Stranger to you, still mourning Tom's death, does anyone remember?

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IvyEvergreen
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Stranger to you, still mourning Tom's death, does anyone remember?

Post by IvyEvergreen »

Hello, 19 years ago a man who loved Barren Realms died. His name was Tom, he was 22. At the time, I was 19. I am his cousin, we grew up in the same house, also with his younger sister. I miss him so much at times it feels so fresh, and I yearn to talk to someone who knew him. I would be happy to talk to anyone who even knew him a little.
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Wolfman
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Re: Stranger to you, still mourning Tom's death, does anyone remember?

Post by Wolfman »

Everyone here remembers and misses Tom. He was our Janitor-In-Black.
I don't remember much about what we used to talk about though, mostly IT stuff I think, but I have only fond memories of him.
He passed away about when the forum first started so there aren't many posts here about him sadly, but there are a few.
IvyEvergreen
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Re: Stranger to you, still mourning Tom's death, does anyone remember?

Post by IvyEvergreen »

Thanks for replying. He is just on my mind all the time for the past few days. He really liked Star Wars. When the prequels were just in production, he was so excited. And he got to see the 1st 2 episodes. Episode 3 came out, my whole family went to the theatre. But he was already gone, and I didn't get much out of the movie, I was trying to hold back tears through the whole movie. But ever since that, I have always been to every single Star Wars movie. I 'take him with me' by wearing his purple scarf whenever I go. But I missed the last episode. COVID had me afraid to go out. And now I'm so angry. I can't believe I didn't go see it. It just gnaws at me.
Not only that, I just want to talk to him.
I write him a letter once a year and burn it, so it 'goes to him.'
This place isn't new to me, I've lurked. Whenever I miss him, I come here and read Kiri's post, and the poem from Erin. It helps.
I just get a deep, aching need to talk to him. I thought if I heard people talk about him, it might help.
Can I ask what a Janitor in Black means?
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Everybody
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Re: Stranger to you, still mourning Tom's death, does anyone remember?

Post by Everybody »

Tom modeled his character (/avatar) in the game as the leader of the JiB (Janitors in Black), riffing off of the Men in Black franchise.

I'm unsure if it had any specific deeper meaning for him - acting as a cleaner/cleaning up other peoples messes, perhaps - but it was strongly tied to his online persona.
-EB
Your local know-it-all. ;)
IvyEvergreen
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Re: Stranger to you, still mourning Tom's death, does anyone remember?

Post by IvyEvergreen »

Thank you. He was always caring and protective of the people he loved. I felt his protection several times. We both loved sci-fi and fantasy. I was like 12 when MIB came out. I remember asking him something like, ' Agent J. And Agent K. were such a good team, and they had so much fun and excitement, I don't understand why K. wanted to get out of it at the end of the movie, that makes me a little sad.' And I remember him smiling and saying, "You'll understand it when you're older." It's one of my favorite memories.
Does anyone remember what the JIB look like? Like their uniform? I was thinking about drawing him some fanart.
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Wolfman
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Re: Stranger to you, still mourning Tom's death, does anyone remember?

Post by Wolfman »

This is his immortal-office if it helps. It's his private room so to speak.
I don't know if he wrote it himself or not.. It was a common thing back then that someone else honored you by writing a room or a story.
Either way.. this is probably where he spent a lot of his time.
tomsroom.jpg
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IvyEvergreen
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Re: Stranger to you, still mourning Tom's death, does anyone remember?

Post by IvyEvergreen »

I don't know how a MUD works, so I was wondering if I played in it, would I find him? Things he said and did in the past? A record of what happened in the game?
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Wolfman
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Re: Stranger to you, still mourning Tom's death, does anyone remember?

Post by Wolfman »

There are only a few traces of him scattered across the realm.
He did not write an area so there is nothing to explore that "is him" so to speak.
But if you want to experience what he did.. feel free to join us and explore the world he was so fascinated by.
There aren't many of us left playing though so we're mostly AFK.
IvyEvergreen
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Re: Stranger to you, still mourning Tom's death, does anyone remember?

Post by IvyEvergreen »

Thank you for the good suggestion. You are right, it would be another way I could feel connected to him.
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xorex
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Re: Stranger to you, still mourning Tom's death, does anyone remember?

Post by xorex »

I have fond memories of Tom. You mentioned the posts from Kiri and Erin in the forum here. Just in case you hadn't seen, there are also some more quotes from players about Tom on his immortal page. Also, if you go to the newsletters page and put "Tom" in the search box, you can find some traces of him. He suggested several code features and also wrote some content for the newsletter (short interviews / musings about the game).

It has been a really long time since I had a direct interaction with Tom and I am having a tough time remembering a specific story to share now. Besides the janitor in black styling, he sometimes used the last name Xomgromit. My remembrance of him is similar to the quotes on his page and the stories he submitted to the newsletter. He was a really friendly and upbeat player, an immortal that you would be happy to see and ask for help if you needed it (quite a number of the other immortals back then could be grumpy at times). Also, when Tom was there, he was usually trying to add to the experience of the game, like he was doing with those newsletter stories, He didn't write code or areas for the game, but he found ways to add color to game by running quests, chatting with players, contributing to the newsletter, etc.
--Xorex
IvyEvergreen
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Re: Stranger to you, still mourning Tom's death, does anyone remember?

Post by IvyEvergreen »

Thank you so much for this, Xorex.
HappyCamper
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Re: Stranger to you, still mourning Tom's death, does anyone remember?

Post by HappyCamper »

Just wanted to say, while I don't remember any specifics about Tom, other than an aura kindness, I do remember being quite upset when we learned of his passing.

I remember crying at the time. When I was talking with my brother earlier today (who was actually the person that got me into B.R.) about the situation, I welled up and had to take a moment. I've always compartmentalized things very heavily, and then buried them so deep that I have little to no recollection. Obviously if talking about him 20+ (?) years later can cause that kind of reaction then he must have had quite the impression.

I'm sorry for your loss, and for all of us that lost Tom. Thank you for doing your best to honor and remember him in any way you can.
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