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John Rowell

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July 22, 2014
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July 22, 2014
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August 06, 2008
I remember meeting Tom on the island of Grand Turk in the early 80's. I valued his friendship, humor, and level-headedness. I was amazed with his machinist skills, and even more amazed in his humble nature. It seemed as if there was no mechanical/machinist problem that he couldn't solve after he thought about it for a few minutes, and then after the solution was in place, he'd say something like: "Gee, anybody coulda' figured that out."
I took him out on my 18 ft catamaran in the tricky ocean swells there, and enjoyed teaching him what I knew. I had used the word "cheeseburger" instead of the normal nautical term "Hard to Lee" as the verbal signal to cross to the other side of the boat. When I met Tom again on Antigua a few years later, he made me blush by profusely thanking me for those sailing memories. Tom said that he bought a catamaran when he returned to the states and enjoyed the bonding times he had with his son on it. I can honestly say that I never heard an unkind word said about Tom during my 28 years working on the "range", and now feel a sense of loss, yet a proudness to have known him. Tom, If you somehow have the ability to read these words, I would like to say, "Ready to Come About", and "Cheeseburger!", as you cross to the other side once more.... Until we meet again, Au Revoir, Take Care!
Sincerely,
Mike McKinney
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