An important person in Tom’s life was his maternal grandfather (my father-in-law), Roger Crater. Tom learned a lot from Roger, and I know Tom saw his grandfather as an important role model, one of the most important in his life. Roger was an engineer with a first-rate intellect, but he was also a down-to-earth practical man with many skills, mechanical and otherwise. Much of Tom’s skill as a bicycle and auto mechanic stemmed from his grandfather’s influence.
Roger died in 2017 and was laid to rest in Los Osos, near Morro Bay. I think of Roger often, and I have come to feel a real debt of gratitude toward him. From almost the first day I met him in 1966, Roger helped and encouraged me. He always treated me with kindness, patience, and generosity. In fact, I still have all of the tools Roger gave to me over the years, including my tool box and an old plug-in Craftsman drill, over 50 years old now, which I still use.