In loving memory of Todd Neal Gammon

My father, Todd Neal Gammon, was an amazing father with a great sense of humor. Many of you may know him by his nickname Toad, which was given to him by his friends Jerry and Gary because he looked like a toad hopping around on the court while trying to play basketball.
Some of you may know he loved playing golf and was part of the Parkview Golf Team. This love for golf would continue as a tool for bonding with myself. My fondest memories with my father took place at the Price Cutter Charity Golf Tournaments. Every year, my father and I would enjoy an adventure at the tournament. One of my favorite times with him at the tournament, was actually during a year when things didn’t go right. We were enjoying the tournament as usual, when all of a sudden a huge storm came blowing through and started raining so hard that everyone could barely make it out of the course. We were trying to make it back to the car, when it started raining so hard we couldn’t even see to walk through so we ended up standing against the wall under a ledge barely keeping dry holding onto each other to stay warm. I felt like it was me and my dad against the world, and I loved it.
When I was little we both would go outside and hit golf balls for hours. We both had a strong love for baseball that lead to me requesting him to hit training balls in the air and I would catch them like fly balls. This love of baseball is in our family blood passed down by our Grandma Helen Gammon, the greatest St. Louis Cardinals fan alive today.
Remember that sense of humor, I first talked about, well my father was the king of pranks. For as long, as I can remember my dad has been a manchild who loved to have fun and that is why he was my best friend growing up. We used to get into most crazy prank wars ranging from dumping ice on each other in the shower to drawing funny pictures while sleeping to painting each other’s nails to embarrass the other when they woke up.
My father and I both shared a love of music. Nobody could belt out the wrong words in the wrong key better than my dad. Anyone who ever rode in the car with him, knows this to be true. One of the funniest things he would always do is mess up the timing for the drum beat for the drop in the Phil Collins song, “In the Air, Tonight”.
Later in life, my father switched his passion from golf to cycling. When I was in high school he started riding casually and I would join him on long rides through the countryside as way to exercise and blow of steam after a long day. This passion developed from casual to a near obsession that lead him to joining a community of cyclists that became like family to him.
Lastly, I would like to end with one of my father’s favorite quotes from Tolkien.

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes, a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”

Kyle Neal Gammon