In Memory of Tom Taylor (Barry Stephens)
In May 2017, just returning from a short vacation, I received a short message in which Tom informed the E.M.R. listeners:
Due to personal reasons EMR will be back on the air sometime later this year.
All the best! Tom
Perhaps strange but for one reason or another that message rung some alarm bells with me. Unfortunately I was right. I asked Tom what was going on. He had no good news for me: “I have been diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer and will be having chemotherapy for the next 6 months. My Chemo started last Thursday and will continue until late September. Lymphoma cancer can not be cured but can be controlled over time. EMR will be back on the air sometime later this year with some luck. “
The last sentence proves Tom’s positivism, something he always carried. Tom thought that he would win his battle and return with E.M.R. at some point in 2018.
Our contact intensified and Tom kept me up-to-date with his situation. Things looked good and on September 17th 2017 Tom planned a further E.M.R. broadcast. Without knowing then, it would be the very final one… Tom was the kind of person always quickly replying to mails. When I didn’t receive any reply on various mails I sent in November & December, I feared the worst. I was só happy to get a message on January 6th. But after all reading, I felt very bad. Tom told me he had been in hospital for several weeks and added he had 3 more chemo weeks to go starting on the 15th January. Still hope. “Then we will see what happens with me.” I replied: “May I wish you just everything you need to keep on going in 2018. Moving on without too much suffering and living a decent life!”. His final very short answer arrived the next day: “It is very hard, thank you N. “. When again receiving no reply on a mail sent a little while later, I once again got very worried. The rest is history…
A warm personality, true radio friend, short wave pioneer ánd legend is no more. Tom, thank you so much for all. We will miss you ánd E.M.R. But foremost: we’ll cherish all memories and never ever forget you.
Peter Verbruggen, Friday February 2nd 2018, 14:35 hours CET
Here you can download a number of E.M.R. Infosheets from different years: