There are so many great stories and testimonies of the amazing Todd Blair that we don’t think these should get lost in the comments. This section is for us to contribute our memories of this wonderful man. Please add your poems, reflections, and other thoughts here.

Alex and Amy wish to thank all the wonderful friends and family of Todd, your words feed them as they watch, wait, love, and encourage Todd during this time.

vordo-poem.jpg

poem for todd from vordo

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25 Responses to “Stories of Todd”

  1. Mary Says:

    Hey there, Todd Blair. A nice thought occurred to me as I was falling asleep last night…for guy who spends his creative and intellectual energy exploring and building networks, you are the hub of an impressive one with nodes all over the world. I’ve enjoyed reading about all the ways in which you’ve touched people over the years and seeing all the photos of you kissing everyone you can get your hands on cracks me up because I tease you about being such a touchy-feely guy.

    I am laughing about all the funny and wonderful things that seem to transpire when you and Alex are around, like the kayaking trip to Bodega Bay for Alex’s birthday. Remember how she miscalculated her age and because we were born the same year, had me convinced for the entire day that I’d somehow forgotten year #37? And how relieved we were and how hard we laughed when Davy finally did the math that evening and made us both a year younger? Her birthday bonus, she said.

    Or the time North, Barney and I sailed up the Delta and sent you guys our coordinates and you drove around for hours looking for a thru-road to the shore? You got so soaked on the dinghy ride over you had to stay the night. Barney and North rigged a rope swing from the boom and we spent the evening jumping off it over and over.

    And that Gold Lake camping trip with Penny and Sabrina and their kids. Halfway there, you and I were charged with going back to Oakland to pick up forgotten stuff. Somehow, we got lost heading back to camp, but were talking so much we didn’t realize it until hours later when we both noticed the sun setting in the wrong direction. We had all the food and the tents, if you remember, and they had all the beer, so they were cold and starving and half drunk and really cranky when we finally arrived.

    Or that time Alex and Darin and I were at JR’s opening and she wanted to let you know she’d be home shortly. Darin told her to call and say, “Hot stud, I’m coming home!,” but she bungled it up and instead said “Hot stud, he’s coming home!”with all the enthusiasm she could muster. We could hear you saying “whaa?” on the other end, totally confused. So she tried again, “I mean, hot stud, I’m coming home!” It was a very Alexandra moment and we laughed so hard we had to pull over. Thanks to yours and Alex’s tag-team efforts, that evening also marked the start of an incredible relationship with a most incredible man, for which I’ll always thank you for engineering.

    But my favorite memory is of the night you and Alex first got together at that horrible hippie bar in Berkeley. I can’t remember why we were all there- her brother’s show maybe, but when you arrived, you promptly wedged yourself between Alex and me and didn’t turn around for the rest of the evening. I watched you guys step outside to talk, framed by the doorway and the spotlight of the streetlamp and knew something very special was unfolding. I’m really happy you stole my seat that night.

  2. Erin Says:

    Hey Todd-

    I have been thinking of you so much. I know most of your friends reading this blog have known you for a long time and are much closer to you than I. I know you thru Alex and since I don’t live there anymore we’ve only gotten to hang out a few times. So I think my perspective is a little different. As Alex once clarified, unlike most of your other friends, I’m not really artistic, I’m “crafty”. That launched you into a 30 minute explanation on the difference between art and craft. I think on other visits I learned about form vs. function, noisy art (the kind with explosives?), socialized medicine, and the history of Punk Rock in SF (or was it Hells Angels?) Vordo was there, he might remember.

    I wasn’t sure about you in the beginning. I wasn’t ready to share My Alex with some new person. I wanted her to focus on school and stop wasting her energy and time on these undeserving men. I really tried to talk her out of it. It just seemed wrong on so many levels.

    Well, I left and I think we all know how that turned out. So I got to know you thru my telephone conversations with Alex. Boy, did you seem too good to be true! No one she had ever dated treated her as well or completely captured her attention like you. Pretty impressive. And you really had your shit together too. Finally I got to meet you when I came out.

    During those visits I would watch how you fussed and cared for Alex. Buying her organic fruits and veggies, cooking her meals. Good morning kisses, good night kisses, pass-you-in-the-hall-kisses. You spoil her! But then she spoils you back so it’s all good.

