Sunday, August 18, 2013

In loving memory of our friend Martin Manley

This memorial has been set up to allow Martin's family and friends to share stories and memories of his life. If you have a story to share please share it in the comments section.

From Martin's sister Barbie...
Since Martin has been in the news so much, I've read a few posts about him. Of course these people couldn’t understand that Martin wasn't like any other person. Many have commented about how he must have been so lonely and needed help. Well maybe he needed help, but he would never have admitted it or accepted it. As far as lonely - I believe that everyone who knew Martin, very much enjoyed his company. I believe that he knew he could be around friends as much as he liked. I know I never got to see him as much as I would have like to. He just really enjoyed being alone and working on his blog or researching this or that.

Like Todd, I saw the signs and was suspicious that Martin was considering suicide for the last year. But it was never because he was unhappy. He seemed more at peace than ever. But there were many other signs that he was preparing to “check out”. Anyone who knew Martin knew they couldn't talk him out of anything once he made up his mind. I never believed for one minute that there was a mental health professional or pastor that could have helped Martin to see anything differently. He was going to do whatever he was going to do. I was just going to enjoy this new more relaxed brother of mine for as long as I had him.

I am broken-hearted but I do not begrudge what he did. He always had a difficult time conforming to this world. He was truly like a square peg in a round hole. That’s what made him so entertaining.  Because I know he believed in Jesus Christ and was saved, I know he is finally at peace. It may sound terrible to some, but in many ways I am happy for him. I sure will miss him though...

Before I moved to Topeka, Martin and I didn’t get to see each other very often.  So of course I would want to give him a hug before I left.  He never would let me…it was too mushy I guess.  Anyway, one time as I was getting ready to leave, I told him I WAS going to hug him.   He stated that was NOT going to happen.  He was sitting in his recliner.  I basically sat on him which resulted in an all-out wrestling match.  In the process we broke a crystal wine glass.   I never did get my hug and I doubt Chris was very happy about the broken glass, but I think he got the point.  Because after that, when we saw each other, Martin would give me a somewhat “rigid” hug.  In recent years, they became “real” hugs.  And for the last few years, he even would tell me he loved me.   He came by our house 6 days before he died.  We had a very enjoyable visit.  As he left, he shook my husband’s hand and said “Take care of my sister”, then he gave me a really big hug and told me he loved me.  That was the last time I saw him.

I became divorced in the early 90s.  I could tell that Martin felt somewhat responsible for taking care of me at that point.  I could also tell that he always wished I would get me a guy so he didn’t have to worry about me.   He was so pleased when Phil and I got married and he could “give me away”.  I know that me having Phil in my life gave him extra peace when he decided to go.

From Martin's brother Michael...
The sad fact is that I did not spend that much time with Martin thru 57 years. I missed out. I feel that Martin had a great and rewarding life, and for most of the time ,the life was peaceful and spiritual. What man could want more? I will always remember two amazing times with Martin. The first was when he sent me a copy of Basketball Heaven . I had no idea he was even working on a book and it was quite an unexpected surprise. He had taken his passion for sports and combined it with a fanatical obsession for statistics, then added his own highly unique writing style and published a fabulous book. At the time, there were no other publications that were even close to what Martin's current stats, team rosters, coaching styles, and team predictions and reviews. And of course, he invented a rating system to rank the players that is still being used in the NBA. I will always remember Martin being interviewed at the NBA all-star game by CNNSI's Fred Hickman. That was success at it's finest.

The other amazing time I had with Martin was when we went to the World Series in 1985. Back then the Royals were consistently good and even great. Many times a bunch of us from Larned state hospital got together and made the long drive to K.C. to watch games. After years of that it was just fantastic when the Royals actually made the playoffs. However, after 4 games with Toronto the Royals were down 3 games to 1. Not many teams had come back from that deficit to win a series. Now, here's the thing. In order to get the time world series tickets printed , the Royals started selling World series ticket at that time. With the Royals down 3 games to 1! So, I get on the phone to order tickets and stay on hold for hours upon hours. It's like the middle of the night and a voice wakes me up." May I help you?" Hell yes you can help me.! By then, all the tickets were gone thru the first game, the second game, the third game, the fourth game, and if necessary, the fifth game. Some nice tickets were available for the sixth game, no assurance that that game would even be played. And then I waited it out. K.C. won the fifth game against Toronto and my hope was alive. Then K.C. won the sixth game and I started to believe. When K.C. won the seventh game I was the world's happiest man. The Royals were going to the World Series and I had tickets. Then, very familiar scenario played out. After 4 games the Royals were down 3 games to 1. Exactly the same as the league series with Toronto. No team had ever, and I mean ever, came back from 3 to 1 deficits in both the league championship and the World Series. The odds against it were enormous. You'd have to win six straight do or die games in a row. However, I just want the Royals to win one more game and I would be going to my first and only World Series. The second that the fifth game was over the Royals had won and forced a sixth game, I got on the phone to give Martin the surprise of a lifetime. What we experienced at that game was the ultimate stressful 8 scoreless innings, along with the ultimate explosion of celebration of the 9th inning. I am certain that nothing in Martin's life or my own has ever been the thrill of that moment. I am so glad that we shared that together.

From Martin's ex-wife Teri...
Martin wasn’t a great husband—he’d freely admit that. But he was a great friend. He was always there for me and the girls; whether I needed something fixed around the house or just felt like getting out to catch a movie, he was just a phone call away. I took him out to celebrate his birthday two days before. He said we couldn’t go out on his actual birthday because he’d be gone. He wouldn’t tell me where. I certainly suspected what he had in mind at that point; I guess I just didn’t want to believe it. Anyway, we talked and laughed for a long time that night, and he seemed to really enjoy himself. He said in his letter to me that he wouldn’t have wanted to spend his last days any other way, so I’m glad we had that time and that he was happy.

A lot of things that he’d said and done over the past year make more sense now that we know what he was planning. We went out for Jaime’s birthday at the end of July, and Martin wanted to go along. He said he wanted to pay for half the dinner. It was so unlike him to want to spend money on something “frivolous” like that. We went to a nice restaurant, too, and he didn’t even complain about the prices. Weird. The subject of his wallet came up that night and he pulled it out. That was the most pathetic-looking wallet ever. It was held together by strings and glue. I remember that he said that night that he’d be buried with that wallet. I guess he changed his mind, because among the pictures and mementos in the box he left for me, I found his wallet; complete with the pictures of the girls he always carried and a little love note I had slipped in there probably 12 or 13 years ago when we were married. We all had a good laugh when we saw the wallet. I will certainly keep that forever; nothing could remind me more of Martin.

