Organizing the Weekends
It was an obvious joke, but one Thomas Collins could not resist. "Tom Collins, like the drink," he would say, introducing himself to strangers and clients at Sandler O'Neill & Partners, where he was a managing director. And when he wasn't trying to get a laugh out of someone, Mr. Collins, 36, an avid skier and outdoorsman, was busy organizing weekend adventures and outings for his friends and family.
"He was just always on," said Jennifer Hamel, his younger sister. "On Thursdays, he would start calling people, asking about the weekend: 'O.K., what are we doing this weekend, where are we going?' He loved being pulled in a million different directions."
Though Mr. Collins has been identified among the dead, Mrs. Hamel said she and her family continue to imagine him coming home, just as he did after the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, and telling stories about his fight to survive. "Even though I know," Mrs. Hamel said, "I keep thinking he's on a long business trip and he's going to be home soon."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 8, 2001.