“Who The Heck”….


Long story, real short version…   

63 IMG_3306

Tommy Haynie

Hometown – Fort Myers, Fla

Allen Park Elementary

Ft. Myers Jr High

Rabun Gap Nacoochee School

Fort Myers Senior High 70


1970 – 1978  Truck driver; Scattered thoughts; as my friends went through college – I drove 24/7 delivering fresh produce throughout the mid-west and east coast.

AFD 055 Tom G Haynie

Tom G Haynie – AFD 055

1979 – 2010. From 8-weeks of initial fire-training my objective became clear; “10-10-10.” Ten years as a firefighter, 10 years as an officer; and a final ten years in some other capacity – I’m a lucky guy, it worked…  It was a journey through a traditional structural fire-fighting organization, into the most recent of accredited emergency care providers.  A thirty-one year career among an awesome family of workers within the City of Asheville, NC and its Fire Department.

  • Metro, Engine 15 B, 1979-1981
  • West, Engine 6 B, 1982
  • West, Engine 3 B, 1983 – 1989
  • Metro, Capt. Ladder 1 A, 1990 – 1993
  • North, Capt. Engine 7 A, 1994 – 1997
  • West, Capt. Rescue 3, Ladder 33 A, 1997 – 2000
  • Central, Capt. Haz-mat Engine 2 C, 2000 – 2001
  • Bat 2,3, Batt Chief B and C shifts, Admin SOG’s;  2001 – 2006
  • South, Capt. Engine 4 B, 2006 – 2007
  • East, Capt. Engine 8 B, 2007 – 2010

Class A CDL – Emergency Medical Technician – Firefighter I,II,III – Hazardous Materials Technician, Operations – Swift Water Rescue II,III – Open Water, Advanced, Rescue Dive Certified – Confined Space/Trench Rescue – Fire/Rescue Insrtructor – Fire Inspector – Fire Officer I, II – Fire Educator –  Associates Degree Fire Service Technology – Fire Management Certification


– it was one fine ride



Retired after 31 years because I could.  Miss my cohorts but happily away from dealing with all those ‘doggone people” (fundamentally, I believe that each person should manage their own ‘vessel’)



Now’s basically about there being “a whole world out there!” and finding opportunities to explore the waters along the way (listed to your right).  It doesn’t hurt that ‘paddling’ is cost effective – plus, I find that time spent usually allows a primitive, peaceful, and ‘real-time’ perspective into the wonder surrounding us.

The hardest thing about paddlin; is getting out the door.” tgh

There are several types of paddling along with various reason’s WHY? folks paddle.  If interested, find your reason – and do it your way.  Personally I like distance, in a casual manner during the spring or fall.  Early placid mornings are the best! but there are many meaningful moments on flat to class II waters to absorb…  I’m just using these two little portholes that life has provided while crossing a few of ‘lifes-circles‘ along the way.

The blog is simply a tangible reference and potential foundation for more ‘circles‘ to close; trip-report style; all uncharted waters for me.  The grammar skills represented are basic – but I like fewer rules, kinda like building a ‘hot-rod’  (no rules) it’s just easier.  I’m really proud that folks like you reference it, “thank-you.”

“The water was as level as life is good.”  tgh




Now and then I stop and touch the bottom – ‘default‘ is a small lake among the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.


” You have but two opportunities to do the things that interest you; 1) right now! or 2) the absolute first moment that the opportunity presents itself! – otherwise, those interests could be lost in your desires forever.” – tgh




tamarackidd – bacshortly@yahoo

You may on occasion see my reference to life’s ‘Little circles’ – it’s an interesting comparison of memory, perceptions, and present reality of a place you have been before – all while feeling that certain hollow feeling within the statement that; “you can never really go home again.”

Quips, thoughts, quotes….


“Kayaking; a period in life that you paddle through.” tgh

“The hardest thing about paddlin; is getting out the door.” tgh

I did’nt go paddlin to ‘figure things out.’ – I went to ‘unfigure’ things….

“Skippin through time, like a flat rock on a level lake’.”

