Stories About Tino

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Submitted by Jody Carbone:

I ran with a crooked gate and way to slow to be a cross country runner. But my father stuck it out and would do anything to support his daughter. So he took up cross country running--this from a man whose idea of exercise was mowing the lawn on a tracker mower. The one thing he did like about the sport was the carb loading. He loved the pasta. He would eat bagels--especially power bars brought in to work by Ronnie Pepin from Bagel Boss in East Brunswick--and claim they were part of his health kick, even after he'd devoured 5 of them. When we'd run, there was usually a dispute about the length of my stride or the actual mileage we ran. We'd usually end up driving the route again to see how far we'd actually run.

In the Poconos, we'd run around the lake and tack on an extra .2 miles where the road wouldn't exactly match our route. We loved the hills because that was the true test of strength. But we never ran the entire way. We always took a breather, or walked part of the way to observe and appreciate the scenery. And he would always say, "I tell ya, Kiddo, that is beautiful" when he was looking at a tree, flower, or landscape. And always at the sky, he was always so enamored with a beautiful sky line or sunset/rise. The man was born in a war torn village, grew up in an inner city basement and was more amazed by a beautiful sunset than by anything else in the world--except Roman ruins. We ran around the Coliseum once. It is the most memorable moment of my life. He was so impressed that he and his daughter were running around the Coliseum. He never wasted a moment. He never thought the next would be better. He was so happy to live and to live with his wife and children. He never resented anyone who had more--more time, more memories, more things. Nothing would have made him happier than just enjoying his family....except maybe enjoying his family in an out door cafe with a nice bottle of wine.

Submitted by Joe Resch:

Before my computer deletes this old email, I want to save this and share it. I know that Tino was never fond of cell phones, computers or email. And, as good friends, we never emailed because of that. However, when Alex, my partner, and I bought a home in Mexico and set up a website to share it with future guests, Tino wanted to see it. The only email I ever received from Tino is the following that came on April 19, 2004 after he looked at the website.

"Joe, good luck or should I say buono fortuna. What's a palapa?"

Tino was always supportive, personable and honest and efficient with his words. A palapa is a thatched roof built on a wood pole and frame structure. In Mexico, palapas are found on the beach for shade or on roof top terraces, also for shade. We have one on the roof top. I thought that sharing and preserving my only email ever in life from Tino, told its own story.

Submitted by Tim Jurgensen:

Tino and I were good friends at Catholic University. He graduated a year ahead of me in 1969. I got a call from him shortly after graduating myself in June of 1970. He wanted to know if I'd go with him across country to visit friends in Whittier, Ca. I agreed and he drove down from New Jersey shortly thereafter where he had been working as a probation officer. From Washington, we drove to the westcoast in 3 days! That's about 900 miles a day. He had a Ford Maverick back then and drove at times 100 mph. Needless to say we got pulled over by the police at least once. I don't recall if he got ticketed then or talked his way out of it. (An opportunity to turn on the charm, I guess.) Anyway, we got as far as Oklahoma City and somehow found out that all four of his tires had soft spots on them. Any one of them could have blown at those speeds and left little of us behind to send home in a shoebox. We spent $100 on a new set of treads at Sears and off we went again at a furious pace.

Tino's car was nor air conditioned, but that didn't stop us from passing through Needles near the Mojave Desert. We were young and not too bright, as you may can tell. Tino obviously was tougher than I. It took me several days to recover in Whittier, not realizing I suffered from dehydration. We stayed with a family whose son, Tino's friend, had married a year earlier, if memory serves me correctly. They were very hospitable and took us to the beach near Malibu and later drove ahead of us up to the San Francisco Bay area. We took the scenic route right along the coast with plenty of hairpin turns. What a view-the surf, steep cliffs and the blue Pacific!! Once we got to S.F., we drove down the famous Lombard Drive, went to Fisherman's Pier, Sausalito, and Oakland to drop some hippies off. The weather was foggy and cool for June, but typical for the Bay area.

After parting ways with his friends we headed back to D.C. by way of Lake Tahoe and Reno. The sights were gorgeous, and I still think today that that area is one of the most beautiful places I've seen. I returned years later with our sons to share its beauty with them. We also made our way to Denver through the awesome Rockies and happened to drive past a fellow Catholic U student as he was crossing the street-only about 1700 miles from campus. His name was George Martinez, I believe. He showed us around town a bit before we called it a night.

We traveled on the Interstate nearly the entire trip there and back. If you can believe it, we made the roundtrip in 10 days. Well over 6000 miles with some north and south miles added to that.

About a day or so into the trip, the only thing Tino could think about was being homesick and missing his girlfriend. He could not get her off his mind, hence the quick trip to get back to her arms.

Tino and I lost track of one another after that. I was already draft bait having "won" the draft lottery in Dec of 1969. I went off to serve my country, and the rest is history.

Earlier this year, Catholic U somehow got my current address and sent me their quarterly magazine. I was shocked and stunned when I saw Tino's obituary. I could not believe my friend had died at such a young age. I did some research on the web and pieced together that he had stayed in NJ, gone to law school and had been an assistant state attorney general. It made me proud to see what he had done with his life. When we were traveling, it seemed Tino did not have a clear direction as to what he wanted to do. Obviously that changed later on.

One thing is for sure: we were not meant to have our lives cut short on that whirlwind trip to California. He had the love of his life to return to and marry, children to father and a courtroom to seek justice and fairness in.

I am proud to have known him and been his friend.

Tim Jurgensen