Thursday, March 01, 2007

Thomas Hansmeyer, vaya con Dios

When a Leo Kotkke song came on the radio tonight on our commute home through a torential downpour, I thought of Thomas Hansmeyer (above in front of the house he watched over for friends as a resident while they followed their careers to Washington, D.C.) from my days in sustainable agriculture in Minnesota. He was always happy to see you, and I was glad to have his confidence and friendship.

It was with a heavy heart that I read the first result that came back from googling his name (I had expected to find a tellephone listing or perhaps his work contact in a press release):

Obituaries - 8:40pm
Hansmeyer Thomas
Leo, age 39, of St. Paul unexpectedly on Sept. 3, 2005. Preceded in death by his father, Leo. Beloved son of Bernice; Loving brother of six ... - 19k

Ironically, Thomas had been working with Biodiesel as well with some of the same people I have since met:


"St Paul, Minnesota biodiesel workshop, October 24:
thanks to Darryl Thayer and Thomas Hansmeyer for organizing this one!

Learn to Make Your Own Biodiesel Renewable Fuel

Sunday, Oct. 24, 2004; 10am-5pm
At the Green Institute
2801 21 Ave south Minneapolis
Near Hiawatha and Lake street

Sponsored by the Green Institute

Instructor Maria "Mark" Alovert of .

The cost of the workshop is on a sliding scale, $25 to $50 depending upon economic need.
a textbook is available at the class:

This class is part of the Biodiesel Appleseed Tour

Biodiesel is an alternative fuel for diesel engines which can be made locally from waste restaurant fryer grease or any kind of plant oil or animal fats. Biodiesel emissions are extremely clean, and biodiesel can be used in a diesel engine with no modifications. It can be used 100% or blended with petroleum diesel, and has greater lubricity for fuel systems without sulfur or other additives.

Biodiesel can be purchased commercially, but it is also very easy to make this fuel at home with minimal equipment. Most people who 'homebrew' do so as a hobby, and there is a growing community of us who are both home brewing and trying to bring greater commercial availability of biodiesel to our communities.

An Iowa local group that sponsored another one of these workshops makes biodiesel for about 45 cents per gallon.

This class will be hands-on and you will learn how to make biodiesel.

No pre-registration necessary, directions to the class are below.

The Homebrew Comprehensive workshop is a quick-moving, hands-on class, where you will make several small batches of biodiesel, learn safety and basic lab processes, test oil and biodiesel for quality, and work with ethanol and discuss acid-base biodiesel

The Green institute is located one block west of Hiawatha avenue on 21 avenue. Two blocks north of Lake street. It is a large green building with large solar collector array on the roof.

More details about the Biodiesel Appleseed Tour, and photos of some past workshops:

Of course, now I can't remember if Thomas and I ever talked about it or not (it has been six+ years.) Maybe he was one of the folks who planted the seed in me.

There is a memorial site for Thomas, that really helped me remember what a great guy he was.

Thanks for all the good times Thomas.


Blogger Tom said...

I have just stumbled across this as I was searching for info on Thomas. It has been over 15 years since I saw Thomas last in St. Paul. I met him in Freiburg, Germany in 1986 and we became good friends. My best memory is shortly after we met, one late night lying in a field outside of town a ways, watching the moon come up over the Black Forest hilltops. We had both been starved for American humor and we laughed ourselves hoarse. Thomas was one of the most genuine, bone-deep good people I have ever met - or probably that anyone has ever met. If you knew him, you would know what I mean.

4:47 AM  
Blogger Charlie said...

Hi Tom,

Thanks for your comment. There was a site on a private domain with info about Thomas at one point, but it has since vanished. Looks like I have one of the few publicly available pictures of him.

I agree with everything you wrote. I owe a lot to Thomas and am still trying to be worthy of his friendship.

11:02 PM  

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