    You are always so patient with me when I am there that I know you must be an amazing teacher. Am I the only person you know who doesn’t have a mac? Who had to have mp4’s explained to her? Who doesn’t drink red wine? You never let on how painful it must have been dealing with my little “issues”. You are always interested in a dialogue even though my viewpoints may differ. I have always appreciated that. You have always been a generous host to me.

    And you share Your Alex with me.

    I am so glad you two have each other.

  3. Mike Kennan Says:

    I’m profoundly upset and saddened by all this. I offer all my hopes and energies for a quick and full recovery.

    I’ve been thinking of you guys a lot lately… I want to show off all the repairs and long overdue maintenance I’ve been doing to that junk truck of mine. Man, what a heap! It must have been Todd’s warm smile and kind nature that sold me on it.

    Hopefully I can take you for a ride sometime soon.

  4. susan Says:

    Todd, youve touched so many lives and i hope you can feel all of us that are pulling for you. our first encounter over the fourth of july weekend in 02 was at dawn in a desolate alley in downtown los angeles. we talked about you and mark being brothers. the bond was immediate. from that day, my world changed. luv from your friends at fringe, sj

  5. Jessica Says:

    Todd, do you remember when we were hiking at Bass Lake and we came around a corner to see a baby bunny and a bunch of little quail? I think they were friends. A moment of extraordinary cuteness!

  6. Graham Plumb Says:

    I met Todd a couple years ago when we both signed up for a workshop in Max MSP in San Francisco. I was a little overwhelmed by the depth of the program and the pace of the four day course, but Todd helped me get by, offering helpful words of advice as we went along. He struck me then as a smart and truly supportive person, as excited by other people’s discoveries as he was his own.

    A couple of days into the course we both had the idea of bringing in our Make Control Module (mine had been sitting in a box for months) into the workshop to see if we could get Max to ‘talk’ to it. Todd managed to wire his device into the computer and build a little circuit on a breadboard. That days crowning achievement was a small but wonderful moment, when Todd managed to switch a small light on using a controller on the computer’s screen. That was something really magical, to witness the transformation of cold logic into the phenomena of light. A small and geeky moment I know, but it’s one I keep returning to as I think of Todd now.

    I didn’t know Todd as well as many of the people that have written here, yet I can say with surety that Todd is a very driven individual. I recognized his deep-seated will to make things happen when he wants them to happen. He’ll find that switch and he’ll know how to make the light come on.

  7. Irma Brunak Says:

    My very special moment with Tood was when my husban passed away, and after the Service we came home. Tood inmediately came to the kitchen, and helping me not only with the cooking but with the serving etc. and every time He went by Me He will give a hug or a kiss, showing me the compassionate and deep understang of my feeling.
    Since that day He was part of my family.
    Sandra I was looking at some pictures of Michell’s wedding, of You and Todd, you make such perfect couple, we want you back soon.
    I loved you and I am very happy with the latest news
    Aunt Irma

  8. jill miller Says:

    It was March or April-ish in the year 2000. Eric and I had been going on lots of dates alone (of course!) but the time had come to Meet the Friends. I was a little nervous. We went to a party at Amy Miller’s place (now Amy Jenkins, I should add) in Oakland/Berkeley zone, and I believe we had to crawl through a crazy cardboard maze to get to the party from the front door. It was a perfect intro to this group of very talented, fun, smart group of people. I met so many of Eric’s friends at that party – it was more than a little overwhelming. (There were so many of them – yeesh.) That night, and at all the social gatherings after, Todd was always the warmth in the crowd – the person who sat down with me and had a real conversation. No macho stuff, no show-offiness, no tall tales of blowing shit up (unless you specifically requested one). Super mellow guy, absolutely secure in being himself. I always looked for Todd at those parties.

    Now, years later, Eric and I are married and have an 18-month-old hellion superboy. We don’t get out much, don’t make it to most of the social gatherings in town, don’t see people enough, for sure. But whenever I do see Todd, I am always reminded of the early days of mine and Eric’s love. Such a sweet time! And such sweet memories of getting to know everyone.

    I love Todd. For so long, he was my lifeboat at those crazy parties that my future husband dragged me to. (And boy, did he drag me around back then.)