Martin was the cheapest human being I’ve ever met. And he was proud of it. He once picked up a banana he found in a parking lot, and took it home to eat it. He really did wear the same ugly pair of Wal-Mart shoes for the last 12 years. In the end, all the money he’d saved over his life, he gave away to people who needed it more than he did. I’m sure he helped a lot of people. He also did everything he could to make his death easier on those of us he was leaving behind. I know he waited until the girls were grown and self-sufficient, and had good men in their lives to help them through this. He asked several times recently if everything was okay with the house, so he could have fixed something if needed. He would have been happy that everything worked out just as he planned it, so I’m trying to be happy for him. I’m very sad to lose him, and I will miss him always. If we learn anything from losing Martin, I hope it’s that we should tell our friends and family that we love them, every chance we get. Because we just never know when we will run out of chances.

From Martin's stepdaughter Jaime...
Martin was my stepdad for 5 years, from when I was 9 until I was about 14. He and I always had a difficult relationship. He knew just how to get under my skin, and I knew how to get under his. But even through all of our head-butting, we cared about each other a lot. In his letter to me, Martin included the following quote:

“Everyone you have ever loved in your life becomes a part of your soul. They never leave. They're always inside you, and you can bring them out whenever you want.” - Nate Kenyon

Since I first read my letter, this quote has stuck with me, and it was the perfect thing for Martin to say. Even though he and I weren’t as close as we should have been, he was an important part of my life, and I will always love and remember him.

Some of my favorite memories with Martin were at Godfather’s pizza. He used to take Marissa and me to the buffet every single week when we were kids. I was always amazed when he would put down 12 pieces of pizza, but of course, he only ate once a day. As cheap as Martin was, he always insisted that we leave nothing on our plates at dinner, and he went so far as to lick his plate clean on more than one occasion.

Another moment that I will always remember is the tornado at the Woodlands. I’ve always loved storms, so I thought it was pretty cool, as did Martin. He was so determined to get pictures of it that he refused to come inside and told the security guard that he was a professional photographer. It may have been dangerous and stubborn, but he certainly got some great pictures that will always remind me of him.

I am confident that I will never meet anyone like Martin again. He was different, to say the least. I will always cherish the time we had together. While it is hard to see him go in this way, I know that it made sense for him, and all I can do is try to be happy that everything worked out the way he wanted.

From Martin's friend Todd...
In the months prior to his death, I sensed that something wasn't quite right. I had helped him a lot with his sports blog and he new I would gladly help him with anything, especially when it came to technology. He was asking me very specifically how to do certain things like, how to post an mp3 file or how to use ftp etc. I told him that on some these things I could do it for him way faster than I could tell him how to do it. To which he would offer a lame excuse like, it's just something I'm thinking about doing.

At some point in July he was over at our house. We sat together looking at a new TV my wife and I had recently purchased. He was very distracted and spent a lot of time looking at the nik-naks my wife has all around the house. He made a comment about a deer statue in the shelves. He told me he had a ram statue almost exactly like the deer. That night he left some music equipment with me, which I didn't want to take but he kept insisted that I keep it. I kept asking what if you ever want to use it again? To which he said, it's so cheap to use a studio anymore that he didn't want to burn the brain cells needed to learn to use the equipment himself. Needless to say, I came away thinking it was odd and I had a distinct feeling that he was tidying up loose ends.

Fast forward to the morning of August 15th. Melody and I were having coffee, watching the birds out our back window, when the doorbell rang. It was FedEx dropping a packing on the front porch. We looked at each other and asked, are you expecting a package? No ... no. So I opened the front door and saw that the package was from Martin. The first words out of my mouth, before we opened the package were, he better not have committed suicide.

Martin was a very good friend. Not all friends can challenge each other's assumptions. Not all friends can challenge each other intellectually without getting mad or feeling disrespected. Martin was confident and self assured and never wanted to admit he was wrong about anything. How could someone as obsessive and analytical as Martin ever be wrong? That's what I think I'll miss the most about him. You see Martin was a good enough friend that we could argue about something, call each other names like idiot or moron, and know that those names were actually terms of endearment and not meant to be disrespectful. With that in mind, I'm going to share a funny memory that I can assure you, not only would Martin not be offended, he would wear it as a badge of honor.

The first day I met Martin was back in the 80's at an office he had rented in Topeka near the corner of Huntington & Twilight (approximately 31st & Gage). I was there to develop some software that he could use to collect and keep track of NBA stats. Primarily to calculate what is now known as the efficiency rating. At the time he called it the power rating. It seems like ages ago, it was before the internet and SQL databases on small platforms. Remember, I had never met Martin before this. We're sitting at his desk and he's eating the biggest brownie I'd ever seen anyone eat by themselves. (Anyone who knew Martin well, knows that for him there's only two food groups, Pizza and Brownies) It's on a large plate and he's using a letter opener to cut off pieces and eat them. Evidently he had an itch because between bites he would take the letter opener and scratch his butt crack with it. I watched this for a while and laughed at him. He looked up and said ... What? I said, you're scratching your ass with your eating utensil. To which he said something like ... So? It can't possibly hurt me. I haven't gotten sick yet and I do it all the time. If you knew Martin this would not surprise you at all. For one thing, he absolutely didn't care one iota what anyone else thought and he always justified everything he did.

Well, every time I'd tell this story at poker, Martin would sheepishly laugh and deny it. So Martin, due to circumstances within your control, it looks like I got the last word on this one. How do you like them apples?

I'm really going to miss you bud.


From Martin's friend Charlie...
I just talked to Rick Wright, someone both Martin and I knew from way back. We all attended King Solomon Christian Camp each summer from about fifth grade through high school. Rick reminded me of this story. I’m guessing when Martin and I were about 6th-5th grade, we were in the habit of walking around the camp holding hands with our girl friends of the week. At some point Martin and I used the rest room at the camp, and as we walked out, held each other’s hand; for about a second. That was enough, and quickly came the talk similar to “Trains, Planes, and Automobiles”. How about those Chiefs and the like. Also from camp days was when I said "Martin, you have to ask Jennifer if you can go swimming!" Martin said, "I do not, do I?" looking at Jennifer. I had lots of history with Martin. 

From Martin's friend Joe...
I've got a lot of stories from times that Martin and I worked together, as well as just times we discussed business and life. I'll post some others as time goes by.

Today's story will be titled "It just doesn't get any better than this".

