All the Kings horses and all the Kings men COULD put Humpty Dumpty back together again!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Hi Everyone,
I just wanted to let you know that Jamie will be coming home today, Friday August 20th!  We are very excited.  He will still have to go back to Accute Rehab in about 4 weeks time once his bones have healed more and he can then start to bear weight on his lower body and right arm.  His new room will be in the kids playroom so needless to say the last few days have been a flurry of going through toys and games.    Walker re-discovered the doll stroller and was rolling himself around in it pretending it was a wheelchair...just like dad!  Thanks to Buestad Construction we have a custom made wheelchair ramp in the front on which they posted 2 MPH max...not sure if that was for Jamie or the kids.
Just give us a call if you want to come see the patient in his new digs!
Thanks - Gail

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Beginning of the End

It is time to taper down the blog.  Right now there is a lot of repetition in Jamie's recovery and we can only tell so many fart and poop jokes. He is out of the "life threatening" stage of the incident. His vitals are normal, his body is making its own blood and he is, by all measures, very healthy, other than the fractures which just take time to heal.  Aside from not being able to walk for a couple months, he is totally fine now.

Thank you all for supporting us through this experience.  We hope that this blog proved to be both informative and humorous. We know there are a lot of others that have suffered far more severely than Jamie did, yet quietly went about their healing process without drawing unnecessary attention to themselves. Those of you who know Jamie know that quietly going about anything is not his style, for better or worse. More importantly, however, the blog started as a practical way to protect Gail from being overwhelmed with phone calls and it took on a life if its own....mostly due to Tommy's unrivaled ability to tell stories. We have been so deeply touched by the support and kindness that Jamie and his family have received from all of you that we felt that you deserved an open line of communication about his status. One of the key items that came out of this is that Jamie considers himself the luckiest man on earth to have such wonderful friends. This experience has taught him that in the end, family and friendship is the pinnacle of life.

Jamie will post one more entry to this blog to give his personal perspective on this experience.  It may take a few days as it takes him time to type and he only ponders and documents this when he is in his most clear moments....low on pain meds. 

Drum roll, please.....

Friday, August 13, 2010


Such is my life, always a day late and a dollar short!  I passed on last night’s blog that re-capped a day in which Jamie released a little “fury” from just about every nook and cranny of both large and small intestines.  He claimed, and why wouldn’t he after four days, that said fury was the largest thing he has ever deposited!  I guess if you had to find a positive of not being very maneuverable it would be this…Jamie’s “Great Movement” was caught in his bedpan…for all to see to include his nurse who exclaimed…”Wow!”

So, with more of the old poop material, I am reminded of another great story involving Jamie and me.  It was summertime, 1981, and Jamie and I were on a vacation with my Dad and Stepmom.  The trip had been a blast thus far….but the events from this particular night would leave a lasting impression of the entire trip on both Jamie and me to this day.  We were in Spokane, Washington…my dad had a business dinner in a nice restaurant at the top floor of our hotel.  Several courses into the dinner, Jamie and I were hanging on pure boredom while everyone else slugged bottles of wine like Roman Soldiers!  Anyway, the urge hit us both around the same time…and we hustled to the restroom.  The men’s room was standard in appearance with four to five stalls on one side and a wall full of urinals on the other….ladies, don’t get jealous!  The bathroom was completely empty when we arrived and so we did as any ten and eleven year old would do…we executed the “stall in the middle is a buffer rule.”  (Bad bathroom etiquette is to sit side-by-side if not necessary).  I took the first stall….Jamie bypassed the second and took the third.  And there we sat…just jaw-jacking about anything and everything.  I am not even sure we had to do any business….but it was just nice to get away from all the grown-up discussion at the table.  What a bonus! An empty bathroom, good company, good conversation…alas!

The abrupt jolt of the door opening and slamming against the stop….caught me off guard…even startled me a bit. CLICKETY CLACK….CLICKETY CLACK….CLICKETY CLACK went the fellas loafers on the marble tiled bathroom floor. I hear the man outside my stall….I even see some movement in the break between the stall door and the frame.  I looked down as both black loafers stopped their prance long enough to present themselves at the base of my door!  The handle jiggled….the door moved slightly and in a spastic fore aft motion…but the latch kept it from opening!  What the hell was this guy doing?  “Oh shoot, ahhhhhhh” the man exclaimed…and the furious CLICKETY CLACKS picked back up.  He then broke the ”Cardinal” rule and entered the number two stall….the buffer!  Needless to say, all chit-chat between Jamie and I had stopped at the slamming of the door.  I watched the man’s loafers…now from under the adjoining stall wall.  They were still tapping…like the great Arthur Duncan used to do on the Lawrence Welk Show. (That just happened…a pull from the LWS??? Jamie, you know you love that!) We listened intently as the man frantically called out as though he was in church….”Ohhhhh, Jeeeezzzzzz…..zzzzzzzzuussss!”  The CLICKETY CLACKS had now turned into CLICK CLACKS as the guy marched in place like a Marine at the Evening Parade.  I heard the unmistakable fumbling of a now panicked man as he wrestled with the release of his belt buckle!  A couple more disclaimers…this time using Jesus’ last name...and the man’s slacks, in one motion, and his underwear in second motion ate up borrowed time.  The next thing that took place was both horrific and hilarious.  He started his volatile purge as he was still in the act of sitting down on the toilet…and it didn’t take a genius to figure that out. Man, what entertainment!  That poor bastard was in such a tight spot…he didn’t even have time to prep the seat with a cover!  Disgusting! 

Several seconds had now gone by since the last time I had heard from Jamie.  The man between us was peppering the bowl like one of those spray foam insulation guns.  So, you can probably imagine what happens next.  I remember chomping down hard on my cheeks with my teeth…and the more I got the urge to laugh….the tighter I bit.  But not old Jamie….he busted out with a cackle that could be heard clear across the state in Seattle!  Of course, the chain reaction was that I could no longer contain myself and I busted out laughing too.  And hearing me laugh made Jamie laugh even harder…..which made me laugh harder.  The man in the middle stall never acknowledged us…thank god!  We went into damage control and lifted up our legs so the guy couldn’t get a look at our shoes…and then we waited him out as he finished and left the bathroom. 

“Man, did you hear that?” That question started our conversation back up as we picked back up where we left off before the interruption.  Again, as funny today as the day it happened…oh, and yes, I am actually embarrassed that I am 41!!  So, if I am sharing funny stories than that means Jamie’s day went without a hitch, right?

Today, 12 August, was a great day!  Lots of visitors and more of the same for Jamie.  In fact, among the many visitors was Jamie and Gail's friend Beth her two daughters.  They brought Jamie a very cool gag gift that includes a different mustache for each day of the week!  See picture of Thursday's stash...

Jamie’s pain was very manageable. In fact, each day Jamie has to describe his pain level…and today he pointed to the little smiley face!  No, just funnin’ around, Jamie does describe his pain but he uses a scale from one to ten.  Today, Jamie described it as a four. This is exciting as he has never felt good enough to report lower than a six.

His morning routine was more Occupational Therapy with his therapist Carrie.  Jamie and Carrie have a great report…and yet another person that can hang with Jamie’s “in the gutter” sense of humor!  (I am just glad mine isn’t in the gutter). Jamie made the comment that since the removal of his cath…things seemed a bit more depleted…to which Carrie replied…”sounds like a personal problem!”  A thus a match made in heaven!  Jamie continued to work on the slide board, which assists movement from his bed to a wheelchair.  And, once in his wheelchair…Jamie and Carrie worked on practicing a daily routine.  This is important as you can imagine how much different your daily activities are in that capacity.  Jamie spent the better part of his day in his wheelchair and in the seated position.  Personally, I find this amazing…as it was a mere four days ago that I watched him sit up for a couple minutes before he was wiped out.  Only days later, and he is in the seated position for more than four hours. 

Jamie dresses in the morning and Gail bought him some fancy shorts to wear around the hospital.  The shorts are ideal…now that his cath is out as they have pajama style access in the front for the old pee bottle.  See Jamie below with his PT, Kay.  He is sporting the new duds.....

