sadness.

But here was a guy who did competitive (Rocky) mountain mountain biking, and took hiking to the limit of human endurance who, by the time we knew him, was confined to a wheelchair. That would have to suck for anybody. But for somebody like him . . . Wow.

And he never let on about it, either. I doubt if ten people in the pipe board world ever knew about it, and I doubt if any of us know why to this day. To preserve the spirit and attitude he did is beyond impressive. Release from an ordeal like that would have to come as a relief. The last couple years, though he knew how much people loved him, he retired from the board world, so people wouldn't be able to catch little hints of him deteriorating. If I miss not my guess, Huggie even retired his icon, the way the Yankees retired Babe Ruth's number. That's the kind of respect the Capo merited.

Well done indeed, Sir !

And what can you say about the generosity of a guy who, because he wants his friend to be able to try his favorite tobaccos, sends him a box of selections from his famous migratory ice chests that weighs twenty pounds ?

That was the Capo di Tutti Capi (an affectionate nickname) too.

We should have called him Lionheart. Gonzo athletics aside, I doubt if many here could have matched the sheer cojones it took to start at the Bank of America re-possessing appliances in East LA and Watts (and going on from there to retire as a VP).

Damn, I miss that guy ! But I'm happy for him that he's gone home.

Now he can hang out and talk with Job, instead of reading about him in the book.

As the Irish say, "We shall not see his like again."

Requiem aeternam dona eis domine et lux perpetua luceat eis.


What a Face




Last edited by Yak on Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Carlos
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PostSubject: Re: Sad news for members of the old Knox board   Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:32 pm

I didn't know it would hit me this hard.

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"Never turn your back on a Breen".
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Bub

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PostSubject: Re: Sad news for members of the old Knox board   Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:00 pm

Yak said
Quote :
But here was a guy who did competitive (Rocky) mountain mountain biking, and took hiking to the limit of human endurance who, by the time we knew him, was confined to a wheelchair. That would have to suck for anybody. But for somebody like him . . . Wow.
I would like to know more about TJ than was listed in the obituary.
While I had no idea of his endurance activities or confinement to a wheelchair, I remember him from the Knox board as being a kind caring person who wanted to help others. After one of my posts about buying pipes, he sent me a pm that touched on his background and offered sound advice.
Bub
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puros_bran
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PostSubject: Re: Sad news for members of the old Knox board   Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:47 pm

Damn.
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Slow Puffs
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PostSubject: Re: Sad news for members of the old Knox board   Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:06 am

Indeed, sad... one of the first persons I traded tobacco with across the border...
I recall receiving back an aged tin of Marlin Flake. I didn't want to open it, but he chewed me out, insisting that I give a full report to him on how I liked or disliked the Marlin Flake.

Fiesty... tj never backed down from an argument... If his cellar is still listed here, you will get an idea of how meticulous he was about our hobby.

Peace and blessings, tj
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LL

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Location : KCMO
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PostSubject: Re: Sad news for members of the old Knox board   Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:29 am

Bub wrote:

LL-do you still have pictures?

Sadly, no. All manner of files were lost this past Spring when my computer burned up (literally).

Several other guys who attended probably have a full set, though. Everyone was snapping away and we swapped afterward.
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bronxbill

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PostSubject: Re: Sad news for members of the old Knox board   Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:50 pm

Sad. As a short time member of the Knox board, I remember reading the details of the "Smoke in" and seeing the pictures.
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PostSubject: Re: Sad news for members of the old Knox board   Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:51 pm

Quote :
I would like to know more about TJ than was listed in the obituary.

One story : He's an inner-city Italian boy, standing on a street corner in his air force uniform, on weekend leave.

A convertable pulls up to the curb and the girl in it (who grew up on a ranch in Montana) opens the door and says, "Get in."

And that's how Mr. TJ met Mrs. TJ.

"Montana Ranch Wimmen" (his term) are serious business.

He used to sneak out and climb over the fence around the base to see her when he couldn't get leave. Got caught once and did some time in the brig. Doubt if that deterred him any . . .

What a Face





Last edited by Yak on Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ol'Dawg

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PostSubject: Re: Sad news for members of the old Knox board   Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:54 pm

Thanks for posting LL. That's some really sad news to hear. He provided a lot of helpful information to me about tobaccos, pipes and stores via PM and email. Though I never got to meet him, I know he was a kind and generous person not like the persona he sometimes portrayed on the board. (Bill O'Reilly as someone has mentioned)

I recall on the Knox board a long time ago he listed his 5 top tobaccos as Brown Clunee, Brown Clunee, Brown Clunee, Brown Clunee, Brown Clunee. From his post, I decided to try some and still smoke it today always keeping at least a dozen tins on hand. To me it's better than what most people consider the top three--Old Gowrie, Marlin Flake, and Hal'O Wynd. Thanks, Tom...I'm smoking some in your memory now. Rest in peace without pain and confinement to a wheel chair. Having been in one for several months, I know the frustration.