It was the early 90's and Martin was the manager of our security sales department, we sold and installed home and small business security systems in the Topeka area. This story is about the time Martin, Bill VanBuskirk and I flew to New York City to a security equipment trade show. Martin had never been to NYC, and as everyone who has frequented NY knows, the hassles never end; airport traffic, taxi drivers who don't speak English, hotel housekeepers who don't understand how Midwesterners treat their customers, etc... Well, after one day there, Martin was on a rant... 'I hate this place', 'can't get anywhere', 'they're all rude', and on and on. I about sent him home, except I was too cheap to buy him another airline ticket.

Finally, the show was over and we got to the airport, but before getting on the plane Martin took some pictures of the airport. I didn't know why, but figured it was for him to remember his trip to NY.

During the early 90's there was a popular beer commercial with the slogan, "It doesn't get any better than this". They would show their beer and people having a great time and then the slogan...It doesn't get any better than this.

Now back to Martin; a couple of days after getting back to Topeka I came into the office one morning and there was a flyer on my desk that Martin had created. Inside LaGuardia International Airport Martin had taken pictures of an area of the building that had a sign hanging from the ceiling that read - "Welcome To New York City" and right behind it was part of the ceiling falling down, with wires hanging all over the place.

Martin's creation showed the photo of the sign, "Welcome to NY City", complete with the ceiling falling down, wires hanging everywhere and at the bottom of his flyer were the beer commercial words, "It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This".

Like life, Martin always had a real dislike for anything that was inefficient, lacked planning or was poorly executed. That's how he viewed NY, and that explains his obsession with his work. He would not be a part of a poorly executed plan. Kinda explains his website, doesn't it?

From Martin' friend Scott...
I spent several hours every other month driving with Martin to Topeka for our poker game. While he was always late to my house without fail he would complain within 5 minutes that we should be half way to Topeka by now if it weren't for my driving. We spent about half the time talking about his favorite topics: sports and finance.  The rest of the time was open to ANY topic we found interesting, funny, shocking, or a combination of the three.  While everyone at poker knows about his obsession with his " bathroom habits" we once spent over an hour coming up with clever lines to say to his proctologist for an upcoming exam.  I'll miss those conversations but I won't miss the smells he was able to produce on the way back to KC after overeating at poker.

My other great memory of Martin involves his uncompromising attitude. One of our poker games requires a ranking of card suits. After playing bridge and a few other games where card suits mattered I was pretty convinced that I knew the order but Martin claimed it was a different order. When I mentioned that the order was actually spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs, Martin threw out his standard "I'll bet you $100 you're wrong."  After considering the 2% chance that I was wrong I took the bet willing to pay but only wanting to collect from him the realization that he was wrong.  Within 5 minutes Martin knew he was wrong and I let it slide. The next month at poker he waited until everyone was there and then pulled out $100 and paid off. His reasoning being that he'd rather pay off a lost bet then suffer the ribbing if he ever tried to use the "I'll bet you $100" line again.  Needless to say, I saw him pay off the same $100 bet a few years later when he was convinced he could build a perpetual motion machine with magnets. He just forgot that there's not a material that blocks magnetic waves.

From Martin's friend and Kansas City Star co-worker Pete Grathoff...
It took me nearly five years to figure out the real reason Martin Manley kept an electric fan on his desk at the Kansas City Star.

It wasn’t for climate-control purposes, although he always had two thermometers nearby. Of course it was two; how else could a person get an accurate recording?

One day I noticed Martin would switch on that fan whenever there was an animated conversation in the sports department. Martin wasn’t opposed to debates about sports, in fact he loved them. However, these talks often veered into topics about TV shows or restaurants or politics. And one former co-worker, after getting the night’s work finished, occasionally would comment on every play of whatever game was on TV that night.

“Wow, what a dunk!” or “That didn’t look like pass interference!”

I sat in near proximity to Martin, who wouldn’t say anything (although sometimes there would be a deep sigh) or look up from his computer screen. His arm would extend and with one twist of a knob, the fan’s white noise would allow him to focus clearly on the work at hand. His work was breaking down what made a team or individual successful in a given sport.

And, of course, the nuts and bolts of victory were found in numbers. He just had to crack the code. And, boy, did he do that well.  Martin was a pioneer in NBA statistics. His standard efficiency rating is still in use by the league today.

His blog for The Star offered unique insight into the professional and college sports scene in Kansas City. Martin’s writings scratched an itch for many fans who read Upon Further Review and later his personal blog, Sports In Review.

For Martin, there was always meaning in the numbers, whether it was sports, weather or finances. Through his eyes, the world was clearly black and white. While the rest of us see so much gray, Martin could break down everything into what he did and didn’t like. What worked and didn’t work. And that outlook transcended sports.

Martin liked pizza and nachos, so why eat anything else? He certainly couldn’t see the point of trying to gag down a vegetable.
The state of Kansas offered everything he needed or wanted. So why travel?

One of Martin’s best-remembered rants at The Star was about Shakespeare. “There is not one single solitary reason I can conceive of that could explain why Shakespeare should be taught in schools. Students are going to use what they learned in math when they get in the real world.”

The human condition? Martin undoubtedly believed he had it figured out.

Most of us are trying to find our way through the world, constantly evolving, but not Martin. While that may sound like a putdown, it is absolutely not. I admired that self-assuredness. Martin knew what he wanted from life and what pleased him. He had no need to push beyond his boundaries. He was happy with who is was.How many people can honestly say that?

However, that also caused more than a few dust-ups at The Star. Martin’s belief that he knew best, coupled with his meticulous nature, didn’t always mesh with the fluidity of putting out a newspaper nightly.

But any frustrations he felt at The Star never stopped him from probing into the nuances of the athletes, coaches and teams that play games in this area. Please don’t get the idea that Martin was a one-dimensional character. He was anything but a number-crunching nerd whose motto was “My Way or the Highway.” The trait Martin shared with us all was his many layers.

About the only things that kept him from work were his monthly poker games with his longtime friends and singing in his church choir. He also loved movies, the theater and had a close relationship with his ex-wife. How many people can honestly say that?
These were some of the things I knew about him. There is much more that I learned on the website he left behind.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t address the way he died. Suicide is never a good option. Never. My hope is that no misguided soul looks at the publicity that followed Martin’s death and thinks that’s what he or she should do. None of the stories following his passing mention the hurt and pain that were felt by his family and friends, including me. Please contact The Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255 if you’re thinking of taking your own life.

Martin may not have wanted to hear that, but I still would have told him as much.