Jamie ate lunch with Gail and his new friends…Tony and Pat!  Beyond that, the lunchroom looks like the Early Bird Special at the Golden Corral!  “Bingo!”  After lunch, Jamie met with his Physical Therapists.  This was very productive…though, Jamie is constantly being reminded to throttle back a bit! The next few weeks will be like ground hog day.  But, Jamie is actually very excited about his new digs.  He was going crazy…being idle in his bed.  Now he is out there working hard towards recovery and getting out of acute care and back home!  So, all-in-all a great day.  Until tomorrow…


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August 11, 2010

Okay, the sister is back on blog duty today.  Jamie and Tommy got all the humor genes in the family, but I got the short and sweet gene.  So here we go. 

All in all, today was a good day with lots of new activities for Jamie.  The day started by working out some of the kinks that came about with moving facilities.  First off, the pain medication management needed a complete rework this morning as they had Jamie on 1/3 of the proper dosages.  Doctors did solve this problem, but the error caused Jamie considerable pain.  Additionally, Jamie switched rooms which really worked out as a benefit, as his bed is on the window side of his new room so he has more privacy and a nice view now.  As a So Cal resident, I am sure the additional sunshine will help with keeping spirits up. 

In the new facility, he receives both physical therapy as well as occupational therapy and a lot of it is geared to perform activities that allow you to return home.  He enjoyed both therapies today and is learning to get himself in a wheelchair.  His occupational therapist frowned when he rolled into see her at the wheelchair they had issued him and got him an upgrade with a cushy seat.  Additionally, Jamie got dressed today for the first time since his leathers were removed. Not nearly as stylish as the fancy leathers, but exciting nonetheless.

As you can imagine, most residents are about 20 or so years older, but he had lunch with some new friends, Tony and Pat, today that are closer in age to him.  At the facility, they actually go to a dining hall and dine together. 

Two of the best physical things that happened today were the removal of the catheter and apparently, Jamie told Gail that he took one of the biggest dumps ever. 

He also had a few visitors today.  Tighe, close friend, stopped by as well as Ken Carvalho, Ken and Deanna, and Jeff all the way from Stockton!  (My apologies to anyone whose name I may have misspelled or have incorrect, Jamie is a stickler for details, but he is not available to verify them.)  Maisie and Walker stopped by with Gail and Martha.  All in all, he was wiped out by the end of the day.  Lots of new activities that are getting him closer to home in Alameda which is all the motivation that Jamie needs!  Until tomorrow....   

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ramble On...

Well I was trying to reference one of Jamie's favorite songs but upon further research realized I was mixing up Ramble On by Led Zeppelin with Mountain Jam by the Allman Brothers.  However, both are fitting...Jamie rambled on to another facility today!  He is now in the Alta Bates Accute Rehab Facility in Berkeley.  If any of you know the length of Mountain Jam it is a really long song and we are still looking at a long recovery but have made big steps in the last few days.  I am attempting to write this entire blog while I listen to Mountain Jam.  This would be a good place to insert the song, but no such luck folks - you will have to seek it on your own!
Let me start with the beginning of the day, and please know, I don't have the attention to detail that Jamie does so I may leave a few things the way it is me, Gail.
Jamie had a busy morning of finding out that he was going to be moved and then us asking a lot of questions to make sure this was the best next step for him.  We even had All World Tim and Dr. Bennett (aka 'The Deez') in the room with us at the same time.  This was after Tim and myself chased Dr. Bennett down the hall and Jamie was yelling his questions from the room to persuade him to come in.  Needless to say both Tim and Dr. Bennett assured us this was the best move for Jamie.   The main difference being that he will be focused on physical therapy.  He will also be learning how to do all the things he needs to be able to do at home.
The physical therapy plan for the day was to get Jamie on a commode (aka mobile toilet) and that was not going to be put off.  While the transporters were waiting outside his room to take him to Alta Bates he was sitting on his commode trying to relax and let one go as you can see below.
This is very exciting because it is one more step towards life as usual for Jamie.  The transporters whisked him off and he was on his way.  While Jamie was en route I swung by the Verizon store to get him a prepaid Internet card.  Jarrod was helping me and had some ideas that I thought he should run by I called him and put Jarrod on the phone.  A few seconds into the conversation Jarrod looked at me in shock and says to Jamie "You mean you're in an ambulance right now?" - translation "What kind of wife goes shopping while her husband is in an ambulance...!!??"  I explained as best I could but I'm not sure he liked me as much as he did when I walked in.
Jamie arrived at Alta Bates and well...the accommodations are fine, but it does make the ortho ward look really good!  Tomorrow will be the real test once he gets going with the physical therapy.  He has a wonderful nurse, Carole, that was very welcoming and attentive.  He is pretty excited because they handed him a schedule of what he will be doing during the day.  The busier the better, as we all know, Jamie doesn't 'do' sitting around very well!
All in all today was a busy, exciting and bittersweet day.  Our eldest daughter, Elizabeth, came with me today so she got to see a lot of changes and was so amazingly patient.  I think she just needed a Dad fix and now that he is closer to home she will be getting a lot more! 
The song ended long ago and I need to get to sleep, until tomorrow!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Goin' Mobile