    Thank you, Todd, for saving me so many times: from standing alone at parties when I didn’t know anyone, for talking to me indoors when people were outside shooting off rockets and explosives, for showing me how to dry my pots and pans the proper way, etc, etc. I hope I can return the favor someday when you need something.
    Love,
    Jill


  9. Todd,

    (mantra)
    Get well soon. Get well soon. Get well soon. Get well soon. Get well soon. Get well soon. Get well soon. Get well soon. Get well soon. Get well soon. Get well soon. Get well soon. Get well soon. Get well soon. Get well soon. Get well soon. Get well soon. Get well soon.

    Get well soon!

    Johnny


  10. Amy introduced me to Todd and we met at MOMA for lunch on a very bright day. We sat and talked about food, and the need for funky forks and his visions. He gave me generous advice about a project I was desperate to make happen in Italy, and he was the one person to say “hey, sounds like a mess – yet it might just work!” – which is it was, and did – then we walked away saying it would be wonderful to work together. I walked away thinking he was one of the true people on the planet. There is a Jewish belief that there are angels amongst us, and that their purpose is to lay low, be quiet and help lead others to themselves. He strikes me this way. I hold him in this light. I hold him up, very high to the light.

  11. Kaliisa Says:

    We miss miss miss you so much here at CCA. Sendin out the good vibes and a ton of love,

    Kaliisa

  12. ian Says:

    Tonight I was at the Dorkbot event for Todd, and Eric asked for everyone to post a funny or interesting story about Todd here. While this is not funny (and possibly not interesting), this is my contribution, which starts to explain how much I respect Todd.

    In all truthfulness, the first time I met Todd was minutes before the 2006 SRL LA show (Fishboy’s Dream). It was my first encounter with SRL, and I was lucky enough to be on the media crew. I must have made a bizarre facial expression as a result of a comment made by him, to which Violet reassured me that it was ok, because they used to be married. Looking back, I’m surprised that I remembered it at all since I met so many people that night, and quite honestly, everything became a blur towards the end.

    The first time that I feel like I really met Todd was a year later, helping to move machines for Makers Faire. He was the lead rigger, and while I’m sure he didn’t remember me from before, he was warm and accepting of my friendship based solely on the merits of my wanting to help. During that time we shared many a conversation over a smoke (which he would apologetically bum from me and I’d only return with a smile as I reached for my pack).

    Fast forwarding through the mechanics of moving machines, my story picks up the first evening that SRL’s exhibit is taking shape. I had assumed the role of making video clips play, and after taking a distant look at our space, I realized that the stand I had selected for the projector was a major eye sole in contrast to the beauty of the machines surrounding it. This began the motions that put Todd in my heart forevermore. I went to Todd and explained my projector stand woes, and asked him if he could find a prop or something to help make it visually fit in the space. At the time he was as exhausted if not more so than I was, and we had no significant history together, yet he still listened to me, and just nodded, telling me he’ll take care of it.

    I saw Todd again the next morning with a fresh load of stuff. After unloading everything else, before I could even inquire about my request, Todd presented me with the perfect prop to make an ugly projector stand something people would stop and admire. I so respected him after that. Since the beginning, I’ve found long term SRL people, while friendly, are absolutely intimidating at the same time, and Todd really helped break me from that misconception.

    This anecdote ends with this. The morning I was leaving for Amsterdam, I called ahead to see if anyone needed anything; it was mentioned that Todd was missing his yellow box American Spirits, and while I hadn’t slept the night before and was quite incoherent, I made it a point to stop on the way to the airport to buy him some, and delivering them to him was my first task once I arrived. Just my way of returning the prop favor I guess.

    While I check this blog 4-5 times a day, my faith in his recovery never waivers. Scientific medical studies can’t factor the mind, the personality, or the spirit of its subjects, and Todd has all three over and above needed to pull through this. For me it is not a question of if but when I get the chance to reach for my pack for him.

  13. nina Says:

    Was scrolling thru cameraphone pictures on my Treo earlier today, and found some fuzzy images of Ralf and Todd from the SRL Maker Faire booth setup. They made me laugh so hard, remembering the mischief the two were up-to when I took the pictures.

    Ralf (or Greg Jones) bought some silly remote-control styrofoam airplane to entertain crew at the Expo Center, while the booth was being set-up. Most of the few folks there were methodically focused on our tasks at hand.