From Martin's friends Steve and Carol...
It was funny the way our relationship with Martin evolved; we didn't
know him on a personal level until his divorce from Teri. He was so
sincere in his affection for Jaime and Marissa, and so wanted to keep in
touch with them, that we formed a friendship through our mutual desire
to spend time with the girls.

When they were young, there were many occasions of dinner and scrabble
at our house with Martin and the kids.  As they got older, Martin was
always there to help them move or lend a hand with whatever they needed.

Even though our mutual love for Jaime and Missy brought us together, as
time went on Martin became a friend to us, and we believe he felt the
same way.  He and Steve would get to laughing so hard at the dumbest
things - whether it was driving to Manhattan or working on a
construction project, there was always a lot of laughing and good times.

Martin was a scrabble genius and Steve or I could rarely beat him,
something that drove Steve crazy.  He and Martin would get into the
funniest debates about words.  Since they were both so stubborn, neither
wanted to give in, but it didn't matter, Martin would win the game anyway.

We are thankful Martin was a part of our lives and incredibly saddened
that he is gone.  Suicide leaves those behind with a huge hole, anger
and pain.  Steve talked to Martin the day before and told me something
was wrong.  But as everyone has said, you could not stop Martin from
doing anything.

Martin will always be in our thoughts and prayers and some day God will
provide us all with the answers, knowing Martin, he just couldn't wait.

From Martin's friend Kipp...
I have known Martin for 29 years.  I was fortunate to have had lunch with him the week before his suicide.  We talked about many subjects, including some great memories from the past, a discussion about many sports related topics, and the merits of eating at the tiny diner in Dover.  Martin seemed more at ease and in the best mood I have noticed in quite some time.  Unfortunately, as I look back on the day, I now realize that this was Martin's way of saying a final goodbye.

I will probably post other comments in the future about Martin, but this post involves Martin and the topic of golf.

My claim to fame with Martin is the fact that I was with him when he hit a hole in one on the 13th hole at Lake Shawnee in Topeka.  Martin recounts this as his "greatest sports achievement" in his lifetime.  Hard to disagree.  The funny part about this was how reluctant Martin was to acknowledge that the ball could have possibly gone in the hole once he hit the ball.  We were staring straight into a bright sun and it was next to impossible to see the ball once it hit by the green.  I saw the ball take one hop just short of the green and the ball was tracking toward the pin at the back of the green.  The glare was too bright to see the ball after this, but I remember I told Martin that the last time I saw the ball, it was tracking right toward the hole.  We jumped in the cart and drove up close to the green.  No ball in sight.  Martin insisted that we walk behind the green as he thought the ball could have rolled through the green.  After about 5 minutes of this, I told Martin that the only possible place the ball could be located was in the hole.  He insisted I go look in the hole.  He didn't want to see if the ball was in the hole and wanted me to tell him what I did or didn't find.  I refused to do this because after not seeing the ball anywhere else, I knew the ball was in the hole and wanted him to be the one to see the ball in the hole first.  He refused to do this and would only agree to go up to the hole to look together.  Lo and behold, there was the ball in the bottom of the cup!!!!  I will never forget the look on Martin's face.  He was beaming and shocked at the same time.  Knowing Martin, I am sure that Martin was calculating the odds of scoring a hole in one while he was picking up his ball.  Martin sent me this ball in a trophy that he had made along with the scorecard upon his passing.  I will keep this memento with a fond memory of this being the only time that I have witnessed a hole in one while playing golf!

Martin told me a humorous story the last day I had lunch with him.  When he was young, Martin lived close to the Shawnee Country Club in Topeka.  Back then, there were only bushes between a par five that runs parallel to Adams and the street.  Now there is a chain link fence, so this would never work today.  But back then, Martin and a close friend (or his brother, I can't recall his partner in crime) used to hide behind these bushes when they saw a group teeing off on the hole.  This particular hole has a tee box on the top of a hill and the shot is a blind downhill shot.  Once the golfers hit the ball. Martin and his partner in crime would run onto the course and grab the golf balls off of the fairway.  They would then hide in the bushes and laugh like crazy while these golfers would drive down the fairway cussing up a storm because they just "knew their ball had to be in the fairway" and they couldn't find the ball.  Martin and his cohort would then sell these balls to a guy living a couple of blocks away for a dollar a dozen.  This money making scheme came to an end when one day his partner in crime had been bragging to friends about how he and Martin would steal golf balls off of the course and then hide in the bushes until the golfers left.  One day, this group of friends spied on Martin and just when the golfers were cussing up a storm, one of the friends yelled "look in the bushes"!  Martin and his cohort made a mad dash for safety with their stash and didn't stop running for 3 blocks.  Sadly, they had been busted and were afraid to repeat the crime.  Thus ended Martin's first money making adventure.

While on the topic, for those that knew Martin and know how meticulous Martin is about statistics and numbers, I always found it almost comical about how non-meticulous Martin was about keeping score in golf.  A double bogey sounded about like a good max score on this hole, this bunker sucks because it is all dirt and no sand so I am not going to count that shot, so on and so forth.  For someone so addicted to numbers, statistics, and accuracy of data,  Martin could be quite creative in keeping score in golf.

Martin also references how eventually he became so irritated with the game that he quit playing golf.  What he didn't disclose is that he had bought a new set of Ping clubs that he had only used several times before he had this revelation.  To show Martin's true character, when he had played with me he had noticed that I was playing with a very old set of worn out clubs.  At the time, I wasn't making that much money and couldn't justify paying that much money for a new set of clubs.  I was working for Joe and Charlie at the time, so what else would you expect?  Anyway,  to show the true generous nature of Martin's heart, he gave those almost new clubs to me when he decided to quit the game without asking for anything in return.  I still have those clubs, although I have upgraded since then.  This is yet another example of how kind, considerate, and caring Martin could be, especially to those close to him.

Martin, you will be missed.  Poker will never be quite the same.  I will think of you often, especially during basketball season when KU is contending for another title this year.  I am sure you are probably pointing out to God that his method of keeping time on earth is statistically inaccurate and you have already come up with a much better statistically sound way to keep track of time.  Or some other statistical challenge that needs to be tweaked.  You may be gone, but you will never be forgotten in my heart.

From Martin's friend Debbie...
I miss him. I've known Martin for years and he was very very good to me.  When I was in the hospital, he came to see me on a Saturday night.  I was hooked up to every machine and he wheeled me and my equipment with tubes stuck everywhere outside so I could feel the air.  He didn't care how I looked.  I'll never forget that.  And he did all of my guy stuff repair around my house.  Would never take a dime, so I fed him!!!!!!  He liked that.

