Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Few Words About Tom Knapp...

In truth, stories are the "currency" of the road. When you spend more nights in hotel rooms than at home, stories become the way we ease the long nights, the way we sing for our suppers, the way we share an experience that we both hate...and love.

My old friend Tom Knapp was first and foremost a storyteller. We would run into each other a couple of times a year, and it was as if we had only broken off the conversation moments before, except that Tom had a whole new collection of stories. And we would sit in some hotel bar into the wee hours, telling stupid stories. And in the morning was another airport, another city, another story.

I was thinking tonight about an evening a few years back with me and Tom and Ronnie Barrett. There may have been adult beverages involved, and I don't believe I've ever laughed as long and as hard.

The singer-songwriter John Sebastian once wrote a song about the road...here's what he said:

And oh, the stories we could tell
And before we have to say our last farewell
Well, I wish that we could sit back in a bar in some hotel
And listen to the stories we could tell
Yes, I wish that we could sit back in a bar in some hotel
And listen to the stories we could tell

We'll miss you brother.

11 comments:

jimbovia said...

I always loved seeing Tom on Impossible Shots doing his thing, especially when you compare his style to that of the new guys (i.e. that j/o from Oshkosh). He was such a showman, and will definitely be missed.

nj larry said...

There are great waves composed of great men and women that periodically crash upon the world we live on. We feel their impact and they change the landscape. Tom Knapp was a showman in the tradition of 19th century showmen. Maybe the last of that breed. He brought to his audiences the entertaiment that few forget. God bless his soul and a big thanks for years of smiles and laughs and amazement at his skills.

Big Walley said...

God Bless you Tom Knapp. Thanks for all the entertainment you provided my family and I via the television. Besides the shooting, I will also miss the sound of your voice. Prayers sent to your family.

Michael Arizona said...

Rest in Peace Mr. Knapp. Thank you for what you did for the shooting sports. I bought my first shotgun from Benelli because of you.

God Bless you and yours.

Don said...

Too many good folks are leaving us all too soon.I loved seeing Tom on impossible shots and other shows as well.He'll be missed as will Bob Munden and George Jones.All great in their own ways.The world is going to miss men like these.Maybe in time they will be replaced with new persons of similar talent.

Papershotshells said...

I saw Mr. Knapp put on his show live a couple of times. What a treat! Not only was he a great shooter, he was a true gentlemen.

I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with him a bit after one of his shows. He was very friendly and genuine. He made you feel as if he had known you for years and that he really cared about having a conversation with you.

There are very few people on this earth that I count myself fortunate to have met. Mr. Tom Knapp was one of those people.

We are truly diminished by his passing.

~Papershotshells

Anonymous said...

nj larry,

Once again, you nailed it: "Tom Knapp was a showman in the tradition of 19th century showmen." I'd like tom add: Tom Knapp was a man in the tradition of 19th century men!

Tom wasn't only a showman. He was an inspiration to many. The principle that he lived by, "hard work get's you to here"; started to die-off just past the mid-point of the 20th century. But for him, he kept the spark alive in many. My then-young and now adult son and I used to watch him on TV as he not only wowed us with his shooting skills, but he also made us happy about him and ourselves. He gave us all something to "shoot for". It's too bad that little guys like me don't ever get a real chance to personally thank BIG men like him for what they did for us. We can still say "Goodbye Old Friend" though.

Life Member

Here's a nice link to read about Tom's Passing

https://czusamedia.s3.amazonaws.com/files/TOM.pdf

Mike V. said...

I got to meet him at SHOT once. After years of seeing him on Shooting USA and Impossible Shots, it was a dream come true. He was a great guy. Somewhere, he and Bob Munden are catching up and planning how to "one up" each other.

gunman42782 said...

Tom was an amazing shooter, and seemed to be a fine human being. he will be missed by all of us.

Brigid said...

Bless you Tom, for all you brought to this world. We are the better for knowing you, if only in small, distant ways.

Steve T. said...

Tom followed closely in the footsteps of Herb Parsons, the man he modeled his show after. I got to see Tom in 2002 at a show he did 5 minutes from my house. For several years I watched his schedule of upcoming appearances in hopes I could drive 3 hours or less to see him. I could not believe he was coming to my home range?
I posted on his message forum that I was bringing friends and family because I'm a believer in doing things when you have a chance because you never know if you'll get to see them again.
Tom replied to my post that he really wanted to meet my dad because my father had seen Herb Parsons live during a show in the 1950s.
My dad and Tom talked like old friends after the show and my dad loved every second of Tom's outstanding display of his talent.
My dad passed away in 2004 and I will forever treasure the photo Tom took with both of us. He had us all hold Benelli shotguns and say, "Bennnnnelllllli" to smile for the camera.
I will miss Tom tremendously. Anyone not familiar with him should just search Tom Knapp on YouTube for hours of entertainment.