In Memory

Thomas Rice

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09/17/12 12:13 PM #1    

David Disinger

I got to know Tom a lot better after we left school, partly because we worked together at the Shell gas station that went up at the corner of Genesee Street and Palmer Lane in 1965, but mostly because he was the unofficial "manager" of the rock band I joined just after graduation. I was constantly amazed at all the jobs Tom was able to secure for us, due primarily to his ability to make friends with folks in virtually every "elbow-bending establishment" in central New York. Tom was one who definitely enjoyed hoisting a cold one from time to time, but he had an uncanny ability to defuse disagreements that might have put myself and my bandmates in harm's way. We were all indebted to him on more than one occasion for that ability.

The one vivid memory of Tom that I still have from Baker High is the day when our phys ed class was required to swim as far as we could UNDER water, without coming up for air. Most of us were lucky if we made it from one end to the other. A couple of members of the swimming team made it down and halfway back again. Chastized verbally by the instructor about his smoking habits, and told he'd be better off not to attempt it, Tom proceeded to swim two and a half lenghths of the pool before surfacing. He came out of the pool with a grin that said "take that" before disappearing up the stairs for a shower. That was classic Tom, all the way.

Dave Disinger


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