I'm proud of Martin.  He knew we would all feel the pain but he did it  "Martin's Way."  And he is not suffering anymore from something "called life."  I'll keep the family in my prayers.

From Martin's Friend Kent...
For most of you who knew Martin casually I suspect his brashness and supreme self-confidence may have left you thinking hat he was not a very nice guy. Those of us that knew him well knew that that was completely untrue.

One of his virtues, which is hard to surpass is his loyalty as a friend. A story about this goes back to our early friendship. I met Martin, as a freshman at MCC in 1971. Martin was friends with many of the other Kansas freshmen already. I was from Nebraska and didn’t know anyone. He welcomed me into the group as few others did. For economic and other reasons I didn’t return for my sophomore year. I think males will find this more unusual than females, I think they are more communicative than males, but anyway time passed and I didn’t hear from anyone.  I don’t think that would surprise anyone A few months passed and I got a letter from Martin asking what was going on with me, telling me he would like to see me and encouraged me to make a trip down to Manhattan, which I did. That interest meant a lot to me. It still does. Martin was the one who asked about my children, and later about grandchildren at poker night.

I have many, some conflicting feelings about his passing, but I know I have one less good loyal friend and those are hard to come by.


  1. I loved your post Todd. Thanks for sharing that. It was SO Martin.

  2. I didn't know Martin personally, and I don't even know if you will post this, but hopefully you will read it. (:
    I read about a man committing suicide on 8/15/13 on an MSN news website and how he decided to write about it. I thought it was a little out of the ordinary, and it sparked my curiosity. I have read all about it. This includes Grandfathers pizza, the playset he built, what he thought about conspiracies in the U.S., his perfect smoothies and so so so much more, too much to mention. I don't know why reading such personal,(kind of) intimate thoughts and expirences of a complete stranger held (and still holds) my attention for days, but it opened my eyes to a bunch of things. In my opinion, Martin, a.k.a. Len, a.k.a. Al, (lol) was a very open minded, strong willed individual. It saddens me to learn that he wanted to end his own life. My heart breaks for his brother and sister and former wives and step children. HOWEVER, I am in a way, happy for Martin. I feel like what he did gave him the ultimate freedom. Liberated him, so to speak. I want his family and friends to know that not only will his memory live on through you guys, but he will also live on in the memory of a random girl in Alliance, Ohio. I pray you guys can find the peace you need. The peace that I feel Martin has found through physical death.

    A touched stranger, miles and miles away.

    1. i also read about this on CNN. i like you got curious and read the whole story and i feel like Martin did what he did so he could be in complete control of his end with pain,suffering or debt!! the only thing i found that he did wrong other than ending his own life was one typo he made!!!! that would drive him crazy!!! i have read his whole story and i personally think he did what he was going to do no matter what!! prayers go out to his family. RIP Martin

  3. One of the biggest things that I remember about Martin’s character was his obsession with debate. As he got older, he softened a bit (or just learned to bite his tongue a lot). But when he was younger (and I’m talking still in his 40s), he was so convinced that if you listened to his argument for anything at all, you would change your mind if you didn’t already agree with him. Everything he talked about was in outline form with subheadings and bullets…. If he didn’t change your mind, then you just weren’t listening, because there was NO WAY he wasn’t making perfect sense! If you ever dared reply with something like “Well that is just the way I feel”, he couldn’t accept that. You had to explain with pure logic and facts as to why you did not agree with him. If you tried to escape, he would chase you down. You had to listen to him explain it over and over until you changed your mind. Of course sometimes I expect others were like me and just said “You’re right Martin” just so he would go away.

  4. I didn't know Martin personally. My first interactions started with the comment sections on the blog "Upon Further Review" on the KC Star website. I would always look forward to his posts on KU basketball after the game and the EFF for players that game. Im the biggest KU Fan in the world(doesn't every KU fan think this lol). But I believe Martin really was a bigger fan than me because he would be in so much work and research on the subject and it would come across in his posts. I found myself checking the site repeatedly every night eager to see his posts. I often would be the first one to comment. I worked nights and so I would already be up. I'd make a comment and I would find myself checking often through the night or next night to see if he would reply. When he did reply, I felt kind of happy. He brought joy to me because we shared a passion and he was insightful and I valued his opinion. Over time I came to know him a little bit but just on a sports tip. I would come across some hot topics and think to myself " I wonder what Martin thinks about this". If he didn't post a topic on it. I would send him an email and he would respond. After a few years, I came to find out he was knowledgeable on many other things besides sports and valued his opinions on the current state of the economy and gun control. He'd give me some advice, some of which I plan to heed when economically feasible. I've looked at his site detailing the events of his life and why he did what he did. I was shocked to hear about the suicide. When I first read the heading "My last post on SIR" I was saddened. When i read it further and he said he committed suicide, I didn't know whether to believe it or not. I googled it and came across a post on the star website. I knew it was true and I was confused and saddened. I know I'm not gonna ever forget him and I know Im not alone. When KU passes UK for the all time mens hoops wins. I have a toast in his memory. I can tell he was a special person. to those who knew him better and personally. I can bet it was a joy.

  5. Reading much of Martin's site a few days ago was a real gift to me. He painted such a vivid picture of a real life, well lived, with the end point being integral and inseparable from who he was, yet never more important than who he was.

    Supporting suicide prevention has been important to me in the dozen years since my partner died by suicide. At the same time, it has often bothered me that -- when it comes to adults with significant lifetime experiences -- their voices are too often dismissed, demeaned or muted as irrational, wrong-headed or sick.

    Reading Martin's words opened my eyes to consider that my partner could have written his own detailed story, tying together all of the details I knew as well as those I didn't, walking through his life, including his thoughts during the 2-3 months he prepared for its end. That comforted me. Getting to know a bit of Martin left me more open to seeing the whole of my partner's life and accepting that, no matter how much I hated some of his last choices, they were the result of long, complex deliberations.

    Thanks so much for this memorial.

  6. saw this on CNN, I didnt know Martin. I don t agree with suicide. But, he went out on his own terms and head held high. he was a great writer, I read his whole website even poker section. he will not be forgotten this story will stick with me for awhile.

  7. I knew Martin through both his KC Star and Sports in Review blogs. His writing and analytic skills were the best and it was always exciting to read what he came up with. You could tell he loved sports, loved stats, loved writing, and definitely loved posting what he came up with on the Internet.