I am not sure if my face gave away my horror…at least, not to the extent that Jamie’s face betrayed his attempt to mask his outrage…how would we spare our Grandmother’s feelings?

 I knew the train was verging derailment when we departed the Beach House early that summer morning in the year of our Nation’s Bicentennial celebration. Shit, it had just started out wrong….and went worse from there.  Try to imagine the two of us digging through our suitcases chucking clothes behind like a dog would move earth in the act of burying a bone.  It had to be a near simultaneous discovery when Jamie exclaimed, ”I don’t have my bathing suit!”  “I don’t have mine, either,” I shouted.  So, off we were to go shopping for new suits with none other than my Grandmother….gulp! (Insert the part where it feels like swallowing a spoonful of peanut butter with no milk chaser!)  Man, I bet you could dress a small country with the many articles of clothing my Grandmother had bought us that sat untouched in our wardrobes at home.  Sweaters with cables, checkered pants, and shirts with epaulettes…if it wasn’t made of corduroy or didn’t say “Keep On Truckin’ “ then we didn’t wear it. And if it didn’t have a zipper or the zipper was in any other place than “hey diddle diddle straight up the middle” then it would never advance further than first -string dust collector sitting ass last in the depths of our chest-o-drawers.

There are a thousand places to take a kid to replace his swimming trunks and probably double that in a beach town like Aptos.  We just assumed we would hit Vessey’s, the local convenience store.  Vessey’s had it all, candy, kites, comic books, wiffle balls and bats…and swim trunks!  But, no we watched the fancy cursive fonted Vessey’s sign over our left shoulder as we went straight into some off-the-wall young man’s department store.  We stood there staring at each other…expecting that the other would have the courage to stop the atrocity that my Grandmother was about to commit.  Right there on the counter sat two matching burgundy colored (burgundy? I didn’t even know there was such a color until my Grandmother told us that day) polyester liner less swimsuits.  I wanted to cry but I knew if I did I would set Jamie into full fledged meltdown mode….we had to keep it together.  “Perhaps, it won’t be as bad as we think when we have them on”…I muttered.  I saw the skin between Jamie’s chin and lip start to twitch and took that as…”you can shut-up now”

So, there we stood examining the other as we inspected the swimsuits for serviceability.  It was horrifying.  The suits made us look like some cross between Pierre from South France and Mr. Furley (in reference to 70s hit show Three's Company). The polyester made the shorts tighter than the trendy loose fitting board style shorts…you know the ones…the ones that every other kid on the beach was wearing!  And, they were form fitting in the front sparing nothing to the imagination…making us appear as though we hijacked the appetizer tray of the last of the “lil smokies” and cherry tomatoes and tried to smuggle them out in our pants!  And, burgundy meant that when we did wear our Keep On Truckin” shirts it only accentuated the fish-out-of-water ensemble that was sure to make us the laughing stock on the beach.  But, the biggest faux pa was not having a liner.  This meant we had to pay particular attention to the old “no matter how much you wiggle and dance…the last drop always lands in your pants!”  Picture this…two boys in burgundy polyester trunks….pee stained and their block and tackle all out there for the world to see.  It was all wrong…horribly wrong.  So, Jamie and I faked being under the weather for the next week until my Dad arrived and made the situation all better.  When my Grandmother wasn’t paying attention…he hustled us up to Vessey’s where we got new suits.  Mine with a Schlitz Malt Liquor Bull pattern and Jamie’s with the traditional Schlitz Beer logo…cuz remember, if you’re outta Schlitz…you’re outta beer!  They were loose and lined and we were ready for the beach! Cock of the Walk, Baby!

