Tribute to TM

In the newspaper business, reporters form an unusual bond. We’re driven, perfectionists and, in most cases, weird and quirky. That bond is even stronger for those of us who make a living working at night in the hectic, deadline-driven world.

And when Tim Menees arrived at the Observer-Reporter as a night cops reporter a little more than a decade ago, I immediately knew he’d fit right in. He was quick with a smile, easy-going and we became immediate friends.

Tim, whose father Tim Menees was a well-known political cartoonist for decades at the Post-Gazette in Pittsburgh, cut his teeth in sports. Before the O-R, he worked for the Pirates, and he followed sports closely. At the time, I was a sports writer, but Tim and I shared more in common than a knowledge of Jason Kendall’s batting average or Jack Wilson’s range. We were the same age. We both lived in the South Hills, and neither of us turned down a good time.

It wasn’t long before TM, as we often called him at the O-R, and I worked Carson Street together or the bars along Route 19, whether it was in Washington County following a shift or some haunts in the South Hills. We even formed a bit of a routine. TM was the starter, the fearless guy capable of starting a conversation with anyone. I was the closer, the one who came in and added energy and humor to keep things moving. For a couple guys trying to make a living working nights and weekends at a newspaper, it was a pretty good tandem.

TM and I hit concerts together. He crashed on my couch multiple occasions. I placed bets for him. He helped me move from South Park to Bethel Park on a muggy, Western Pennsylvania summer day with no convincing needed. He came to house parties after I began co-habiting with Erin, who later became my wife. He was at my bachelor party and our wedding.

Most importantly, TM was a good friend, a person I could sit at my dining room table with until 3:30 a.m. talking about anything and everything. I’ve met precious few people in my 40 years I was as comfortable talking to as TM.

And after that wedding reception wound down, TM was right there at the hotel, hanging out and providing those of us there who knew him with another classic Menees story – a story I still share now that I’m back at the O-R.

Sadly, it was the next to last time I saw Tim, who, according to information on Facebook and provided by co-workers, was found dead Monday by his girlfriend. I got the news about an hour ago, right after I got back inside my house from walking the dog. Even if I hadn’t seen Tim in some time after job changes, moves and life created distance, it hit me like a sledgehammer.

TM had fallen and hit his head on ice. A supposed minor injury somehow turned fatal. It’s the first TM story I’ve heard that doesn’t put a smile on my face.

Doesn’t seem real.

Good guys, and believe me when I say he was the dictionary definition of good guy, aren’t supposed to leave us early.

Rest easy, TM.

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7 thoughts on “Tribute to TM

  1. Dale and Ron Hough

    This is a beautiful tribute to your friend. Our condolences and prayers to the Menees family and friends during this sad time.

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  2. Michelle Wilcox

    You described my cousin Timmy to a T! He was the best person i knew….he was always smiling and TRULY cared for people. I cant believe he is gone. My heart is heavy and filled witj sadness. He has beem wanting me to come out to Pittsburgh for years now to show me the town…unfortunately mygurl first trip there will b to say my final goodbye. :-(i Until wr meet again Timmy RIP!

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  3. Thomas Barrett

    Tim Meness had a Quilty that most of us don’t possess, he made everyone he knew feel special. He made me feel special just calling me his friend. I’m honored just to have known him. I will never forget him. My deepest sympathies go out to his family. Ps: I’ll miss you very dearly Timmy , your buddy “Tommy-Boy” as you called me.

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  4. Jim Gillen

    Wow, one year without Tim Menees. Hard to believe. I can remember reading your post like it was yesterday. Since that point, for me, it’s been a year without as many laughs, a lost friendship, less random updates and few sport-stories swaps. Your firend, my fiend is still missed… but his smile and love of life can be remembered through us: one of Tim’s greatest treaures, his friends. Cheers Tim 🙂

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  5. Tim Menees

    My wife and I read your beautiful tribute to our son just after he died last January, and I meant to write to you at the time. But those days and weeks and months were a nightmare of despair and pain. So a little over a year later, we thank you from the depth of our hearts for your remembrance. Re-reading it today reminds us of what a wonderful, caring and loving son and person he truly was.

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