October 9, 1963 - September 22, 2001
slave tommy entered Master Taino's service on April 29, 2000. He passed away in service to the Master at age 37 on September 22, 2001 at 5:25 PM, two weeks before his 38th birthday. his Master and slave brothers dave and mike2 were at his bedside.
tommy was a proud Southern boy of Scottish, Irish, and Native American ancestry.
Through an ad on the Internet, slave tommy learned that Master Taino was looking for slaves. tommy promptly responded and began the slave application process that culminated with several visits of a week and longer. After a two-month trial period, tommy was accepted to become Master Taino's slave. tommy signed his first contract and received his collar on April 29, 2000. he spent and about two weeks every month in the Master's home in Virginia, and the rest of his time in Atlanta.
When Master Taino wrote the word "slave" on tommy's butt for the first time, the boy took it seriously. he was keen to keep the label fresh and legible at all times, and felt proud to be marked as his Master's property. Whenever the slave inscription faded, slave tommy let his Master know right away and asked to be marked again.
A memorial service to celebrate tommy's life was held at the Master's house on October 7th, 2001 and attended by his friends in the DC Leather Community. The service was well attended by those whose lives were touched by tommy.
On September 22, 2002 -- the first anniversary of slave tommy's passing -- a memorial was held at his home in Atlanta and his ashes were finally scattered in his back yard as it was his will. Master Taino and slaves dave and mike2 were in attendance. slave mike2 -- who was brought to the family by slave tommy -- was commissioned by Master Taino to scatter the ashes during a simple but powerful Lakota ceremony. With this, Master Taino and his Leather family found closure, but slave tommy will be remembered forever.
After his first visit, slave tommy wrote to Master Taino to express his feelings of that first week under Master's domain: "A Long Week" (March 16, 2000)
“ A Long Week”
Like i said in my previous email, i had 10.5 hours of time to think some thoughts that i wanted to share with You so here it goes.
Sir, thank You for allowing me to come and visit/interview for the position of the houseboy for You and Your family!!!
i remember that i was fine on my way up there until about ten miles from Your house. Then i got nervous, why...i was scared, didn't really know what i was getting myself into, who i was dealing with.... being far from home and not knowing anyone in the area.... what if something went wrong or didn't work out...all of these questions/concerns crossed my mind.... but i kept driving and arrived at Your house. i remember thinking in my mind not long after i arrived, "this is going to be a long week". In that short time span of a week You showed me not only of life with You and Your family, but also showed me something of myself, something deep inside of me was exposed.
You showed me Your commitment to the leather lifestyle, the Daddy/boy relationship, and the Master/slave relationship. i have never felt that i was slave material.....but You seemed to think so. i remember kneeling before You and You placing a big and heavy chain around my neck and locking it on there. i secretly thought, "hell no, this is not staying on all week". i've had chain collars locked on before, BUT, they always came off after "play time" was over. This time the chain/lock didn't not come off. With each passing day i grew prouder and prouder of that chain around my neck and knowing that You placed it there. Finally, this morning, You unlocked the lock and removed the chain from my neck. i felt like i was on the verge of crying. Kinda' like i was being punished for something, but i know that isn't the case Sir.
i feel kinda' lost without the chain/lock on me Sir. i don't have that security of touching the chain/lock and knowing that You are caring/loving/teaching/protecting me. i remember looking at my "potential brothers" with their chain/lock thinking how can they wear them all the time? Now i know "how", it's an honor Sir. The very fact that You saw some potential in me, to place that chain/lock on me, it was now, to me Sir, a honor to wear Your chain/lock for that “long week". For me to be viewed by others in the leather community as part of Your family was a wonderful feeling and something i was proud of!!!
i miss You and the boys...i felt that i was a part of something during that "long week".
Thank You Sir for taking the time to talk with me about any concerns and answer any questions that i had about life with You and Your family, my duties and responsibilities to You and Your family, but mostly for letting me know that i would be loved/cared for just as much as Your most senior boy/slave.
Sir, i miss You and being with You and "my potential brothers".
i don't know what the future holds for me in being a part of Your family, but at the very least Sir, You showed me more in a short week, then most boys/slaves get to learn/experience in a lifetime.
Sir, this is just some of the thoughts in my mind on that "long drive home".
All i can say is Thank You Sir!!!
