Did you hear?...Mann memorial gathering brings out industry veterans in droves

The May 9 celebratory event remembering the life and times of the late Tom “Hemi” Mann at Erickson Outdoors in Richmond, Calif., proved not only to be a grand send off for the beloved outdoor industry veteran, but also an outdoor business alumni gathering.
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The May 9 celebratory event remembering the life and times of the late Tom “Hemi” Mann at Erickson Outdoors in Richmond, Calif., proved not only to be a grand send off for the beloved outdoor industry veteran, but also an outdoor business alumni gathering.



Mark Erickson and his wife, Jan, served as hosts of the event. In attendance from Mann’s years at The North Face were Hap Klopp, Hans Jones, Lee Turlington, Becky Parson Andersen, Sally McCoy, Dan and Susan Castner, Ingrid Harshbarger, Gibson Mann, John McLaughlin, Jeff Kohr, Molly Locklin, Mandy Hummel, Cynthia Evers, Linden Hynes, Nancy Eisen, Beth Muth, Theresa Muth, Helen West, Marty Smith, Anna Smith, Ignacio Munoz, Lorena Munoz, Betty Davis, Diane Huntley and Eileen Page Woodward. Longtime reps Ken Lacasse and Mike Burns, pictured right, rounded out the gang.



Outdoor notables of the non-TNF variety included rep Larry Harrison, who drove up from Los Angeles, along with Wilderness Experience co-founder Greg Thomsen. Among those from the Berkeley outdoor heydays were Peter Benjamin, Henry Gruchacz, Bob Shotland and -- going way back to the Ski Hut era -- Dennis McKenna.



Hundreds of pictures from Mann’s life adorned the walls of Erickson Outdoors. Some of the most memorable captured the heady ‘70s when a majority of outdoor gear was designed and produced in Berkeley.



During the remembrance portion of the celebration, friends recalled Mann as a gear-tech maven, personable, funny, with a great gift for words (and humorous emails), and a sports nut who was always great company.



Reminiscing continued as the guests enjoyed an incredible culinary spread featuring all of Mann’s favorite dishes from all the places he loved to lunch.



As the party wound down, Turlington remarked to SNEWS® that it was time, “for industry old-timers to get together more often to honor each other in life and pay tribute to those who are gone.” Long live the Woodchucks…time to resurrect the group activities, it seems.

--Bob Woodward

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