“I think faster than I can speak.” 

“The best time; — is right now!”    tgh

“Stuck behind a slow motorist is like ‘accepting mortality,’ – it’s just part of it!” tgh

“I Love my earth-time.” tgh

“Dear Karma; you have my attention!” tgh

“Life; – does not stink at all.” tgh 

“You might want to keep some good tires under that gal.” tgh

“It’s like picking up a Kleenex with wet fingers.”  tgh

“Over the years I have seen many folks, in the worst parts of the city that ‘lived under bridges;’ I am grateful each day to live in my own modest circumstance.”  tgh

“Keep it on the positive side of negative.”  tgh

“Leave early, enjoy the ride”….. tgh

There’s ‘just something’ about having that kayak strapped to my roof that brighten’s my day.” tgh

“I’m not nosey, – I’m just interested”  tgh

“If you’re quiet, long-enough; others may just figure out just how much noise they ‘really make….” tgh

“Whiz outside… save three gallons of clean water”…  tgh

I once prayed for some pussy;” a few days later a cat wandered up…. (really!)

More than a tombstone

My Mom was an authoritarian; “Saturdays were about ‘cleaning’ the house; every other day was about keeping it straight” – and we pulled weeds by hand.  tgh

“I could be wrong, but I’m financing this lifetime..”  tgh

“She looked a whole lot better running down the road, than sitting still..”  tgh

“I’d rather be around nothing, than negativity..” tgh

I do not care to step on a plane because I love the features of civilization and geography between the destinations along the way – yet my dreams are each connected through an aereal perspective, go figure.

“In planning to go somewhere, give yourself enough time for the wrinkles to hang free of your favorite shirts.”  tgh

“Some have the ability to look through a dirty windshield; I don’t”  tgh

“Dislikes; scrutiny. – and the edges of conformity”  tgh

Short stories appreciated.”  tgh.

“We’re all different, and they need every one of us..”  tgh

“Don’t waste your time with opinions; there are just too many of them.”  tgh

“How do you expect to motivate others if you cannot motivate yourself?” Get on with this life –    tgh

The first French word that I learned; ‘Latrine’..  tgh

“I have found that first thing in the morning; a shower is as good as a cup of coffee…”  tgh

When someone refilled my Dad’s drink, he would always say – “Just cover the ice.”  wth (think about it)

” Never own the same car twice”  wth

“I don’t want to be a distraction, only the simplest part of the entertainment”  tgh

When not paddlin; I’m just ridin these feet”….  tgh

“Concise is nice.”   tgh

“I have pulled a trailer regularly through the years; I have learned is that its not about ‘pulling’ the trailer so much – but simply easing up to speed and ‘rolling ‘ down the road with it.  Thinking ahead, working together.”  Something about that works with people too –  tgh

Three puffs and I’m gone…”  tgh

Life/baseball; “Getting to first base = 15 years, second base 30 years, third base 60 years. I just left third – home stretch….” tgh

You get what you deserve, – and I’m doggone happy ‘with it.

“Logic and emotions can only intersect…”

“Healing is for young people – they have the time….” (Be safe) tgh

“I’m just paddlin through this part of life” tgh

“I love this time of life; – and I just wish that it would last forever”….. tgh

“Throughout our lifetime we acquaint ourselves with a multitude of folks from various backgrounds; I’m inclined to believe that as we grow, we include positive tidbits of personality that we liked from those- and incorporate them into our own personalities. In essence, we are each a product of those friendships along the way.”  tgh

“Approach everyone as though they are a best friend; from there – it’s your choice whom to hang-out with”…  tgh

About explaining; “Your friends don’t need it, – your enemies won’t believe you anyway.” (double-bubble bubblegum wrapper @1962)

About guilt;  (I should have, could have…) don’t carry it, don’t give it to others – move on. – Guilt is an absolutely unnecessary burden that will encumber and prevent a person from reaching their inherent calling…

“Friends, we all need ’em, after all – they help to keep the cobwebs at bay…. tgh

Thank you Lord! for each and every blessing about my life” —- including the cat.