    Greg unveils the airplane, and Ralf and Todd leapt from their tasks, jubilant to find distraction in something so fun and silly, for just a few minutes.

    Most of the Expo Center was wiiiiide-open empty, and so it was a perfect wind-free open space to fly a styrofoam airplane in.

    Someone grabbs the remote- the plane flies off- DOH!, it lands on the roof of the bathroom “hut.” Fear not, Todd to the rescue!

    Everyone laughed, and Todd begrudgingly (tho giggling) jogs over to the bathroom… looks at it for a few seconds with that HUGE smile of his, shaking his head and muttering, “How DID I do this before?!.”

    Within seconds, Todd scaled the front wall of the bathroom hut- something between the drinking-fountain and door moldings, enabled him to no-problem’o hop the 8-foot wall- and was soon enough on the roof of the hut, giggling as he asked Ralf and Greg for help directing him to the general area where the plane had crash-landed.

    The above then, repeated about 3 or 4 times… tho I think with other guys climbing-up to the top of the hut, after Todd took-up the task the first 2 times.

    Here’s to crash-landing more of those styrofoam airplanes, creating more silly mischief for the grownups, and years ahead of those crazy-glowing dimples warming so many more innocent bystanders.

  14. Amy Critchett Says:

    In one night I met Mark, Todd and the Running Machine. And my life was changed forever.

    I new Mark and SRL from years before (Wired stuff) but I never really knew knew. I tolorated – but didn’t know.

    Fast forward 10 years, my moving to NYC and back and finding myself the co-director of an art organization – knowing nothing about the art world (love you Beau!!!)

    We produced an event at the Sony campus in San Jose – (discovered Alviso). Mark, Eric, Kevin B and Kal were going to talk. I think it ended up being Mark and Eric. Drew a nice crowd – 300 or so.

    Mark and crew brought the hovercraft, running machine and inappropriate images to play with in the entry way of the huge glass building. Was a huge hit.

    During set up I ended up sitting next to Todd chatting about art festivals – of which he knew so much and I knew nothing – and other easy Todd being sweet and curious and generous stuff. Before I know it Mark came swooping in. He was not interested in our little f2f. He wanted in on it … so to speak.

    Todd was happily falling in love with someone else whose name starts with A – and so very not interested in me – but that is not what Mark was thinking. And he was swooping. It was a lovely moment and I will never forget how Todd looked at Mark – with so much love. I think Mark kissed him.

    Between that and Mark walking the running machine to me in such a beautiful and graceful way .. my head was turned and I saw. I really really saw.

    And now look at us.

    I love you Todd Blair. I love you I love you I love you. Thank you for being such a huge part of it ALL.

    *
    A

  15. Hannah Blair Says:

    I took a class from Todd at CCAC – it was one of only two classes in my art school career that I never, ever skipped. And if that doesn’t convey the depth of my regard, it’s also one of the few classes that I still think of, all the time, even though I’m not working with mechanics or robots or anything else we covered. There are some teachers who stick with you long after the end of the class, and for me, Todd was one of them.

    This was years ago, and it was only one semester, but Todd always had time for me even when I wasn’t in his class. I’m in Switzerland now, on an art residency, and I’m firmly convinced that Todd’s incredibly nice recommendation letter is one of the biggest reasons I’m here. Get well soon, Todd! I’m finally going to Wolfsburg and I look forward to talking to you about Phaeno when I get back to the Bay….

  16. Traci Teraoka Says:

    Hi there Todd and Alexandra,
    I just wanted to let you know how deeply I hold you both in my heart. Through living life we get to encounter the good – the bad –and the extraordinary. I feel grateful that I had the pleasure to lunch with you one time Todd and know that you left a profound impression on me of your goodness and depth of personality. I send you strength, love and courage for every moment ahead of you.