The evening after slave tommy's passing, Master Taino found in tommy's room his collar and a letter from his slave: "An ever longer ride"
“An Ever Longer Ride”
(Note: This letter was found by Master Taino after tommy's passing. It seems to have been written in the Spring 2001.)
It's now been over a year since i had that long drive back to Atlanta. Little did i know it would be a longer way to the point of where i'm at today. I know that it's been a rough road for me and You,
That first trip up took about 10 hours, and the closer i got the more nervous I became, not knowing what to expect. Yesterday, the trip took only 1.5 hours and a feeling of I can't wait to get here was inside of me.
Over the past year, i know it hasn't been real easy in dealing with me. i offer you my sincere "Thank You" for the patience You have shown.
We have traveled the same roads although at times it appeared that we had taken different routes and i will admit that most of the time it didn't seem that i knew where i was going or even why i was going.
A lot of realizations have occurred during the course of the year along with a lot of emotions, frustration, drama, laughter, tears, hugs, and smiles, but most of all, love.
Even with a year that's come and gone, i still have a way to go. i still don't know where all of this journey will lead, but at this point, i am not sure if it's that important that i know.
After Mikey passed on, i ventured down another road that i needed to explore and grow. i learned my spirituality during that time. i now view this past year with You as the same thing, a part of me i needed to explore. Through exploration, one learns about one self and his surrounding.
You know what January 2001 was like for me. Things happened that i don't understand. But it appears that everything that has occurred has happened for a reason.
Things happened during January 2001. The most profound thing that occurred was mentally with me. The relationship with You changed. More over, i believe things changed for me, more than for You. You have always been clear about our relationship. Now i understand.
Right now, i'm sitting in the airport about to fly back to Atlanta. i already have began to think of my next trip up. It's no longer a long drive up to be with You. The sad fact appears that although i want to be at home, I also want to be here with You and my brothers.
February 2000 - Initial contact thru IM and E-mails.
March 2000 - First but not the last visit
April 2000 - i signed my first contract
May 2000 - For the first time in several years, i attend IML as part of a Family.
June 2000 - Again we attend SELF as a Leather Family.
July 2000 - We, as a Leather Family, went to watch the fireworks as the US celebrated the re-opening of the Washington Monument. During this same time, i began to suffer extremely high fevers from unknown causes. i don't remember the night it happened but I know i had a fever of 103 and You took me to the Emergency Room. i didn't understand at that time why You would do that. In my mind, i should have been taking care of You. But as You have shown me, this relationship is a two-way street. Just as i love, respect and care for You, You love, care, and respect me.
August 2000 -- I'm still suffering from the fevers even after a lot of the tests. You are still there, giving me encouragement and love. Caring for me when i was sick.
September 2000 - We attend Olympia together as a Family. You allowed me to experience things that i never thought i would ever do.
October 2000 -- This was a month to celebrate. Not only is it my birthday but Yours as well. You made me very happy when you unwrapped my present to you and read what it said. i saw tears in your eyes and i knew that i had gotten you the most perfect gift. my heart was happy!
Not only did we celebrate birthdays but because of our relationship, i was afforded the chance of meeting someone who was to become my best friend but also become my leather brother. We shared a drive in the mountains, a trip to view the leaves.
November 2000 -- With Your approval, i presented to the public myself, who am very shy, to help raise funds for MAsT.
December 2000 - i was with You just before Christmas. You decided to allow your three boys to go to Fort Lauderdale without You, so we three boys could have some time to bond and have a good time. This would also turn out to be the last time i would be the same boy as i was when i left on December 19.
January 2001 -- Since i had seen You in December, something happened. i have since stopped searching for the reason why "it" happened. i'm content to know "it' happened for me and for You. my outlook on our relationship was changed. It changed without word being exchanged, but thru actions and love. You sat beside me and held my hand in the hospital offering words of encouragement to speed me on my way to recovery. Once again, You were there for me. You allow one of my leather brothers, mike 2, to be there also. Having him there helped me, bit i also think it helped him. The day i was released from the hospital, i asked for your help in washing my back because i simply had run out of energy. You did and never backed away, you were there for me and provided me with love.
February 2001 - the recovery process is a long and very slow road. You still stood strong for me and you never let me give up.
