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A North Country Tragedy
#1398981 Fri Feb 26 2021 01:12 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 955
Young man, friend of my son, graduated from HS five years ago in 2015. Learned that he died yesterday from a drug OD at the age of 22. Good kid. He was of the type that loved to read, wanted to be a history writer, one of those kids that had a heightened sense of liking history, and the Middle Ages and in a nice way slightly nerdy than the other kids - yet didn’t go to college and worked at the local take out pizzeria and seemed lost and depressed over the years since he graduated.

Always polite and friendly - and as a boy would hang out with my son playing Pokémon and board games.

Feel for the parents who have to wake up to this nightmare and that watched him decline over the past couple years; only to have the Mom find their son dead on the floor.

My ideal and somewhat naive side says - I wish , that I could have saved him and brought him into the shop to work with me and develop an interest in old trucks - and gave him a project to work on, as just ‘something’ that provided a sense of accomplishment and a goal.

This tragedy is not unusual and all too often frequent. Sometimes I think about how I can use this hobby to reach a young person and how I can establish a long term fund, or annual ‘scholarship’ per se’ - or help build a garage with mentors to work with these kids at risk. Sort of a reunion of us experts that involves young people - who need a dream and may grow an interest - I just don’t know how to do that.

It’s a sense of powerlessness and want to do good and add value - but sad for these sad stories.

Last edited by tom moore; Fri Feb 26 2021 02:25 PM.
Re: A North Country Tragedy
tom moore #1399001 Fri Feb 26 2021 03:34 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,987
Sorry to hear this, Tom. You're right...not unusual and all too often frequent across this entire troubled country of ours. You're on the right track in your thinking, however. Anything that involves them and allows them to make their dreams more possible should help. Especially if you can get them away from electronic games even for a little bit. What I've learned is almost any age boy will take immediate interest in a go-kart and while building go-karts when we were younger was much more common than it is is no less magic than when the first go-karts were created. And it doesn't take a tremendous amount of money nor space nor talent. And after you've built one or two, you learn lots of things that will make the next ones less expensive, easier and safer. Old trucks, old cars...nice idea, but these have become a very expensive and limited thing today. Teach a fellow how to cut iron, shape it, weld it and the various mysteries involved in things like brakes, steering, ground clearance, center of gravity, etc. This stuff is pure magic to some kids. He'll learn things he'll never forget if he lives to be 300. And you can take a go-kart in a pickup to church parking lots or other places where it can be driven safely nearly any day or evening of the week. Could be a bit cold in NH at times. I've been there when it was, but that's when you work inside. Hint: build one with enough leg room you can drive it yourself because I promise you'll want to do that.


1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
Re: A North Country Tragedy
tom moore #1399013 Fri Feb 26 2021 05:29 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 955
It is a difficult period for young people between 16-26. I remember the pressure at HS graduation to decide what I was going to do. And I remember feeling unsure and ashamed because I didn’t have the answers when the Old Man would ask - saying that I am now an adult... and dinner time conversations were more about avoiding that dreaded question. I can see how a person with a good mind can become lost in the shuffle and need to escape those pressures. Same would apply to those who are economically disadvantaged, and or young who are dealing with both of those issues and more and not having good role modeling or guides to o help them see a path forward.

Life isn’t easy ... for many well meaning people.

And the irony of it? At the tender age of 61 I don’t think I can still answer that question...

Last edited by tom moore; Sat Feb 27 2021 12:50 AM.
Re: A North Country Tragedy
tom moore #1399019 Fri Feb 26 2021 06:11 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,658
Housekeeping (Moderator) Making a Stovebolt Bed & Paint and Body Shop Forums
Sad to hear. This past year has been especially hard on young people. Getting a job is harder and isolation just makes things worse. Suicides have been more frequent this year, which is definitely sad.
My comment to my wife mid year was "it's good to be retired in times like this". So I feel for those who have to deal with going to work, etc.

I agree that some sort of interest attracting thing would help get youngster's minds off the tough times and literally give them something to live for.

First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos []
Busting rust since the mid-60's
Re: A North Country Tragedy
tom moore #1399162 Sat Feb 27 2021 08:17 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 15,353
Tom, Kevin, Jon, I came from a BIG family, and lots of nieces and nephews, and what you say kits close to home on many fronts, even at my front door.

Not to boast here guys...... just sharing.
After retiring, and for about 5 or 6 years, I accepted a job as a school bus monitor. I basically was put on the "bad" buses and believe me, they were bad!
I spent many hours sitting and counseling youths along the way. I am not boasting but its still nice to hear from some of the wayward students. One, a young girl, recently told me what it meant to her when I would chat with her and her brother. Brought me to tears.

I try to do this with the youth at church. A few come by my shop and "watch" me do a brake.....then its their turn!
One such kid was a pain in the butt. Came by wanting something fairly often. I worried about him from the start. He joined the military and as the years went by I lost contact with him until one night, about 2am I got a call from him. He "claimed" one of his buddies was locked in a room contemplating suicide and what should he do. We chatted for 20 minutes and hung up. I never gave it another thought.........untill 2 years later when he walked into my shop door. We hugged and chatted and during this time I realized it was HIM that was locked in his room thinking of ending his life. Thankfully today he is married and has two beautiful children. We never know.

One more thought: As the bus monitor we would stop at an apartment complex and let off 10-15 students. Before getting off the bus I could hear them "making plans" of what they intended to do and it was not always pleasant......and many times I learned of the things they did. I often worried about what they would do seeing they had "nothing to do" when they got out off school except get into trouble! From gambling, passing around nasty pictures, cussing as if it was common language, I've seen my share.

We CAN make a difference. It takes time, it takes effort. The world is full of children that need mentors that will take a little time.
I've helped them cut out their derby cars, work on their brakes and many other things. Just last week, at a funeral, I was asked if I'd do a little "mechanical seminar" for the young boys at church. YES i said, bring them on to the shop. (many can't even check their oil) Maybe, just maybe some, even ONE, will get interest in something and come back. I sure hope so.

Guys WE ARE NEEDED badly. Please take a little time, no matter how little, to "pay it forward to even ONE.

.....and thanks to all who already do. The good book says to do our alms in secret and we would be rewarded openly. I can attest this is true.Sorry for the long post.

1937 Chevy Pickup []
1952 Chevy Panel []
Pictures in my Photobucket []
1950 Chevy Coupe

52 Chevy Panel []

I'd rather walk and carry a Chevy hub cap than ride in a Ferd.
I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you smile
Re: A North Country Tragedy
tom moore #1399177 Sat Feb 27 2021 09:23 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 9,603
Grease Monkey, Moderator General Truck Talk & Greasy Spoon
So right Alvin. Mentoring is a much needed service for today’s youth. You’re a good man.

'62 Chevy C-10 Stepside Shortbed (Restomod in progress)
'47 Chevy 3100 5 Window (long term project)
‘65 Chevy Biscayne 4dr 230 I-6 one owner (I’m #2) “Emily”
‘39 Dodge Businessmans Coupe “Clarence”

"I fought the law and the law won" now I are a retired one!
Support those brave men/women who stand the "Thin Blue Line"! Hug a cop!
USAF 1965-1969 Weather Observation Tech (I got paid to look at the clouds)

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