Thursday, July 3, 2008

Dear Leyla,


Thank you so much for thinking of me and passing along the memorial booklet! Wonderfully done, yet far short of the volume it would have taken to do him the barest justice!


I had searched my entire photo archive for pictures taken about 5 or 6 years ago, at Topeka, Kansas when Nye was there for a truck race. Pat Foster and I went there for a chance to see him again and we had a wonderful visit. Nye looked great! Same as always, save for the gray hair. We had a wonderful visit. The pictures are almost surely digital and therefore somewhere in the bowels of the four computers I use. I fee sure I will find them and when I do, shall send them along.


Nye and Lee (one of the most beautiful, elegant, hardworking and considerate women I know), were both always extraordinarily kind to me and I am crushed by his senseless and premature death and for her tragic loss at a time when their lives together must have been so precious to them.


Nye was one of the most talented and creative people I will ever have known. Always thinking outside the boundaries of convention and advancing every art he practiced.


I had worked for him and he had worked for me. I remember when I first hired him in about '66 I paid him the grand wage of $6.00 per hour! I had no idea whether I could afford him or not, but Tom Jobe (already working for me at the then none too shabby wage of perhaps $3.50-$4.00) convinced me Nye would earn me far more than anyone I was paying less and, in the end he was right. Nye was a bargain.


 As a racing project leader, in a world  heavily populated with primadonnas and raging egos, he was always the voice of logic, calm and reason. One of the few able to manage a collection of extreme misfits (myself included, for this was a time of considerable immaturity for me) into a cohesive team that produced the desired result.


I do not have a burning useful need for any of the tools and machinery that I had originally sold to Nye (this had to have been early to mid 1976), but there are a few pieces that have especially personal meaning in that I remember how I struggled to own them and more importantly that Nyehad also used them. Sort of a coming full circle.


These are metal shaping "planishing hammers" two that sit on heavy metal base, stand about 5 feet tall and have arms that extend out, one about 2 feet the other 3 feet and are air operated. They were manufactured in the 40's or 50's by Chicago Pneumatic. There is a third item (quiet large, that likely Nye never used. It stands about 8 feet tall and serves the same metal shaping function as the two smaller ones, but is electric. It's brand name is "Whiting Quickwork" or something like that.


There is no rush on my part and it is far too premature to even consider such things. My purpose here is to let you know that these items have personal meaning to me on a couple of levels, and had Nye not used them 30 years after I had put in 15 with them, they would have little or no importance to me.


I attach one picture I did find of Nye, Pat Foster and Tom Jobe taken perhaps '68-'69.


My sincerest best wishes for you all. Your profound loss can never be overcome, nor will it fade with time or it's sensless nature be understood. Even by the one responsible. My hope is that in the memory of a truly good and kind man you can find comfort in his goodness and his positive influence on all who enjoyed that great gift that was his friendship and for you his family, his love.


Tom Hanna  


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