Exactly, one month after slave tommy's death, Master Taino sat down and wrote him a letter of farewell and appreciation: "Farewell" (October 22, 2001)
“Farewell” by Master Taino
My dear slave tommy,
I am writing this exactly one month after you left us. It has been quite a month. your memories are everywhere. I knew we were going to lose you, but did not know when. I thought I was prepared but i wasn't.
you left sooner that we expected, boy. And you left many memories in our hearts. Today, I want to give you thanks.
- Thanks, tommy, for being yourself.
- Thanks, tommy, for all your love.
- Thanks, tommy, for wearing your collar with so much pride.
- Thanks, tommy, for understanding what our family was all about.
- Thanks, tommy, for your constant smile.
- Thanks, tommy, for being there for your Master.
- Thanks, tommy, for being there for your brothers.
- Thanks, tommy, for your service.
- Thanks, tommy, for your loyalty.
- Thanks, tommy, for your courageous fight even that many times you felt "sick of getting sick".
- Thanks, tommy, for the opportunity of being part of your life.
- Thanks, tommy, for loving this Master the special way you did.
Being at your bed side with dave and mike was one of the most powerful and overwhelming experience of my lifetime. Seeing you in pain was really hard. But when you finally left surrounded by those who loves you, your mother, sister and brother, your Leather Family and your brothers and sisters from your Lakota spirituality circle, I knew you left happy and full of love. I will never forget our last exchange of words, just minutes before your passing. "tommy, we love you" and you responded "love you too".
While being at your bedside to the moment of your last breathe, I realized that the love that you, dave, mike and myself were sharing at that moment is what makes this family strong... it's what this, our Leather Family, is all about.
During our stay with your family and friends, we were overwhelmed by their showing appreciation for helping you to have fun during the last year and a half of your life. They all knew how happy you were coming to DC and our family road trips. And with your passing, you left all of us as a strong family, you left us your Mom and siblings, you left is Laura, and Michael and Gen, who feel so strongly being part of us. What a gift you left us with at the very moment of you passing.
Then two weeks later, the friends you made through the Leather Family gathered in our home to remember and celebrate your life. you should have been happy looking down at us and seeing how many people really care for you. It was good to have your ashes back in the house, your last trip to the family's home.
tommy, you will always live in our hearts, There are memories of you in every single corner of our house, so your presence among us is always strong and vibrant. Still, we miss your smile and your ways. you were so unique and so special, boy. We do not have any other choice but to love you for what you were.
My last command to you as my slave is to accept my appointment as our Ambassador before the Almighty and the special Guardian Angel of each member of our family.
Daddy loves and misses you so much, boy.
slave tommy made many friends in the Washington, DC area while serving his Master. Doug and his partner Jim, both club brothers of Master Taino, became two of the closest friends that tommy made in DC. At his Memorial Service, Doug read his dedication to tommy as the "Southern Magnolia".
The majestic Magnolia is a Southern beauty to truly behold. It rises from seed and soil gracing landscapes with its depth and color.
Seasons change and the hearty tree begins to show its grace and true beauty with a foliage and flower that none can escape.
Much like that earthly treasure, there was a graceful magnolia among us in this world that we called our brother, son, confidante, and friend. Tommy was OUR Graceful Southern Magnolia. He weathered the seasons that changed his life while still providing a friendship that flowered with a magnitude and charm like that of the Grand Southern Magnolia.
He touched the lives of the people that came in contact with him in so many ways. His strength to continue to grow and shade those that were having storms in their life was immense. When the seasons changed for him he never let you down if you needed a sturdy pillar to lean on in a storm or a flower to make you smile when you were sad. When his spring was around him, which was most of the time, he would shade you from harsh times with caring words and a warm hug. Then a wondrous surprise provided you a smile much like the blossom that comes with that of the Magnolia tree. A beautiful flower with a fragrance you immediately know. It was that glowing smile and laugh that made Tommy complete with the Magnolia blossom. You had to admire it’s delicate looking petals as it opened up, as if to hold it’s arms out to you with a strength that was hidden by it’s beauty…….
This is the Tommy we knew.
Today the blossom has faded yet the fragrance of friendship and the beauty of God’s creation
forever lives in our Memories and our Hearts.
The seed of this beautiful Magnolia has given us an enduring strength and togetherness……
May we plant this seed as well as Tommy did…
Cultivate it with the care he expressed….
Shelter and Share like the Grand Magnolia does…
Pass that seed on by showing our Love and Care.
Heaven has a Grand Southern Magnolia For Its Garden Now.