By Rich Jones

Hello Sander,

I met your father in Big Piney, WY late 1970s before either of us were married.  Tom dated your mother, Jesse, and I dated her sister Tina.  Tom and I hit it off from the start because he and I were the only young, educated males in the oil-boom town.

What I enjoyed most about Tom was his confident, quiet, easy-going personality.  It was always a pleasure to be with him.  Tom and I were both busy doing our jobs in order to feed our hungry faces and keep from freezing in "The Ice-Box of the Nation".  We never went hunting or fishing together, but Tom's stories inspired me to fish and hunt rabbits for my frying pan.

In the early 1980s, I visited Tom, Jesse, and 2 rambunctious little boys at a farmhouse on MacIlhattan Road.  I was awestruck by the extensive carpentry work he had done alone to make the house a home for his family.  I especially remember the attic playroom he built for you and your brother.

After completing my PhD-Chemistry at MSU (87), I moved to Boulder, CO for work.  Tom also moved from Bozeman, but somehow I heard that he was with USFS in Vernal, UT with his sons.  At that time I may have mailed a letter to Tom.

After 20-some years as a laser-jock at CU-Boulder, NIST-Boulder, and Vanderbilt University, I landed a job back in Bozeman (2007).  While reading the Bozeman Daily Chronicle one day, I saw the name "Tom Pick".  He had been an advisor somewhere and his work was recognized.  I phoned the USFS, left a message for Tom, and he called me back quickly.  He and I had a beer at Montana Aleworks.  After decades apart, it was so spiritually refreshing to see Tom's face, hear his voice, and be, again, in his gentle aura.

Tom, your father, was an unforgettable human being.  He was a man who left a gentle, but indelible, footprint on this Earth and on many lives.  I will see you Saturday.

Richard Jones