Retirement Announcement

Thomas William Scott

(This position will not be refilled.)

April 19th, 2003

This is me and my little brother, Tom, in 1967.
A black-and-white photo always makes things seem kind of simple.

90 South 6th Street, Independence, Oregon = HOME

Tom and I had a lot of fun -- usually with tape recorders, cameras, clothes. He was a natural actor. He often put on my clothes and pretended to be me. When we didn't know what else to do, we would pick a topic and argue about it for the sake of arguing.

Tom Scott pretending to be a geeky Kevin Scott

He had a very sharp wit. He was a great chess player, too. When he was playing on the team it would almost kill me when he lost a game. He didn't care. Here he is waiting for a match to rank among the top ten of the tournament.

We hid in this room while waiting for the next match and Tom showed me he was relaxed. He won his next match.

We kind of lost touch when I went into the Army. He had school, and I was being kept busy, too. But we spent a lot of time together up to the date I had to report.

Acting silly.

He made new friends and came out of the closet. He told me it was easiest to tell Dad, but that Mom had an unusual interest in the actual mechanics of homosexuality.

News Flash: No Pussy.

The next time we really spoke was when Mom died. We came back to Salem to help out Dad. We picked up the ashes and came home, all had a drink, and were sharing memories when it hit me that Mom's ashes were still in the trunk of the car. Could I just stand up and say,
"Just a sec, Dad, I left Mom in the trunk..."
I could see on Tom's face that he understood and knew exactly what I was thinking. Mom spent the night in the trunk and we joked about it the next day.

Tom was diagnosed with diabetes but was always sketchy about giving any details. I've known people who joined Alcoholics Anonymous so they would have something to talk about with complete strangers... kind of a club. The drinking was a means to an end. Tom was this way about his illness. It was a good topic of conversation when it suited him, but as far as I know, he did not allow it to change his lifestyle. After the first incident in April, he lost consciousness in the company of friends in his own apartment. Everything of value, including his ID card, was stolen before he was delivered to the hospital. He wanted money from me again and I gave him a little grief.

Look!, I can write a whole postcard and even mention your Bearded Dragon lizard without asking for money!

I wired him the money but told him we should talk about getting his life together. In one of his last phone calls to Dad, he said he was going to go out and get a bottle of wine and some cigarettes and retire for the evening. There were no friends with him this time. His landlady found him unconscious on the floor. I'm hoping he got himself a good bottle of wine.
He died yesterday.

Consider yourself retired, little brother.

From a better place.