Stories

The Boy Next Door

Shared by Patti Dobarzynski on February 19, 2020
Thad you are that boy...the boy next door....  I was 10 years old when Thad and his family moved next door to us in Chatsworth, CA.  The moment I met him, I had a crush.  Those big brown eyes and those silly faces only he could make.  And I can honestly say, I think I stayed grounded from ages 10 to 16 due to him and the Dormire garage gang.  I could not resist being on the back of his mini bike, or motorcycles.  And it never failed, as we would be coming down Blackhawk street, so would my Dad and yep, I was grounded...once again.   But Thad always cared or he felt guilty, lol.  Every night he would come to my bedroom window and we would talk for hours upon hours while I was grounded - mainly he would talk, as I was so very shy back then.  I knew someday he would be a great writer, because he could tell a story like no other.  My Mom and Dad really loved Thad though.  My Dad trusted him - just not with me on the back of his bikes.  My father was a Mason, and I was a Rainbow Girl with the Masonic Lodge.  Due to my Dad's career, he traveled a great bit.  One of our money raising projects was to roll newspapers and take them to the flower mart in LA.  When my Dad was away, he would trust Thad (at the age of 16) to take me to the mart with my Dad's car, pulling a trailer filled with rolls of paper, at 3AM in the morning to LA to unload.  I would treasure these rides at 14 years old, because we would talk about anything and everything and  we'd listen to rock and roll.  When I was 16 we moved to Tehran, Iran and I did not see Thad again until he was in the Airforce.  We saw each other during one of his visits back home, when I was 22.  He never lost touch with me, throughout the years.  He would always find me, because that is what Thad did.  He stayed in touch with all of his friends.  Me not so much.....so I am so glad he did.  We always had so much to talk about, our lives, our relationships good and bad.  We consoled each other when we were hurting and always found something to laugh about.  He stayed in touch with my Dad until my Dad passed.  8 years ago I began writing a book - A Blonde in Iran.  Thad so graciously took the task of editing it.  I would send him my copy and man oh man what he could do with a red pen.  Ouch!  And I thought I was pretty decent at writing.  He'd mark it up and send back and say...sweetie go on back to the drawing board and do it again!  Even then he would be so kind and so positive.  And now I dedicate my book to him.  Thad.....my sweet boy next door....you took friendship to a whole new level.  You are the ultimate friend that everyone just hopes and prays they will have in their life.  I know you are in heaven, telling your stories, meeting up with all your buds that enter those gates before you.  But have no doubt you will be the one telling all the stories and all others will be laughing till they are crying. I will love you forever.

Gone too soon

Shared by Annie Oliver on February 18, 2020
From the first time we met, it was laughter and fun.  We had a mutual love of writing, riding and vocabulary, which was a very funny first conversation.  When asked if he yells "Geronimo" when jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, he said he preferred "Banzai".  Thinking up fun pranks to play on unsuspecting neighbors, silly moments and ice cream bars, teaching me about Uber in exchange for me teaching him about Airbnb...  Byron was a fun friend who respected all of life, teaching me that there is a reason for all of God's creatures...even spiders.  Sometimes, God puts someone in your life who is not meant to be there for long, but your heart is forever changed because of them.

Goofy VM

Shared by Bill Derby on February 12, 2020
I dont know if this will play but over 20+ years were always goofing on each other with voice mails impersonating generals, police officers and such he left me this on from the National Umbrella Association. 

A funny thing happened on the way to the DZ

Shared by Bill Derby on February 12, 2020
You may have heard of military actions such as Operation Urgent Fury or Just Cause but you have probably never hear of Operation Windsack(deu) which took place in the FRG around 1984. An elite team of 3AD SPC members with code names such as Byron, Bill, Steve and Ron were tasked with over taking and capturing a windsock on a bridge over a high valley on the autobahn. Over coarse this was a night mission, camo and stealth required. Once the windsock had been captured it was time to take it back to the base for interrogation. Upon arrival at the gate we found that no members of said team had bothered to bring an ID and with a 20ft steel pole hanging off the side of the car and said windsock in the trunk we manage to produce a Deutsche Bahn train pass and the guard waved us on. This windsock was later spotted next to our pea pit on the drop zone.
Shared by Lisa Randolph on February 8, 2020
Our searching souls.....