    Simply put, and without a doubt, Martin was the best at what he did! Not only was he #1 he was #2-#10 as well! Nobody comes close to what he did, NOBODY. Maybe Bill James #11 and everybody else #12 and beyond.

    Even better Martin wrote extensively about our favorite local teams, the Jayhawks, Royals, Chiefs, Tigers. That's even more icing on the cake!!

    We were very lucky to have Martin write all those entertaining articles. Also, from what I've read from people that truly knew him he was a great guy, generous, and genuinely funny. I think in the end he wanted to keep the quality of his passion to the highest standards but knew his health was in decline. He was never going to let Sports in Review be anything less than A+!

    Before I go I also want to mention one more thing about Martin that people may have missed. Martin never was mean-spirited like so many other people on the Internet. The closest he ever got was railing against Rex Hudler but comeon, we're talking Rex Hudler! Nope, Martin wasn't mean-spirited, he kept it light and to the point.

    Finally I say a million thank you's to Martin Manley, you truly made my life more entertaining and you touched many peoples lives. Thank you Thank You THANK YOU!

  8. Having read quite a bit of Martin's site now I can say that I can really relate. What a wonderful person. The only thing I wish I could have said to Martin is that it would have been fantastic to meet you, and unfortunately that possibility seems to be closed off now, which is the best reason of all in the "why not" category.

  9. I just read part of his web site, and Martin certainly made a lot of sense to me. I think he was just tired in a lot of ways. He knew where life was going for him, and it wasn't getting any better. He had run his race. He had seen where the world was going, and seen enough to know it wasn't going to be a good place. I really liked his section on gun control. The guy just really had his head on straight, and I hate that we have lost such a thinking, intelligent guy.

    RIP Martin.

  10. Today, August 24th, is my 60th birthday. I've been reading Martin's site since the 15th of August and today started again, from the beginning to the end.

    First, I want to thank those of you who knew Martin for sharing your stories of him. Especially what you were doing the morning he died - how the packaged arrived (just as he would have wanted). Because, after reading the site I had those questions in my mind...."How did his friends find out?" "Did the packages arrive as he'd planned", etc. Sort of tied up a couple of loose ends for me.

    I'm deeply saddened by his death - mainly because I would like to have talked to him and asked some questions - but of course if he hadn't died, and died in this way, I never would have known about him. I'm sure he knew that there would be someone exactly like me to come along...someone who would read about this and then wish they'd known him...someone who would tell others this story...he created a legacy.

    Many of us have children who become our legacy in a way. But not Martin. He was obviously not traditional but wanted to leave something. Something that said "I WAS HERE". And he did that in his death.

    I was wondering, since those who knew him felt something was "off" especially this last year - and I mean this in the MOST NON JUDGEMENTAL way possible - Did you ever ask him or say something directly to him about suicide? Or what you expected? Basically did you ever address it directly?

    I can surely see where he was not the open type of person who would have welcomed such an intrusion but I was just curious...I don't think it would have made a difference...and I'm not sure why I want to know but that question keeps coming to me.

    Martin lived through all the times I did. The historical factors - the economic times. (but for a week and two days) He was 9 days old when I was born. I suffer from depression. It appears Martin did not. So maybe my depression forces me to continue to fight to 'hold on' - where he felt he'd done and been in this life so it was okay and acceptable to let go. But I always feel I'm struggling, hanging by a thread...he never seemed to have that feeling.

    His thread didn't break. He cut it.

    My best friend committed suicide. She murdered her 6 year old daughter who was named after me, Terri Lynn, and then killed herself. Maybe on Martins site I was trying to find an answer to my friends death - a friend who left no explanation, no note, no fact I spoke with her and things apparently were okay. We made plans for the next weekend. Monday she was gone in a very violent death.

    But there were no similarities that I could find. No answers. Just more questions. Always more questions.

  11. I am a stranger, living in a third world country, and came across news about Martin's suicide through reading CNN News. In spite of the numerous condemnatory tone, I think that Martin died bravely in his own way and he is finally at peace.

  12. Everything about this story broke my heart for the family and friend's sake. That being said, Martin made perfect sense with his thoughts and views on most things. I don't think it was a selfish act, I actually found him to be very brave. Many people fear growing old and useless, he just did something about it. I wish he wouldn't have and I will make sure to tell everyone I know that I love them and hope they are around forever. Also, I am aggravated that Yahoo took his site down. He worked hard on it and paid for it. I hope that decision is reversed. God Bless his family.

  13. My brother died unexpectedly at 52 on January 28th 2013. Everyday I do what Martin said I should do, I remember his life not his death. My condolences to the family.

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  15. I didn't know Martin and I came across his blog quite by accident, a day after he took his life. When I came across the blog I did a double take on the date and realized it had JUST happened and my heart fell into my stomach. I felt sorrow for a man and his family that I didn't even know. I read the entire blog and realized that it wasn't an accident that I came upon Martins blog. After reading it for hours and hearing his voice sing some of his favorite songs and seeing his hat collection, reading his thoughts and likes right down to the pizza lover in him, I realized we weren't that different. Martin was someone I would liked to have met. I love song duets and of course pizza! AND I had been on that quest for the worlds best slushy Since the ones you buy at the gas station aren't as good as they used to be years ago....I will be trying his recipe to :-) It seems like Martin had so many friends and family that loved him, good jobs, not too many worries, he was good looking and had what seemed to be a good life. Most people only have a few of those things...myself included. I think he just needed peace for himself and this was how he chose to let go. I believe in God and the power of forgiveness, I believe he was forgiven and that he is truly happy and in a better place. I know loss is not any easy thing for any family especially when it's a suicide (I hate that word!) but please know Barbie even though we have never met, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Martins Legacy will go on even if his blog doesn't (which I hope stays up for eternity) because all those that have read it..... will remember.
    Hugs, Jen

  16. I am not religious, I don't believe in heaven or in an afterlife. Jesus was no god (that's stupid) but a very enlightened man. However I do believe there is only one salvation: LOVE. Come one, let's cut the BS and get real like Martin so courageously did. We are all hypocrites. We only care about ourselves. For some people, specially the smart ones, life can be very boring. And it only gets worse as you get old. I sympathize with Martin. However I do believe there was a better escape: LOVE. He should have had kids. That's the only form of true unconditional love. Whoever says otherwise is just plain dumb (low IQ) or hypocrite. Or at least Martin should have gotten a puppy. Love is what he needed. Not love from himself. He need to love someone or something. Without that, what else can we do besides business deals?