16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sherrie
    Apr 20, 2014 @ 03:25:28

    Love the photo above, where you’re standing by a river, with red rock walls around you, blue kayak behind. Nice shot.



  2. Tom Guinan
    Aug 20, 2014 @ 08:17:20

    I would love to get in contact with you, as I have wanted to travel the miss river all my life and believe I am close to doing so. Would like to know of plans for your pontoon, dimensions of shelter and such. Have read free bird many times and continue to enjoy it. Please write back to tommieboy



  3. Tom Haynie (bacshortly)
    Aug 20, 2014 @ 13:31:53

    Hey Tom, the questions section ( http://bacshortly.wordpress.com/questions/ ) of the Mississippi trip has a lot of the information – or email me at tomhaynie@yahoo and I’ll do my best with answers. For sure, read Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain before hand, and then do it! especially if it is something that has been on your mind, and do it your way…. awesome adventure



  4. Nancy Holyfield
    Sep 28, 2015 @ 07:16:09

    Wow, I just read your blog about going down the Mississippi river and you have so inspired me. But, you know what, I was raised in Memphis and now live in Arkansas. The river isn’t that far from me. I have wanted to take a trip down it all my life. Mark Twain is one of my favorite authors. Something about loving Mark Twain and also loving the Mississippi River-seems like this is something I will have to do. You have helped me decide that I am going to do just that.



    • Tom Haynie (bacshortly)
      Sep 29, 2015 @ 07:28:09

      Thats neat Nancy, by all means – give it a go. The trip is absolutley ‘doable,’ just takes a little humility for the ride of a lifetime. The ‘Questions’ part answers alot – but if you need more, email me….. oh yeah, dont’ let what others say deter you, do it YOUR way! Thanks for your note….



  5. George T. Jenkins
    Oct 06, 2016 @ 14:22:29

    Hi Tom, just read your Fort Myers segment. It took me back and reminded me of the sights, smells and sounds of my childhood. A wonderful read that opened a window into the past.



  6. Richard
    Jun 10, 2017 @ 23:45:22

    Looks like you’re having a great time. Saw your website written on the inside of a bear box at Echo amphitheater in New Mexico. Enjoy!



    • Tom Haynie (bacshortly)
      Jun 11, 2017 @ 06:09:30

      Life is Good Richard, must be that you’re enjoying yours also… thanks for the note, I appreciate it.



  7. Lin Hetherington
    Jun 21, 2018 @ 18:57:09

    love the blog. Just started kayaking “my way”. Spent the month of June in Florida doing some Springs, i.e. Wekiva, Ginnie, etc. Back home now in ATL and can’t stop thinking about the water! Definitely looking at Seed Lake, as well as Weiss Lake in Alabama. Any advise for a ‘newbie’ on either? THANKS!!!!!



    • Tom Haynie (bacshortly)
      Jun 22, 2018 @ 07:17:44

      Sounds like you are in finding ‘your way’ Lin, for some ‘paddling’ is a refuge – a good place to search a soul; difficult to do with a crowd. The hardest part is getting out the door, you can do it. Maybe we’ll catch you out there sometime – I’m still searching mine..



  8. Generation Next | Haynie – simply put
    Jun 22, 2018 @ 08:49:35

  9. I’m Not Getting On No Airplane!… | Haynie – simply put
    Dec 20, 2018 @ 09:02:00

  10. Brooke
    Jun 10, 2019 @ 18:43:51

    I found backshortly.com on a gas station advertisement sign while pumping gas. It was just written in graffiti font and I made a mental note to look it up later. Here I am.
    I’m in Greenville South Carolina
    This is weird



  11. Tom Haynie (bacshortly)
    Jun 11, 2019 @ 07:15:47

    Funny, I’ve been getting them from all over Brooke, kinda like “Kilroy was here” in years past… thanks



  12. David j cook
    May 23, 2020 @ 07:45:00

    Miss hanging out and fusing metal for no reason other than to see if we could do it. Usually turned out good with no stitches needed.



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