My Brother!

Shared by John McKay on February 7, 2020
The passing of you Byron has hit hard. I was in a stupor that day I saw Ellie's post and  saddened every time I think of you gone. Dang, I just wished you, along with many others, Happy Birthday 2 weeks ago. And had dinner with you in early Jan on your way through Tucson as we had done a few times before. That evening we laughed at some of our escapades back in Keesler AFB in late '79. We were doing some crazy stuff. We always laughed at how many times we would sneak off base under the fence and go a block to the apartment Lisa and I had to eat home cooking. Or when the three of up took off for Mardi Gras having gotten our faces painted and barely making it back for roll call still laughing and again, under the fence.
 I was on hold as you went ahead to tech school but we linked up at Shaw AFB. We parted for awhile as you went to Korea and I to Panama. We still occasionally wrote letters, yes, mail back then. Over the years we would link up and it was always like we just saw each other the day before so synonymous with Brothers in the military.
I remember when we visited you at the academy and you got Andria and Jason hooked up in harnesses on the swing landing trainers. Andria liked it so much that at 16 she did a tandem jump.
You were a great teacher Byron and I know you taught and inspired many. You also had a way of calming folks so they learned or jumped better. You are missed by all as you touched many hearts and minds my Brother, till Valhalla!

Thad

Shared by Jennifer Breniff on February 4, 2020
I am so verysad to hear this.  Thad was such a great friend to my late husband, Bill.  After Bill passed Thad was so good at calling me and checking on me.  We became close friends through the years.  I loved hearing about his newest writings and he sent me a couple of the books he published.  When Bill’s and my kids were very young, Bill and I took flying lessons and got our pilots licenses.  Thad was a huge influence .  Later, Bill started bailing out of planes just like Thad.  Our kids will never forget the morning he and their Dad went to the Apple Vally airport and got into our plane, then flew over our house.  Thad jumped out onto our front lawn. We were all standing right there as he landed. Totally illegal but...those two were dare devils.
I truly thought Thad would out live us all.  He was always so full of love and life.  Such a good man. I’m missing you Thad.  I am sure you and Billy B. have reunited and haven’t stopped talking.  The memories I have with all The Dormire Garage Gang still make me laugh.  The night that you Thad, Dave, Hamilton, Hubbard, Weinke, and Gebhardt all decided to hypnotize me. I still wonder today if my body truly did levitate like you said.  It doesn’t matter....I’m laughing.  I know most of your group has passed.  My heart is heavy. Love and hugs to all. Jenny

Kramer

Shared by Lonnie Loeschner on February 4, 2020
Brother you will be missed. We had long talks and disagreements. But, at the end of the conversations, I knew I still had a friend. We shared many of laughs. You even wanted to help my daughter with her writing.
 I know you rode and I wanted to ride with you. One day we will go on rides. 
Miss ya buddy. Love ya stop guarding the 6 we have this.

Amigo

Shared by Mas Hoehn on February 4, 2020
I really tried to convince you that my Grandfather helped dig the hole East of Flagstaff known as the Meteor Crater,then proceed to take money from tourists like you but you were never convinced, thanks for the phone call every time you drove by thereafter! Thanks for organizing the Harley rides. Thanks for the tandem videography and ensued friendship that lasted through the years. Thanks for the twisted humor that made all of us laugh so damn hard.
Too short Byro... too short. Until we meet again... R.I.P., we got this.

Rest In Peace Cousin

Shared by Suzie Troogstad on February 4, 2020
Thad you wil be so deeply missed. I am struggling so hard trying to put words together to tell you how much you meant to me and all the Gearhart family. Vacations to visit you in California, get togethers in Colorado Springs and phone calls to just catch up are such special memories. Watching your beautiful daughter grow up and now your granddaughter to follow in her footsteps. My fondest memory though was the motorcycle ride through the mountains of Colorado and losing the key to the Harley. You went all the way back to the Springs to get another so we could finish our ride and then here came the rain, in buckets! What a ride. May you have many more glorious rides. Love you Thad and will miss you so much

Share a story

 
Illustrate your story with a picture, music or video (optional):