Marcie Friedman

The members of our Echo Hill Ranch Family have been part of Uncle Tom's life for over 50 years. Our dear friends from the Texas Hill Country, our camp parents, our ranchers and counselors and CITs, our loyal staff and dedicated supporters.

Most of you have heard about and many of you attended the wonderful 50th Anniversary Echo Hill Ranch Alumni Reunion at Echo Hill this past June. Uncle Tom invited us all to be his guests at this fun and meaningful event which had over 300 participants from all the eras of Echo Hill history. For many, it was a chance to thank Uncle Tom and a final opportunity to spend time with him.

I will always cherish the time that Dad and I worked together at Echo Hill. His insights and wisdom continue to be powerfully useful and helpful whether I am on the South Flat or the South Seas.

I just want to share a few thoughts from Uncle Tom:

    1. Every rock has a trajectory.
    2. There is always a penultimate call for ice-cold-watermelon.
    3. Because we are in the Northern Hemisphere, we pass our prayer books to the center.
    4. The more vulnerable a creature is, the greater responsibility we have to care for it.
    5. Always leave a place cleaner than you found it.
    6. Don't be afraid of noises in the dark. It's probably only a friendly horse.
    7. If you wake up early, rest quietly. You may see an early morning deer. Don't say, "If I'm up, everybody's up!"
    8. We don't teach swimming - we teach boys and girls how to swim.
    9. To have a friend you have to be a friend.
    10. Always remember to say "Thank You".

One favorite memory of Uncle Tom and Echo Hill is sitting on the benches at the Tennis Courts at sunset listening to all the sounds of nature. The sun is setting and the beautiful shining stars of the night are just beginning to glow. This was Daddy's favorite time of day. Twilight - when as he put it "the crepuscular animals start to become active"

Dad would always point out to us "the Echo Hill paradox" - How could the sun have set behind Echo Hill in the west and still be shining its golden light on the hills to the east?

Uncle Tom's paradox - How can he be gone from us and still be so much a part of us and with us forever?