    1. @Rebecca, great point to which I echo your ideals and sentiment. Had Martin given his heart and the responsibility of his self to someone or something, perhaps more than a puppy or a hobby that could not intelligently express love/desire/want/need back to him; I believe he would still be here. All though I must digress, Martin addressed this point, layered inside one of his masterful blogs, a point made about not having anyone to burden too heavily upon his passing.

      A truly brilliant man that I respect so much more than many of the living.

      Martin Manley, you have left your exclamation mark on the world and I will watch the movie about your life as i'm certain Hollywood has already bought the rights.

    2. "perhaps more than a puppy or a hobby that could not intelligently express love/desire/want/need back to him; I believe he would still be here." - That's not unconditional love. I am talking about giving love without expecting nothing in return. We can only do this to our own children I think. Love to a wife, to a friend or to a relative are always subjected to problems, disagreements and frustration. Unless of course you are loving a nice puppy. :)

  17. I did not know Martin... I wish i had though. I'm a 28 yr old guy living in California. I have shared links of Martin's website on Facebook and also have told everyone I could to read what I have read about this man. I KNOW NOW how special this man was. I have teared up a bit reading some of his website, but I have also laughed quite a bit. He was a really funny guy!!! I check Google everyday to see if there is any other news about Martin Manley. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. I also want the family to know that people of ALL ages are interested in getting to know Martin. It would have been a real honor to meet the guy.

  18. I read Martin's entire website from a mirrored site after Yahoo took his prepaid site down. I read everything. I, I wept when I listened to him sing "Lady". I know he made his decision and probably checked, double checked and even triple checked! I came from the site feeling that Martin, like me, just can't connect to people 100%. I do believe he was lonely. I believe he wanted someone to love and maybe have children with, but just didn't connect in the same way other people do. This is just my opinion, of course, but I came away as others...wishing I HAD known him. I will be listening to him sing his songs for a very long time. I believe he has left the legacy he desired!!! Love to all his family and frinds!!!

  19. From Martin's Blog-friend, Daniel

    Thanks so much for putting up this memorial site. It gives me a chance to add my experience with Martin (Part 1), as well as to ask two questions (and hopefully be able to read replies which answer them), which I have not as yet seen addressed in all that I have read (Part 2 - because of length will be a separate post).

    Part 1: As a life-long Jayhawk fan, somewhere back in the Upon Further Review days, I ran across his blog and became an avid reader. I loved his analytical and statistical approach as well as his wit and writing style. I live in Germany and would often read his posts before most anyone, and if I saw a typo, I'd tip him off about it. We corresponded a bit.

    Then last June, I was back in KC for a conference, and thought it would be fun to get to meet him. We met at the Wendy's at 75th and I-35 on Friday, June 21. It was like meeting your clone, who is five years younger. It was simply uncanny how many things we had in common. I grew up mostly in the KC area (not Topeka) but also had a portion of my childhood when we moved out to western Kansas. I studied Mathematics and could totally identify with keeping statistics on simply everything, not just baseball. I would sit on the porch and keep track of the cars going by, how many per hour, which make of car, keeping percentages, etc. Don't take this as a boast, but I am almost as obsessed with numbers as Martin was. I also worked for the KC Star for a while. I like to call myself very frugal (ok, I'm just plain cheap). On and on went the similarities. Next thing you knew, we had been talking for three solid hours.

    One of my main reasons for wanting to meet Martin, was to find out where he stood on faith. I had the opportunity to go through my experience in becoming a Christian. It had a lot to do with a book about biblical prophecy. This book shows the mathematical probability of the prophecy in the Bible coming true apart from a supernatural creator. I later sent an electronic version of the book, which Martin read and wrote back that he thought the math was solid. I was a bit surprised, but pleased to discover that he was also a believer.

    At one point in our conversation we started talking about bucket lists. He made some comment that indicated he did not have much longer to live. Since he never took his Fedora off, I figured he must be battling cancer or something, but did not pry.

    Then on August 15 I saw the title of his last blog post and started to read it out loud to my wife. We came to the part which said "earlier today I committed suicide". Of course we were shocked and saddened. We read those words at about 4:30 AM KC time. I wrote a desperation e-mail, begging him to call me (collect). To no avail, of course. But in the meantime, I know what my line of reasoning would have been. I would have laid out a statistical analysis of the greatest contributions to society performed by people over 60 years of age. (I know it wouldn't have worked, but I would have loved to try.)

    Taking your own life is typically a very selfish thing. And, bottom line, he just didn't want to grow old. But the lengths he went to with his intricate plan showed incredible consideration of others. How hard he tried to donate a kidney, and have his organs benefit others, growing his hair out, etc. My hat is off to him (pun intended). Part 2 in next post...

  20. Part 2: I hope you don't mind me posing my two unsolved questions. In the days ahead I hope to read some answers in replies to this post:

    1. He did all he could to make it possible for at least some of his organs to be useful to save others' lives. Did this happen?

    2. On his comprehensive website he says he was in good health. Yet at the same time he indicates very strong symptoms of the onset of dementia. We all have experienced forgetfulness, but nothing like what he describes. In my very limited time with him I saw no indication of anything like that (but that kind of thing is not easy to see). Does anyone know if he was ever diagnosed with any form of dementia?

    Thanks in advance, if you can help solve these "mysteries". With fond memories of Martin, appreciatively yours,

    Daniel Goering

    1. Daniel,

      Martin wasn't able to donate his organs, but they were able to harvest his tissues which can help up to 50 people. Martin did not have dementia, just the normal forgetfulness that one would expect of someone his age. He hated losing any of his mental acuity though, and worried that it was a sign of future deterioration. He had watched his parents decline in old age, and he never wanted to go through that. I can assure you that he had a nice head of hair under that fedora; I never understood why he wanted to keep it covered up all the time.

    2. Dear Madness;

      Thank you for your post. Martin was as sharp as ever. He had no signs of dementia. For as long as I can remember, he would forget things we had talked about, but that was just because he had so many other things on his mind. If anything in the last few years, he was remembering things better than he ever had.

      Regarding donating organs: Martin really tried. The letter he sent to me (which I read around 5:30 AM)basically told me what he'd done, that I would need to set aside my shock,and that I would need to call the police immediately to identify him and make sure they got his organs.

      I did the best I could. However, the police told me that once there is no heart beat that the medical people would not try to harvest them. Martin had already alerted some transplant places in KC and I learned that they tried their best to get what they could also. Unfortunately, no organs were harvested. My best information is that the autopsy and bureaucracy got in the way of harvesting the eyes and maybe some other things. However, the good news is that he was able to donate a lot of tissue that I was told would help over 50 different people. That helped me feel a little better.