  17. selby Says:

    Todd & Alex,

    I was just looking through pictures of some of the things we have done together… and remembering other times, when we were too busy drinking or paddling or laughing to take any pictures at all…

    One of the most beautiful days with you both was when we all went kayaking on the bay, and ate lunch on a little beach on the shore of Pt. Reyes, and then went on the rope swing–Todd & Davy were both pushing me, and I nearly ended up looping over the tree!–and the light was so gorgeous on the water. And Todd & I went swimming! (It was only a few weeks afterwards that a friend of mine said, Oh, right, that’s exactly where my friend the marine biologist goes to collect sharks! It’s a great place to get lots of sharks!…)

    There were also pictures from one of our Orphan Thanksgivings–Davy went on a “portraits of Alex on the couch” bender–and I don’t know if you remember this, but that was the year that Levon came over to help us with the turkey? And we got the turkey stuffed, and in the oven, and basted, and all that stuff, for hours? And then we took it out, and Levon came into the kitchen to assess, and he looked at it (we were standing there proudly–I am terrified of roasting a turkey, actually, so I mostly poked at it gingerly while Davy did all of the real work), and then he looked back at us, and back at the turkey, and back at us, and he said: Dave, you do know that you cooked the turkey UPSIDE DOWN?

    (I find that pretty generally descriptive of our parties…)

    I want to tell you also that our gift exchange treasure from your Xmas eve party–Levon’s authentic Finnish antler bottle-opener–still hangs in its place of honor over our stove. (We try to use it ONLY on bottles of beer that we think Finnish raindeer would approve of–??) Somewhere out there, one of your friends has a life-size, authentically chirping bird item, and another one has a nifty hand-cranked flashlight, and… and… someone else took our “grown-ups only gift” home & got very, very, very stoned on Xmas eve, probably without telling their relatives.

    … There have been so many funny things, and also some wonderful serious times… and I love both of you very much, and to be honest I think about you every day but have not wanted to write until now, because I thought you might have too much to do & think about already…

    I wish I could wrap my arms around you both & tell you how much you are loved!!

    xoxox
    Selby

  18. susan Says:

    one of my last conversations with todd was about the wind…he knows about the wind. blowing your way my friend, sj

  19. toetsie z Says:

    Toetsie CONTINUED from Update – Jan 03 2008:

    Sofia, Bulgaria, at the foot of mountain Vistosha.

    Its new years day, and a real fine snow if falling from the sky. Its cold, but no fierce wind, just a steady stream of cold air. We are in this really fancy hotel on that same foot of the mountain, and our stay of four days allready has established this friendly companionship with the staff. We want to grab the cab for that 3 kilometer away entry to the Gondola. It’s should be overthere somewhere, nearby, but too far to walk. The secret way to go up. They do ring us a cab, but the waiting is a first time.. maybe the waiting has to do with that its the morning after the night filled with drinks and fireworks? Maybe just bad luck? Maybe the staff didnt call, and did we misunderstand each other? We check: no, just wait, it must be busy, dont worry. We wait. We try our chauff, the number in the cell. No answer. We wait… Talk a little and have our wandering thoughts shared. This is unusually long. We wait.

    Yep! A yellow reliable cab does come. But once in the car way up on our way he shows us he doesnt know where to go to go. The GPS doesnt show the cable. Driving anyway.

    Shouldnt you know? Well, we all look for the factual thing alongside the way. At least there must be a way up, if not by cable, then by car?! And then we do see
    it..There is the cablecarts going up and down! All will be okay.

    Then the driver nor us seem to be able to find an entrance. We try this street. We turn. We try that street. We point at the meter.

    We call brothers and sisters, they are not reachable (all phones are in the hotelrooms we find out later) they must be in the Gondola or on the mountain. It must be another gondola they are in..! this is WAY to far out of our neighbourhood..

    Vassili points down: he can drive us, by taking the way all around, to the beginning to the Gondola. Or, he can try that at least. Or we can go back to the hotel and try another driver, says one of us. The idea: call the cabphonecentre for your information Vassili! is not understood. The â\200\234You Should Know This river!â\200? doesnt work. The calling family doesnt work. I think its a fine idea to go to the foot of the Gondola. Even if this * is * the Other Gondola: it will bring us up the mountain where we will play in the snow. Maybe not together on the same mountain where the family went to allready, but they were going to do there own activities anyway: snowboard and ski, and strolling around an hour earlier.. at least we will discover that other mountain entry. And we wont be at the hotel sulking, but doing something outside.. and we can allways take the same way home with a cab when we go up there and come down there! But are we all on the same line thinking here?

    7 minutes later, confusion, is THAT the way to the foot of the Gondola?! Whaaat? Huh? Ahh.. we will get somewhere, lets go with the flow.. ah! Yes!

    45 minutes up with an adorable Bulgarian couple, exchanging 20cents coints of different Euro-Countries, learning eachother dirty words in Bulgarian, and in
    Dutch, the first ones written on the wall in the cabin, the later coming out of our mouths as if we are children again.. We are sure this is the Other Gondola, but we decided to love that fact. After mimicking we know there are bears, wolves, deer and rabbits below us under the cabin, but no girafs, elephants and lions. We can tell eachother stories in our worldlanguages, and practice our Happy New Year in the two languages we really speak. Yes, there is the story of the girl Vitosha, and the boy the other mountain. But its not available right now. I will look it up in my rough guide.

    And giddy we arrive at the top. Wow, real snow, real skivacation feel. Too bad my brother doesnt want to ski. But loves the snow, tho. His pregnant lover screams for it, but sticks to her plan to not ski and not risk it with baby in belly, and sooths her longing by making plans with the three of us for skiing next year, with babe, babe and me, for sure!! He (bro) will do the baby and the cooking. Done deal.

    And i think its cold, beautifull, and i do want to walk for at least 5 minutes, but that will be the max too, and then find that good old coffeecorner i see over there allready, preferably with strong drinks and smiling men and women! Inside. And I did keep in mind that I told myself i wanted to go out on the mountain on my own, (with the three of us, but in silence, focussing on Todd) to see if that could shed some more optimistic thoughts on Todds way out. Lets try that with the 5 minutes. I can always turn. I have my escapes allways near at hand.

    We decide on that little stroll: at that same moment, within the next 12 meters hey!! That is papa!! Its The mountain afterall!!

    So, a hot chocolate and a pee later with our beloved parents, we set out with the three of us. Walking up the mountain on a small path thru the snow. First next
    to eachother, then in a little train of three, taking path down, or cold snowstormy empty field up. Yes lets take the path up, than the way back will be at least going down instead of up.. so we have to leave the confenient trees, with snow on the eh, takken. We do.

    Todd, if this is what you see and experience.. White, wide view. With that sound of the stormy wind, and crackling snow under your feet. Trees around the edge
    of the view to the left front, our left middle and left behind, white x-mas trees with the frozen snow on em.. and everywhere snow, especially on our right side enormeous stones, also covered with thick pack of snow up rightside. Some trees on the right. White.Two feet wide path. Yes you fall knee deep into the snow, next to the path. The talking stops. Its walking. Up up is the way. There is nothing else than this white and some trees overthere.. uech.

    My turn to walk front. Its 25 minutes later at least, maybe 40. Or an hour. Or an amount of time that will never stop. Its the now. It might be 27 minutes. I did
    let go of my minutes in minute 4. Its wondereous, immense, and so silent. And so cold, but not on my hands. Even can take my gloves off. But i feel totally sad and forlorn inside. There is no way then up. Quiet. Alone. With company, but i have to do it myself Up up. Me and the hill. The people i love are in my mind. I know they love me. I know i love them. I know what i want. Breathing is what i do. The view is dramatic and the best score for this feeling for now. I see the top I want to reach today. And there I let myself fall in the snow. Its the place where my brother makes his snow-angle. Its a good one. We started talking again, its beautifull. It is.

    And by the time we walk down, with the snowwind not in our face, i walk as third last in line.. I see the welcoming threes. Every one of them is different white
    and structured then the other. The green is so visible on the bottom side of the tree. It is not white, it is covered with white. The path is wide and friendly. With itâ\200\231s two feet wideness. I know that Todd will reach this point. The point that I gave up on before, when walking up, knowing it could still be there, but not expecting it, but still expecting it. That it will be warm in the cold. Silent and warm. The struggle is behind me point. Just follow the path, and be aware.

    Its a path home! To the fire and drinks. Different focus, same path.

    I call home on the cellphone, instant connection. I blabber about how beautifull and healthy it feels here on the mountain. All is good. Then i do reach the trees, and their welcoming warm embrace.

    What a sappy story, but i love you Alex and Todd, and i will tell lots of kampfire stories these coming months, overhere in hometown Amsterdam when im home again, and with you guys in Oakylandia.

