January 11th, 2011 by Conor
Facebook Is A Beautiful Thing:
I never really knew Danny growing up, I probably should’ve – we were both Kennett teacher’s kids (Ellen and my dad taught together), he was my brother’s age, I knew Conor from band and, unfortunately, Senior Slave Day but that was it. I went on to pretty much loose whatever touch I had had with the Toumarkines’ after high school… and then along came Facebook. You can say what you’d like about it, but no matter your feelings on exposing information to the world, in my opinion, it’s a good thing, strike that, an amazing thing and the sole reason I reconnected with such an amazing family.
Almost two years ago now, I attended the Outdoor Retail Trade Show in Salt Lake with the company I work for and had the opportunity to meet some pretty cool people. A few of which had started a gear company that year, but we’ll get to that in a bit. A week or so later Conor posted a sponsorship video of Danny. I knew that Danny had been into snowboarding but, damn, he was good! I think I must have watched that video 3 or 4 times and lets face it I like skiing and riding but ‘d never really been all that into watching video of it. Danny’s riding style was mesmerizing. I found myself feeling proud of this kid I indirectly-sort-of-didn’t-know, he was talented and from the same place I grew up! I figured the least I could do was try to help him out. I messaged Conor and gave him the names of the contact I had made in Salt Lake, in hopes that they may be interested in sponsoring Danny.
I didn’t hear back from Conor, mind you I’d never asked him to respond after the initial, ‘Thanks for the look’ response, so I assumed that the start up company hadn’t been interested. They were small after all and who knew what their sponsorship budget was, or if there was one. I chalked it up to ‘it was worth a shot’ and pretty much forgot about the whole thing.
Fast forward to that fall, I run into Conor and company (one thing I have learned about the Toumarkine boys is there is always ‘company’, magnetic personalities are followed and they are no exception to this rule). Conor and I chit chatted a bit and I found out that the small gear company had picked Danny up as a rider and Danny was actually doing a little work for them too. Too fun! I love networking and helping people out in general so seeing that this had actually worked out made me smile.
I continued to hang out with Conor that fall and early winter and thereby Danny as well. Danny always had a smile for me or a sticker or some such thing that made me feel welcome even if we really didn’t know each other all that well. An especially memorable instance came one weekend just a few weeks before Conor and Danny made their trek back to Tahoe. The aforementioned gear company happened to make an appearance in town, I went over to say hi and reintroduce myself to them and hang out. Towards the middle of the evening they all decided to go down and work on more stickers. I followed them down and watched as Danny effortlessly created a string of different designs on his vinyl cutter. With the gear company owners and Danny arguing the merits of each one I had half tuned them out. All of a sudden Danny looked to me and said, “You’re the designer, which one do you like best.” I was caught off guard, not only because I needed to form an opinion when I hadn’t been paying much attention (typical me) but it is my opinion that Danny possesses more artistic talent in his pinky than I do in my entire body and therefore a better judge of this sort of thing than I am. But I formed an opinion anyway and stated my reasonings, I’ll never forget the half wink and “Good choice” I got from him. Phew! – Funny how even knowing him for only a short time makes you want to gain his respect and approval.
I’m so glad to have reconnected with such a wonderful family and look forward to seeing all of you back in the Valley as soon as possible! Danny, you’ll have to let me know when you wake up if I actually chose the ‘right’ sticker design or if you were just trying to make me feel better about being lost in space.
Oh and PS Ellen, the ‘rents send their best!
Love to you all,