    3. Daniel,

      I think with Martin it's important to realize how much Sports in Review(and his earlier UFR blog) meant to him. Martin made over 2,500 posts and I know he was extremely proud of each and every one of them.

      Because SIR meant so much to him he couldn't slow down but at the same time he couldn't keep up with writing articles every single day. He said he basically had been on the internet for the last 15 years and he didn't eat very healthy nor exercise much. He could feel it catching up to him, as it would anybody.

      Ultimately, Martin wanted to go out on top, which he most certainly did.

  21. Kip;

    Regarding Martin stealing golf balls: Wow! All that time we (I and our parents) believed Martin when he said that he and Mike were finding them in the ditch along Adams street and selling them up at the club house. Too funny.

  22. Thanks to everyone who replied to my questions. Those were the answers I expected, but it is good to know. Missing him along with you,


  23. I am a total and complete stranger but after learning about this, on Monday (8/26/13), I couldn’t stop reading Martin’s site and feeling for him. I am actually so happy for him and I bet he is just dancing around with happiness! It takes a lot of heart to do what he did and I really respect that. How he said goodbye to you all, in his very own way. Leaving you all feeling much better, with much less emptiness than you would’ve had otherwise. I think its amazing. I will continue to pray for Martin and all of his friends & family to heal well and carry on his legacy. Really, this is an amazing story and moved me immensely. Take care all!!! ~ Terra

  24. I knew nothing of Martin Manley before this and I've read his website extensively. I truly emphathize with him when he saw his friend Frank go through what he went through and I can see his reasoning of doing what he did. I'm an In-Home Health Care Aide and I've been to a few homes and see the rapid deterioration of the mind because of disease and I won't go there also like Martin didn't. My question. Was Martins ashes scattered somewhere or are they kept in an urn somewhere?

  25. Cajun;

    Different friends and family have taken the ashes. Some will be in urns, some will be spread in one of his favorite places, and some will be buried. He will be spread out.

  26. For everyone who attended Martin's service last night, and for those who could not make it, I just wanted to say that I thought it was the most beautiful healing funeral/service I had ever attended.

    The Pastors (who were also Martin's friends) were absolutely wonderful, and the choir with whom Martin had sang for 13 years was superb. Seeing Martin's friends (and meeting some for the first time) was so special. To all of you who came came last night, sent cards, emailed, called, assisted me in some way, or put a note on this blog...thank you and God bless you all!

  27. I'm just sad to think that I had a cousin of some sort that I didn't know about that I might have helped. Well, Manleys are tough, sometimes too tough, and I wish there'd been some way to help him.

    May he rest in peace until his awakening in glory. +

    James Manley
    Ocala, FL

  28. Hello family and friends of Martin as well as fellow strangers touched by his story. I just this moment finished reading his blog in its entirety after starting it on August 16. Like many others, I had never heard of Martin Manley until he made his physical exit; I became aware of his story when a fellow commenter on (a favorite basketball website) posted a link.

    At first, I was totally horrified and saddened by what he had done--and especially by the precision, coolness, and reason that were behind his thought processes. The more I read, however, the more I came to understand. What had seemed completely unfathomable gradually became understandable in the context of who he was and how he approached life. I'm not sure I can properly explain why I felt compelled to read about the views, experiences, interests, and accomplishments of someone I'd never known. All I know is that once I started, I knew I was intrigued by who this person was and somehow almost felt like I "owed" it to his memory to finish. [So, Martin, I finished . . . except for Sports in Review which I will definitely revisit later!] Oddly enough too, I came across one of my own quirks in his writing--one I didn't know was shared by anyone else: the tendency to convert letters of the alphabet to numbers and try to make them "fit".

    Really just wanted to express my sympathy to those who knew Martin and echo the sentiments of many others here who didn't. His blog and his sharing were truly remarkable. I was completely disarmed by his willingness to reflect on his life with unflinching honesty. As I recently told a good friend, it was like his declaration to the world: "I was here. I wasn't great, I did some stuff, and screwed up a lot, but dammit, I was here."

    Thank you for providing this spot to read and share the reactions of others. While I'm still saddened by Martin's death, I feel enriched by what he left behind.

    Chickasha, OK

  29. Hi to all who were fortunate indeed to know Martin.

    I cannot tell you how his story has touched me.

    It takes a lot of courage to do what he did. I can never reconcile suicide as an option but Martin did what he did the way that he did and clearly explained his reasons on his site and for that I think we all are extremely grateful.

    My father was bi-polar and took his own life when I was 14. This was a tremendous shock to the whole family as you can imagine, especially as he didn't leave a suicide note, being in that terrible state of mind where he thought that he was worth more to us dead than alive.

    Unfortunately for him the Life Insurance had a suicide clause, so we were left bereft, in many more ways than one.

    I am so happy for all his family and friends that he did what he did, the way that he did, because you all have so much better closure than we, and I must say that Martin's whole site, which I have read from beginning to end, has been absolutely wonderful for me. I feel so very privileged to have been allowed this insight into a wonderful, caring, loving, extremely talented and highly intelligent man.

    Thank you to all concerned for allowing us all to gain access to this site, via mirror sites, as his story has enriched all our lives.

    May you all live long and well.

    Kim in the U.K.

  30. I was a big fan of SIR. Having grown up in Kansas City, I think I shared all of my favorite sports teams with Martin--especially KU basketball. I checked his blog almost every day since he updated it so religiously. I currently live not too far from Pawnee Rock, where Martin grew up, so I became even more interested in his work when I realized that connection. I drove through Pawnee Rock just a few days before I heard about his suicide. I'm sure I'll think about him now every time I drive through. My prayers are with all of his family and friends.

  31. Phil and I went to Overland Park this Wednesday to finish up some of Martin's affairs. Prior to going to the Police Station to pick up property Martin had on him when he died, we had lunch with Teri. She happened to mention that the day before he died, he didn't have a fedora on and she thought that was unusual. We conjectured that he must have donated all of his fedoras by then.

    I don't know if it's been stated anywhere but Martin had totally cleaned out his residence. There was not one item of clothing left.

    We were quite surprised later that day when we found a fedora in the possessions received from the police. It is a beautiful hat with a cross on it. He obviously had saved it to wear for his suicide. If I can't attach the picture here, I will send it to Todd to put in with the other pictures.