    Love, Toetsie.

  20. Julie Gotsch Says:

    One day I caught a ride with a friend and just as we were getting on the freeway in Oakland I saw a HUGE graffiti message on the freeway wall filled with love and dedicated to YOU, Todd. I went back every day to check on it and it survived almost a week before they painted it over. A few days later a homemade banner covered in paper flowers had taken its place. The people here never stop thinking about you. We can’t wait to have you back here. The incredibe thing, Todd, is that when you were here, you constantly inspired us with your art and your lessons…you showed us how to create what we had only dremed of and you showed us the beautiful things that were in your mind…and now, Todd, NOW you are inspiring us in a whole new way and showing us the strength of your will and the joy that is still in your mind and you are teaching us to appreciate every little thing so much more! Every little step is huge and we can no longer take the simplest things for granted. Thank you so much for all of your gifts, Todd. I can’t wait to thank you in person!

  21. sue Says:

    I spent new years with barney and north and we talked about Todd near the fire. An image came to mind of the many amazing and complicated technical things that Todd has achieved and how all of those things require iterations and dedication, and I imagined Todd doing the same thing now with his own beautiful and complex situation – sometimes you have to break something in order to fix it. He is a master at these things and i know he will not give up until he finds the solution. Plus you add barney to the equation and those two can re-engineer the universe. Much love to all.

  22. Stacey Voges, RN Says:

    I have wanted to write something here for a long time about the “cool, inspirational, full of surprises” patient of mine, Mr. Todd Blair.
    After seeing his recent progress and just missing his wonderful break through day due to vacation, I was, at least, glad to see him back with me on the medium care unit.
    Todd survived the ICU, progressing yet again in an upward motion to the medium care. No seizures with me!!!!!! Keeping him close under my watch, he is able to communicate with me with his eyes and squeezes my had when I ask. It’s also nice to see him sleeping soundly on his own and not under a drug induced state of sleep. Although I have only met a few of the friends and family who have come to Amsterdam to visit, I feel part of the “world of Todd” and all his followers, cheering him on each step of the way. Each day has it challenges, but each day also brings new insights on how better to care for him and how to make him stable for his trip home. Thanks for letting me share my thoughts about Todd on this amazing website that has evolved.

  23. Tim Boykett Says:

    I was just making a salad.
    And we have a few too many carrots, so I just ate half of one instead of grating it into the rest of the salad.
    And that reminded me that Todd was the person who (re-)introduced me to the simple pleasures of a carrot: crunchy, crispy, juicy, resilient. Shit, that sounds like our boy himself.
    Hurrah!

  24. amybean Says:

    One sunny afternoon in August of 1990, I mustered up my courage and went to volunteer at the SRL shop. I really had no idea what it was all about, so I figured I’d come prepared with my resume, as I thought it was some kind of job or business and I was, in fact, looking for work.

    Mark welcomed me, and without further ado, handed me a giant pneumatic tool and said Chip off those few dozen broken welds and then grind them smooth, and then make replacement parts. (It was for all the melted hose mounts on the Big Arm)

    Sometime during the long day, a guy came over to me all full of dimples and sparkly eyes and he said “I saw your resume on the table.” In that instant, I knew that bringing my resume to this shop was an act of Ultimate Goofiness, and that this charming fellow and I would be great friends, for sure.

    We’ve been through all kinds of amazing adventures over the years, and he’s never once let me down.

    Big Love for the Long Haul! You know it.

  25. Matt Daly Says:

    Hey Todd,
    Do your recall our little foray into the basement next to the amorphic show in Rotterdam (man – 11 years ago now). We were exploring the area behind the shop, and walked right into what looked like a dragon’s hoard of AV treasure piled high. We looked at each other in awe, then we both looked up at the sentient eye of the motion detector looking at us. We said uh-oh, and then the alarm went off. The next morning we did a great Dennis the Menace impersonation – “oh- WE? set off the alarm?”
    Stupid little story, but still gives me a smile.
    Also recall those stupid mosquito candles almost killing us in our sleep? Actually, I think you and Chico slept through that one. I woke up to giant flames licking up the wall and I managed to get it put out; huge adrenaline rush, I could not sleep after that. And there you two are, snoring like babies.
    Take care man.
    MD

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