Nelson Reyes, NY
TTT swim coach
John Davis, Paul
2017 Birthday Laps
TTT swimmers, NY
In May of 2017, I sold the home Steve and I had lived in for over 27 years.
In 1988, Steve and I bought a small Cape Cod style house. Prior to purchasing it, (it was at the peak of Long Island real estate pricing), we put over 30 miles on the car looking for homes for sale in our chosen neighborhood. We finally found a house under $200K, (unheard of at the time) but it needed a lot of work; new kitchen, new windows, new doors, new hot water heater, etc. in addition to the normal cosmetic fix-ups. As with most major decisions in his life, Steve struggled with this house purchase. I remember our first night in our new home, laying on the floor in one of the empty rooms and arguing since Steve wanted to put the house back on the market ASAP and was suggesting we move into a rental. Our romantic vision of being "first time happy home owners"; eg; our first night in the home spent eating pizza by candlelight while we sat on boxes, never happened.
I was adamant we stay in the house and make it work. So we did, and spent the first few months cleaning and dealing with construction.
Some of the funnier memories about our house that come to my mind all revolve around bathrooms. When we first moved in, the only room that did not require work was the one and only bathroom. I was not too fond of the green color scheme, however, it was functional and something we could live with. During the first few weeks in our new home, we had the rugs cleaned. All of a sudden, I heard a crashing noise. The carpet cleaner was filling his pail with water from the bathtub. He had leaned against the tiled wall to balance himself and his arm went right through what turned out to be a rotted wall. Luckily, he didn't hurt himself. So, now we had a good reason to re-do the green bathroom.
One day, shortly after we moved in, I heard Steve calling me from the bathroom telling me to shut the door. When I got to the bathroom, he told me to close either the bathroom door or the front door. I looked straight from the bathroom to the front door and I see the postman walking up the front steps to deliver our mail. Needless to say, not a view one would want while seated in the bathroom. We learned two valuable lessons; 1). Always close the bathroom door when in use. 2). When purchasing a house, always check the open front door view from the bathroom (just in case you forgot lesson one).
My last bathroom story relates to us putting in a second bathroom. Whenever we had guests stay at our house over the years, they would sleep on a futon in our living room and share our one bathroom. For years, I tried to convince Steve that we should half dormer the upstairs to put in a second bathroom and guest area. Steve was generous to a fault, however, he was also very frugal. Me, on the other hand, although not a big spender, believed that sometimes one had to spend money on worthwhile home improvements.
A little over ten years after we bought our house, Steve finally conceded to a second bathroom. Some friends were staying in our living room. Around two or three in the morning, Steve got out of bed to use the bathroom. He heard one of the guests getting up at the same time to go use the bathroom. So, Steve came back to bed. A few minutes later, the guest left the bathroom and Steve got up again, only to return to bed as the other guest had gotten up to use the bathroom. Steve looked at me and said "It's time to get a second bathroom". I called the contractor the next day before Steve changed his mind and not too long after that, we had our second bathroom.
More than once over the years, when things "broke" in the house, Steve and I always commented to each other; "We have no business owning a home" as the two of us were clueless most of the time when it came to repairs. The house we bought back in 1988 never became our "dream house", but we eventually made it our own and I will always cherish the many happy memories of time spent there with Steve
Pete Ventura, NY
Through the Lens #39
This year, Steve's 57th birthday was celebrated across the nation as well as from other countries. Some who dedicated their workouts to Steve for his birthday were friends and some dedications were from others that never met him. It is the third birthday since Steve passed that people have celebrated his life by doing something Steve himself would do on his birthday; swim, bike, run, lift weights or yoga. I was so touched by the outpouring of support for my request to honor his memory.
Thank you all for keeping Steve's memory alive!
On 12/20, Tarp's Total Training (TTT) swim coaches (Shawn Tannenbaum, Warren Rothman , Pete Ventura) and long time TTT members ( Mike Stewart, Steve Schloss, Charlie Wittman, Josie Piccinic and some new members too!) gathered at Nassau Aquatic where Steve used to coach and they continued Steve's birthday lap tradition of swimming one lap for every year of his age plus one lap for good luck( 58 laps this year). TTT member Wolfgang Dave Wiesemann, could not make the TTT 12/20 swim session so he did 57 laps on his own in memory of Steve.
Members of Airborne Tri Team also honored Steve's memory. Ron Hurtado did a gym workout somewhere in the Middle East (he is currently deployed). Nelson Reyes and his son Isaac dedicated their swim and 58 minute treadmill run to Steve. Richard Elliott dedicated his cycle trainer hill repeat workout to Steve. Paul Milazzo and John Davis joined TTT on 12/20 for birthday laps.
Current Jones Beach lifeguards (Coach Bob Kollar, Tom Donovan, Kevin Woods, Bob Adler, Dave Spence, Jim MacFarlane, Tom Hadley, Donnie Matthews, Dave Curry, Frank McShane, and James Rooney) dedicated their 12/22 swim workout to Steve. They swam 1,900 yards or 76 laps, coached by Bob Kollar.
Deb Savarese from Florida said the following in memory of Steve: " Happy birthday Steve! You're in my heart every time I swim!"
Peter Hursty did a cycle trainer workout in Hawaii: "1 min per decade! Hard 1 min times 5!! Steve brought me through"
This, from former Olympic cyclist John Howard in California: "Lost count of the laps around my neighborhood green belt but it was an area that Steve and I used to ride. I chose an older Serotta Ottrotto because it was a bike that I actually rode with Steve on this very ride. Many happy thoughts during the experience. Note the strong light beam in the photos. I did not notice it while riding. Gotta wonder!"
Claudine Gershowitz went on a quiet and peaceful mountain bike ride in Stillwell in memory of Steve
Jim Spinner from Connecticut: " I will dedicate my bike ride to Steve as a birthday tribute to him. Please know he is missed dearly"
Mike Barone is recovering from shoulder surgery and planned to walk a mile or two in the mall and/or do a one arm pull drill for 25 minutes. (that is so Mike LOL)
Kate WIlliamson rode her bike the length of Manasota Key, Florida (about 16 miles) before beach yoga, to honor the memory of Steve... "It was a beautiful morning, and a perfect time to reflect on what a wonderful person and coach he was."
Steve's former business partner, Annette and her significant other Stefan, did birthday swim laps in memory of Steve while in Phuket, Thailand.Michael Lovato from Boulder, Colorado coached an outdoor swim in 20 degree weather with snow on the ground (something Steve would have LOVED) in Steve's memory.
1988, 1st Christmas
in new home
Annette and Stephan,
TTT swim coach
Merry Christmas Steve, my third one without you since you have been gone.
This post is dedicated to all those lost to suicide (Arlene, Matt, Jill ,Jonathan ,Brian, Suzy, Kelly, Billy, Doug, Kyle, Jackie, Anita, Joseph, Arlene)that I have learned of while on my grief journey. Holidays are especially difficult for the loss survivors, as we gaze at the empty chair at the table. My hope is that you all can take some small solace in a cherished memory, keepsake or photo of your loved one during this holiday season. Peace and strength to you all.
This is one of my cherished Christmas memories....After Steve and I bought our first house in 1988, we liked to purchase root-ball Christmas trees so we could eventually plant them in our yard. That worked well for only one year as the trees usually died, but we kept the tradition going. One year we had purchased what the nursery said was a "miniature" umbrella pine. Since it was supposed to grow only a few feet, I found the perfect spot in our yard to plant it after Christmas. As you can see from the photo, it is not really a miniature LOL. It must have grown to over twelve feet! I really miss that tree.