Anyway, as I drove away from Santa Rosa Memorial yesterday for Truckee…I had lots of time to think…and man did I.  I thought about Jamie and some funny stories of our childhood.  Though, he is recovering nicely…I felt pretty bad about leaving him. That story makes me laugh as much today as ever and so I wanted to share it with all of you…and Jamie…as I know he will be laughing as he reads it.  I asked Gail if I could return for today’s blog and She obliged.

Blog Entry: 9 August 10

Each day brings with it more and more progress.  My Stepmother, Reenie, did the midmorning turnover with my Dad and will stay with Jamie for the next couple of days.  But, before anyone arrived today Jamie had his personal grooming done.  Meaning he shaved both his face and head.  This is huge and speaks volumes to Jamie’s character.  It would be easy to sit around all day and let people do things for you…but the truth is Jamie knows that by forcing himself to work his right hand through chores that require dexterity' like shaving will only help to get him back to normal.  So, he is shirking none of his responsibilities.  And, instead doing more and more each day.  He was also given two golf balls from the PT yesterday…to work in his hands like Furious Styles (Laurence Fishbourne) worked his Chinese “Boading” Balls in Boys n The Hood! Both balls are held in the hand and rotated around the other using only the movement of the fingers.  This is yet another dexterity drill to try to work his three fingers that seem to think they are on siesta.  Jamie was not too good yesterday but had them going today.  And if you know Jamie…he just wont give up until he is able to play with his balls….uhhhhh, wait…can I go to print with that?

The Diesel paid Jamie a visit today with some feedback from yesterday’s X-Rays and reported that everything looked great.  To put things a bit in perspective….Jamie asked him if he could tell whether the fractures in his pelvis looked to be mending and he told him that that kind of progress is still weeks away.  But, he did like what he saw.  Jamie finally broke the Diesel down a bit and actually got him to crack a smile.  It was only a matter of time…even for the most surly of characters.  Perhaps he made the Diesel laugh when he told him the story of when the nurses moved Jamie to X-Ray but forgot to hook his cath bag to the bed.  Aye Carumba!!! So, imagine the transporters pushing Jamie’s bed…Jamie saying, “uhhhh, fellas, is there something tugging my….” and a big long trail of tubing, piss bag, and leaking pee.  The whole X-Ray evolution yesterday is taking its toll today as Jamie is a little sore from some awkward and uncomfortable positions he was in to get the shots.  In particular, he has felt some pain in his lower back, which he suspects is his L-5 screaming!  He says it feels like laying on two bowling balls.

All the discomfort aside, today was momentous both physically and mentally.  Jamie’s PT session included the utilization of a slide board…which is a glorified piece of plywood…sanded of course so no fear of splinters!!  Anyway, the nurse sprinkles the slide board with baby powder and Jamie slides (with assistance) from the seated position on his bed to the seated position on something else…in this case a wheelchair.  Think of a flat bridge. The goal was to see if Jamie could handle the slide board and if he could to see if he could handle the wheelchair.  Jamie spent a nice portion of his afternoon being wheeled around the East Wing of the Ortho Ward…no doubt checking on the pain screamer…talking about how incredibly pain free he is…but that he wishes he could find his old bed pan!  Jamie had a much-anticipated visit from his dear friends Kevin and Meagan Nekimken....or knowing Kevin and his soft nature perhaps he went with the strategic hyphen! (Nekimken-Schumacher) or worse the hybrid (Nekumacher)…what up with that, Kevin? (Nah, just joshing my boy, Kevin, in a blog shout out).  Anyway, Kevin pushed Jamie all around the Ward.  It was a great visit.  Needless to say, Jamie was pretty tired…both physically and especially emotionally.  He finally broke down a bit as you can imagine one would when they go from being relegated to laying on their back to the freedom of sitting upright and moving about the hospital.  It was truly momentous.

See the picture below of Jamie being pushed around the hospital by his buddy Kevin….Clearly, looking at Kevin’s shirt he has trouble with his Grandmother buying him clothes as well!


When not entertaining visitors, Jamie is watching movies….and took in the “Hot Tub Time Machine” yesterday.  Also, I would like to make a late shout out to his buddies from Pacific Track Time….who decorated Jamie’s bed with black and white checkered racing tape…which has seriously improved the aesthetics of his room.   Awesome.

