In the past several weeks, I had been thinking of calling my long-time friend and banking colleague Tom Mobley to see how he was doing. I also had a bit of an ulterior motive, wondering if he might need me to do grunt work at his ranch in the fall to help sort cows for vaccinations, help with branding or test them for pregnancy.
It was, as my son once said, a chance to go to a fantasy cowboy ranch for a day, to get real cow **** on my only occasionally used roper boots and wear ranching duds. (I only wore a baseball cap, not a Stetson).
But the real reason was that I really liked being around Tom, hearing him talk and learning from him. He was, in the most sincere terms, one of the most genuine person I’ve known.
Tom died of COVID-19 on Monday. He was a few years older than me, but he was not one of those people who get an asterisk by their name suggesting it was caused by “underlying conditions.” He was in good health, worked harder physically than I’ve probably done in all my life and didn’t deserve to die at his age. It is a real tragedy that he is gone.
Tom had more integrity than about any other person I’ve ever met. He was a stickler for details, could be bull-headed with his opinions and he and I knocked heads more than once on issues. In retrospect, I realize he was usually right on the position he took.
He was the person who unlocked the door at the bank for me on the first day I reported to work. He helped my wife sort through some details on how to deal with her family farm in Nebraska. He was good humored about my constant teasing about him being an “agricultural relic” to be considered as an exhibit at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Museum.
I could go on and on, but everyone who knew him has a story. I’ve attached a link to his obituary below:
But the real point of this blog is to urge you to call someone if you’ve been thinking of them lately. Tom would have appreciated my call to catch up with him. I didn’t make it, and I feel sad about that.