Unique elements of the Tommy Quilts and their stories
(As told in the first person or from RoseMary’s memory and in chronological order)
The shared birthdays – Realizing after many years that the boys shared their first night/nights together in the Brigham and Women Hospital’s nursery.
Road Trips to Chatham, NJ – Many drives to NJ, just the four of us. But others, in the early years, with our good friends. On a Friday night after work, RoseMary would find herself seated in the back seat of the van surrounded by two car seats occupied by Danny and Tommy. We would spend the weekend with grandparents and cousins and return, in that back seat, on Sunday.
Vacations to Disney World
An early memory – from an English essay submitted May 9, 2002.
“My earliest memory was during the winter of 1994. I was really excited Sunday night because it was snowing hard and I thought I would have a snow day! The next morning I woke up and found out that I was right. It was cloudy and still snowing hard. I was five at the time, and couldn’t wait to play in the snow with my neighbor and best friend at the time. After a quick breakfast of strawberries and pancakes, we started sledding and building tunnels in the snow.
At about twelve o’clock we went into his house and had some Mac‘n Cheese. Then we headed out again to continue having fun. For five straight hours we were outside in the snow without a care in the world and nothing mattered. That was some of the most fun in my life.” – Tommy Fuss
The St. John School Logo
In second grade Tommy wanted to play the guitar. A good friend taught him few songs. Then, with his First Communion money he bought himself a drum set and started playing the drums. In high school his Saturday afternoon lessons with Dan Foote became one of the week’s highlights.
Summers meant time in Chatham with grandparents and cousins. Trips to NYC included baseball games, sight seeing and a Wednesday matinee on Broadway. Transportation in and out of the city in a white stretch limo.
Tommy excelled in math and took on the challenges of puzzles. He enjoyed poker and chess.
Tommy’s first “date” – Fall 2001. Tommy insisted that I drive him to the Framingham Cinema where he was meeting a girl he had met at a dance at the Rivers School. They were meeting to see Lord of the Rings.
Valentine’s Day – The private schools held a Valentine’s Day fundraiser. One could purchase and send roses to someone in another school and the proceeds would go to a charity. Years later a young lady told me she had received a dozen (???) roses from Tommy.
Movie marathons were popular, whether they were held during overnights at the house or on holidays in Chatham. One Christmas it was the Godfather movies.
Tunes by Tommy – Remember how songs had to be originally loaded onto an iPod from CD’s? On our visits to Chatham, Tommy would spend hours loading his uncle’s songs to his iPod.
Two Teddy Bears – Tommy’s Christmas gift to his cousin and a gift to a special friend.
Celebrating the first Armenian Christmas, which was to become a tradition among his friends and their families.
Celebrating Chinese New Year – “I remember the fun we had on Chinese New Year, when we went to Chinatown and ate traditional Chinese food. We have a few nice photos from that day, and I love how he is wearing that yellow jacket in the photo with all of us together and Pete crouching down in front.”
Legos – “…the day we built that giant Lego castle — that was an amazing day, fighting off little kids so we could build our Lego castle, and I remember we had to run back to the car to get a camera, and some kid was trying to take it apart when we got back, it was a terrifying moment, but hilarious.”
The strand of small colorful origami cranes, made by a friend, to bring color and joy into his bedroom.
The ride home from school and the Yoda incident – “We were driving from Belmont Hill to my house. Tommy had this transmitter that you plugged in to an iPod and could then listen over the radio. We discovered that if close enough I could actually pick up the signal from my car as well. So we were driving to my house and I was following him (maybe a little closer than I should have) and we were listening to the same thing. I had my windows down and the volume up and having a great time. When we were in West Newton center we hit a red light. All of a sudden the music stops and its just talking coming through my speakers. I realize that Tommy had taken the opportunity afforded by the red light to watch Star Wars on his iPod. This resulted in me sitting at a red light with the volume way up and the windows way down as Yoda came blasting through my speakers 🙂 -”
The pocket – “We were in Harvard Square one rainy day and stopped to look for something in the COOP bookstore. This whole scene still makes me burst out laughing, even to this day. We were climbing up their spiral staircase when Tommy pulled over and said he needed to get something out of his pocket. This didn’t seem unusual to me until he actually started emptying his pocket… he unloaded his wallet, keys, cell phone, iPod and headphones, a snack bar, a tightly compressed raincoat, and even a small UMBRELLA from one of his cargo pockets into my bewildered hands until he found what he was looking for. Seriously. How he fit that small suitcase worth of stuff into his pocket was beyond me… the whole thing was just so hilarious and ridiculous. Girls carry purses… and boys will be boys and insist on stuffing their worldly possessions in their pockets.”
The bandanas – “I remember he always traded between a navy one and the kelly green one. After the Green Monster bowling team officially formed, we all made a trip to Newbury Comics and acquired green bandanas to match.”
The unusual Red Sox tee shirt – “He took me to my very first Red Sox game ever, and that was certainly a memorable experience we had together. I have a Tshirt that Tommy and I actually found, brand new with the tag still on it on the ground outside of Fenway Park.”
Red Sox tee shirts – “I remember meeting up with Gene and Tommy at a Red Sox game once and Tommy gave me a huge hug and picked me up. I always remember that moment in the crowded stadium when I think of Tommy.”
Snakes on a Plane – “Tom and I went to see the movie Snakes on a Plane, a ridiculous movie I might add…. but it’s funny because randomly this morning I started quoting it to my roommate (perhaps Tom was on my mind). ”
The Empire State Building – The night before school was to start in 2006, Tommy tried to convince a friend to drive to the Empire State Building, take a picture and drive back. “It would just be one of those moments. Imagine, standing at the foot of the fully lighted Empire State Building at four in the morning, knowing that you have class in a few hours and just not caring.” Luckily the friend decided to forego the adventure and get a good night’s sleep.
Believe in Yourself – “I always think of him around auditions and show times because he ALWAYS believed in me. He instilled a sense of confidence in me that I carry to every production I do. I think that was the most special part of our friendship and something that I will keep with me forever. Every time I reach another success in my life, I always remember to thank Tommy because I know he helped me get there.”
Friends remembering Tommy and carving pumpkins in his memory.