I will close with saying that any day that has the blog sharing a story from Jamie’s childhood…must mean that all is going as or better than expected.  And that is, in fact, the case.  Today was another great day that saw tremendous strides in the road to recovery.  He was able to keep up with an arduous PT regimen that had him move from his bed to a wheel chair…and in the words of Roger Daltrey and The Who…”Goin’ Mobile.”  All exciting stuff.  So, all is going very well.  To all, continue to read and post.  Until tomorrow…. 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Playing with a Full Bag of Clubs

You are stuck with the second string again, because “funny Tom” is driving his family to Truckee as I write this.  But by starting earlier, maybe we won’t be working this thing into sleep time.
So yesterday I mentioned that Jamie had found his driver, but lost his short game.  Today he has had a near-perfect round.  Every club in the bag has worked.  When I got here with Elizabeth; Tom, Paula, their children plus Maisie and Walker were all jammed into the room with Jamie and Gail and Jamie was pre-crash in appearance, energy and enthusiasm.  It was a great arrival scene.  Jamie had just sat up on the bed in his back brace with the help of his physical therapist.  His whole family and Tom's family were all present to see him upright.  And while he still has many weeks of rehab ahead of him and certainly more challenging days around the corner, sitting upright was a major milestone in Jamie's mind and he was beaming as a result.  In our pass-off, Gail made it clear that the whole day has been consistently good—over the top.  Jamie believes that his pain management regimen may have finally been figured out.  And, he tells me he now will get Valium in the evening, which will dramatically increase his sleep and prevent spasms in the morning. 

Tom and family departed and within minutes, Alameda neighbors John and Lisa arrived with their children—on their way home from Sea Ranch—to say hi.  So Gail’s departure was delayed a bit.  And as I type this, Jamie's long-time friend Tighe just walked in, so Jamie has no lack of company, and if it is tiring him, one would never know it.  I am not really exaggerating it when I say it is like the accident never happened—except of course that he is in a hospital and he is managing his own health care more or less like he was just named Surgeon General of the US.  Those of you who really know him understand exactly what I am saying and while it amuses us, we are damn grateful that he is that sharp and that engaged.
Shortly after I arrived, he did go to Xray as I told you yesterday he would.  His brace was on and he looked very comfortable.  He needed to keep it on for his Xrays.  After he got back, I helped the nurse take it off and the good news is that he just reaches up and grabs the trapeze with both hands and arms and pulls himself up nearly vertical and after we undid the straps from only one side, we just unfolded it and slid the back panel up past his shoulders.  There is no doubt I could have done that myself and maybe soon be able to position it correctly to put it back on.  Yesterday I forgot to tell you that he has nearly full use of his broken right arm.  He can pull on it all he wants and he does and it doesn’t hurt at all.  What he is not allowed to do is to push with that same arm.  He has several different therapists, one of which is for his right hand.  Three of those fingers don’t work great—especially the middle two, which results from some nerve damage at the elbow where he ground things down to the bone.  But his prognosis is very good based on what he can do as opposed to what he cannot do.  He cannot type worth a damn and he has trouble with one or two maneuvers on his Blackberry.  What seems to trouble him the most, however, is that he cannot offer the “Single Finger Salute.”  Nice to know where his priorities are!  Another thing I forgot to tell you from yesterday is that Jamie shaved himself yesterday and did so with his right hand. 
So where do we go from here?  We still need some progress on his blood.  And we still need to manage the pressure caused by the gas, which makes him truly uncomfortable considering that the gas somehow has to share the same area in the pelvis as his swollen tissue, internal bleeding and fractured bones.  Needless to say, the gas was late to the party and the others just don't want to make any room.  And most of all, it would be great if his body will mend the pelvis by itself rather than requiring more surgery.  Those are the goals.
One minor clarification I discovered yesterday is his ribs, which have been a moving information target.  I understood he had two broken ribs, then I learned it was three.  Actually, he broke four—matching pairs on both sides. 
I am not sure you will get an edition tomorrow because Reenie will be Jamie’s “family attendant.”  And then Gail will be back Tuesday.  I would be remiss if I did not follow Tom’s lead and thank each and every one of you for the enormous expressions of concern, love, thoughtfulness and humor.  Every one of you has contributed to his rapid progress.
Tom “The Hammer” Sr.