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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tim Andrus, my cousin. May he rest in peace.

I wake up Sunday morning to my mom calling me, it's only 9 am here so I ignore it. Thirty minutes later she sends me a text, Please call her as soon as I wake up, it said. This is never good news and of course I woke up and jumped out of bed to call her.

Although I was up and walking around, I was still pretty much sleeping during our conversation. I remember her saying, "I have some bad news to share with you". Thankfully the sleepiness was in control because normally my heart jumps out of my body and I start to sweat profusely because that means someone has died. But again, I was still practically asleep so I said, "Stab me with it quick" or something to that effect. The irony SO did not hit me until hours later. Honestly I was expecting to hear something horrible about the baby. My thought process was, how could it get any worse? SIDS? Whatever it was, it would kill me.

She said, "I'm sorry to tell you that Tim died early this morning." Relieved it wasn't about the baby, but still very much distracted I said, Tim? Tim who?
"Your cousin Tim, Janet's Tim." WHAT? What happened? This is where I started to wake up, but not really. I remember she said something about the Mountain Man Rendezvous...wrestling...his own knife. My brain still not functioning, I think I said, how's Janet? and I don't remember anything else about the call. I remember we said goodbye and hung up but I can't for the life of me remember anything beyond that. So an hour later I called her back to get the news again.

Apparently he was up at the Cache Valley Mountain Man Rendezvous also known as the Old Ephraim Rendezvous and was held in the Lefthand Fork area of Blacksmith Fork canyon, up Logan (UT) Canyon. He was on his feet wrestling with some friends, who were all up late enjoying some drinks. At some point, his arm knocked the sheath off his knife and the knife stabbed him in the chest at a 45 degree angle, slicing his aorta.

From what we know, the guy/s wrestling with him either both ran to get help or one of them ran to get help, but Tim was actually found by my childhood bestfriend Dustin Hooton and his brother Derek Hooton (my little brother, Christopher's bestfriend) on patrol of the grounds. Dustin, who works for or volunteers for the local fire department performed CPR until Life Flight was brought to take him to the nearest hospital. Before Tim lost consciousness, he said "We've got a bleeder" in perfect Tim form. My brother Christopher said, "at least he went out joking". Tim, 33 years old was pronounced dead at the scene but was Life Flighted to the hospital.

A quick side note on the distasteful comments I've read on the article in the Salt Lake Tribune, it makes me sick that people will go out of their way to make negative comments about "mountain men", the rendezvous, even stupid comments about the time of night it happened and not think for a minute that someone DIED. Tim was a person, with a wife, two step children and family who loved him. What the hell is wrong with these people? Sunday morning those "mountain men" went around and collected money to help out Tim's family. They later held an auction to collect even more money to donate to the family. The people that run and attend the Rendezvous act as a family and take care of each other. There is absolutely no need to talk shit or poke fun about something you know nothing about. I have very fond memories attending this Rendezvous for years as a child and am sick to think people pass judgement so quickly even when it's dealing with a death. Sorry for aside...

I feel horrible for Tim wife, whom I never met so I'm sorry I don't have her name. My aunt Janet just lost her husband to cancer one year ago and has now lost her only son. They are having a viewing tomorrow and services on Thursday. I wish I could go, but we just don't have the money right now for my flight.

I grew up with Tim, we were the same age. All the memories at grandma's house have been rushing back to me. Exploring the old barns out back, playing baseball in the yard next door, walking to 7/11 for penny candy...we loved those fake cigarette candies they used to have and the ghost hunts we had in the Smithfield Cemetery.

Even though I hadn't seen Tim since my grandma's funeral 13? years ago, I will miss him. He was a really nice guy and can't forget how funny he was. And as my brother stated, he went out with a sense of humor.

Rest in peace Tim.


tom said...

wow, that is sad. I read about it this morning on SLTrib. Such a freak thing..

with my love of the outdoors and camping, etc. mixed with the enjoyment of US and Utah history, I always envied those folks growing up

re. the comments, the same assholes leave snide remarks about every story there, they'll get there's, and if they don't, here's hoping they never ever get any nookie ever again.

He did go out having fun though. RIP

Dave said...

I knew Tim through work. I've worked with him a day or two each week for most of the last 10-12 yrs. Great guy and wish we had more like him. But there aren't many like Tim. Mostly, I just wish we had Tim back.
Thanks and Godspeed, Tim. It's been a pleasure.

Emily said...

I having been strolling down memory lane a bit, too, although I obviously wasn't around near as much as you. I feel so bad for Janet and Heather, and everybody.

I was also so irritated by the thoughtless comments on the SLT website. A person died and people who know nothing about it choose to judge without any thought to how it might make his loved ones feel.

Wish I could be there, too.

Kristi said...

I've known Tim for 16 years of my life. Met him in high school when he moved to Piney. ANd he was an amazing person. A true friend and a man with a huge heart. He was a great dad (yes they were his step kids but he never saw it that way) and someone who was always there for a friend. I was blessed to have him in my life and to have such sunshine taken away makes my life all that much duller. He is deeply loved and severely missed. My heart goes out to you and the rest of his family. Much love from La Barge

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