I was able to attend the memorial service for Tom Maher, who was a long time reader and commenter on this website, having left, according to my estimates, hundreds if not over a thousand comments over the last decade. I had the opportunity to meet Tom earlier this year, and we ended up talking for at least four hours in Kirkwood, where he had lived for much of his life. Besides the informative comments he left, garnered from almost eighty years of experience living in the region, I would often e-mail him with questions, which he would helpfully answer.
He attended Christian Brothers College High School, or CBC as most people call it, back when it was still located in Clayton, and he regaled me with stories of how he would hitchhike to class everyday, back when it was not considered dangerous. Among the regular automobiles that would take him to the crossroads of Lindbergh and Clayton roads, where he would pick up another ride, would be an elderly woman in a limousine, complete with a chauffeur. That was just normal back then; even people in limousines with chauffeurs would give hitchhikers a ride out in St. Louis County, apparently.
Many of his classmates from the Class of ’58 were in attendance; Tom was an integral member of the CBC community and there will now be a scholarship in his name at the school. I was impressed with the esprit de corps still present 61 years after they graduated; such comity does not exist as much anymore, and it is a testament to the power of their education so long ago. Perhaps I see it in the bricks that I photograph every weekend in my adventures, and perhaps that is what Tom saw in all those old buildings, as well.