Jim
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PostSubject: Re: Sad news for members of the old Knox board   Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:07 pm

Checked the next day's obits to see if there were a fuller account of his life, doings and relatives. Nope.

Typical of him. You've got to pay the paper money for that, and that's not something he would waste money on. Bunker Buster bombs of aged tobacco on friends, yes. Something like that, nada.

Damn, Capo ! We hardly knew ya !

What a Face
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Carlos
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PostSubject: Re: Sad news for members of the old Knox board   Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:19 pm

For those that may be wondering, at this time, midday on 3/10/11. No arrangements have been made for a memorial service.

_________________


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Slow Puffs
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PostSubject: Re: Sad news for members of the old Knox board   Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:44 pm

Here's a picture....

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Midnight Blues
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PostSubject: Re: Sad news for members of the old Knox board   Thu Mar 10, 2011 5:12 pm

What sad news. TJ and I would go back and forth about vinyl recordings for days, I sure have missed him over the last few years. Would have been nice to have met him in person.
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puros_bran
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PostSubject: Re: Sad news for members of the old Knox board   Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:23 pm

You know Cappo is, as I type, telling the Boss how to better regulate Hells temperature by the use of Igloo coolers.. Giving ole Gabriel grief about not using mathematics to arrange the stars in a manner where no two colors touch, preaching Group 5/6 straight billiards to Micheal, and trying to convince St Pete that streets of gold and gates of pearl aren't secure or giving any return and that they really need to be deposited.

All the while Ken is sitting on his folding steel chair, smoking his Warclub, tossing the occasional jab to keep TJ going " BoB- boring old. Billiard"... "Hey old man, I was a Yoda first"

We are missing all the fun boys.
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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: Sad news for members of the old Knox board   Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:15 pm

I haven't been around much here lately, but I'll set aside my sabbatical to pay due respects to a good man and a fine friend. TJ was great to me. He was one of the first on Knox to befriend me, to show me the kindness and generosity that forum was known for, and was gracious enough to invite me to his home. It was a pleasure knowing him and a loss both here and personally that he has left us. Godspeed Tom, and rest in peace.

This one hit particularly hard. Too many fine men passing away lately........

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These are horrible times and all sorts of horrible people are prospering, but we must never let this disturb our equanimity or deflect us from our sacred duty to annoy and hinder them at every turn.
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eggman
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PostSubject: Re: Sad news for members of the old Knox board   Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:42 pm

TJ will be missed. He helped me a lot at the old Knox board when I first started on the pipe. The last box pass I was in here I still have the tin he put in for everyone with the sticker compliments from TJ's cellar. He also gave me a few recomendations on a some cigars as well. A truely great man that will be missed.
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Mikem
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PostSubject: Re: Sad news for members of the old Knox board   Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:42 am

Wow, very sad news indeed. I still regret not being able to attend the Smoke Out at his place during the old Knox days. TJ was always instrumental with the early Spring Forward Box Passes and was always asking about my son who is in the Navy. As Puros said, I'll bet he and Ken are having a grand ole time while enjoying a bowl together. If Heaven doesn't need a banker I'm sure TJ has convinced the Boss that he does and how to invest his streets of gold so that they become streets of platinum.
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Vito

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PostSubject: Re: Sad news for members of the old Knox board   Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:49 pm

The Brotherhood of Sonora started on the Knox board, and was a big part of the foundation of this board. It extended beyond those who attended the event, as Jason well knows, and so do Yak, Carlos, pb, gatewheel (JT), SlowPuffs, alfredo buscatti, and gospelman too...and prolly some others whom I'm forgetting. They were all there in spirit.

Those who attended in the flesh were TJ (Tom), LL (George), cdstuart (Charles), CP (Gary), Puff Daddy (Jim), glpease (Greg), and yours truly. But the heart of the event—the real heart, the thing that set the tone—was TJ, Jonnie, and their friend Jean.

It was the kind of thing that happens in a dream. Something about people of good will always assuming the best of each other, not the worst. I think that's why it spilled over and affected so many others.

It was a dream, and dreams are tenuous things. But for a while, it was a good dream. A very good dream. It never would have happened without TJ.

"Vito have sad."
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LL

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PostSubject: Re: Sad news for members of the old Knox board   Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:44 pm


Did anyone else notice that the entire board virtually shut down the day after this announcement?

The closest thing to a collective moment of silence I've ever seen here, and infinitely more meaningful because it was entirely unplanned.

I truly hope the Universe allows for such things to known by the departed.
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Tak

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PostSubject: Re: Sad news for members of the old Knox board   Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:36 pm

I think the universe knows and I think TJ knows.
I'm glad for the moment of silence. It's very meaningful.

Tak
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