Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan is published by William Morrow. It tells the story of my adventures with Atticus M. Finch, a little dog of some distinction. You can also find our column in the NorthCountry News.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Before You Normalize It, Put Yourself In My Shoes

It’s called stalking, even if you think it isn’t. 



I’ve been sitting on something for a while, as my friends know. It’s been an issue since the publication of Following Atticus in 2011, but it’s become more of one this past year. It has led me to understand that it’s time I prepare to move on from this town I’ve called home for the past nine years. 



Last October, on a delightful afternoon, just before Emily arrived in our lives, Samwise and I were walking along a cross-country ski trail that gets little to no use outside of winter. It’s one of the reasons we frequent it and other trails like it. I adore being alone in the woods with my thoughts, but if you’ve read anything I’ve written you know this. 



That particular walk turned out to be different, however, when Samwise howled out in alarm that a couple was approaching us from the opposite direction. We exchanged greetings, then more warm words. There was talk of the weather and foliage, talk of Samwise, and of the area.

The couple was from Switzerland and had been visiting the White Mountains over the last few years, always in the autumn. I suggested some hiking trails they might like. 

We were chatting for more than twenty minutes before the woman paused and gave me a quizzical look. 



“Are you Tom Ryan?”

“Yes.”

With a burst of excitement, she grabbed her husband by the arm. “Oh my gosh! Oh gosh!”

She’d read Following Atticus in German and liked it so much she read it again in Italian. She bought many copies for friends. 



They did not know about “Will’s Red Coat” but told me they’d pick it up at White Birch Books the next day.

As we parted, each of us felt richer for having this encounter. 



Over the past seven years, I have run into people visiting the White Mountains from New Zealand, Germany, Australia, Italy, England, Scotland, and numerous states. They came here after reading “Following Atticus.”

It’s one of the highest compliments I’ve received. It means something to me to share my feelings for this area and to have it move readers to the point of wanting to see it for themselves. There have been countless almost-magical interactions with folks in this manner, and they all have one thing in common. 



None of them came here seeking me out. 



They came to see the mountains and perhaps thought it would be nice if they ran into us, but it was not part of their plans. They did not go out of their way to find us.



This organic kind of meeting is the best kind. 



Alas, there is another side to interacting with readers that has never felt comfortable. It’s one of the reasons we have not walked in Jackson for the last few years and drive anywhere from 32 to 70 miles a day to take our walks where we can enjoy solitude. 



On one of the last days Atticus and I walked in Jackson, we were stopped eleven times on a mile and a half loop. People wanted photos. They wanted to hang out. They felt we were friends. 



Although this is a compliment to my writing, it isn’t my style. And it’s not in my comfort zone.



It does, however, come with the territory. I understand that. 



However, for a person who mostly stays to himself, it can be daunting.



During the last days of my Aunt Marijane’s life, she was in hospice. My cell coverage in the house was not very clear, so I talked with her as I walked with Atti. Two couples saw us and pulled over while I was saying what would turn out to be my last words with Marijane.

The tourists were extremely excited about getting a group photo. I explained to them that I was on the phone. They said they'd wait. I politely told them it was an important call and I would be on it for a while and went to walk way. They asked a third time. Once again I let them know it was not a good time.



I was stunned by their vitriol and the four-letter words. 



That’s when I understood then it was time to take most of our walks elsewhere. 



I treat our strolls as I used to handle our hikes. I have three destinations in mind. If one is crowded, we go to another. If the second is also busy, it’s off to a third location.

I do not have a problem with any of this. 



But one thing I’ll never get used to is having people stalking us.

Last year, on several occasions, folks noted Bill parked outside of our home and pulled over to take photos and/or videos of us in the backyard.



I felt exposed. I felt tracked. It seemed like so many people who had read so much of what I’d written hadn’t taken it to heart.



For years, readers have waited for us to pull up at the Jackson post office and when we have, they’ve descended upon us.



It’s always awkward when this occurs because it catches me off guard. I don’t think of myself as anyone special. I like our quiet lives, its gentle ways, and the rhythm that comes with it.

In the first chapter of Will’s Red Coat I confessed to being an introvert. A sudden in-your-face greeting from an excitable reader is always a shock, unless it takes place at a book event.

Last year, while leaving a store’s parking lot, a woman rushed up to see Samwise. When I explained we were on our way to a meeting and had to go she swore at me. Later that night she posted nasty comments on our Facebook page. 



I can list too many examples of this type, but none of it is out of the ordinary. “It is”, as Bill Belichick states, “what it is.” 



However, over the past year things have changed in a dramatic manner. But the trouble started before then.



I trace it back to the first Atticus M. Finch Walk for the Animals in September of 2016. I was moved by the number of people who showed up from around the country for the event and the subsequent book signing that followed.

Rachael Kleidon, our friend, and vet walked with us that day. We had not seen each other in months since she had her baby Silvia. What a joy it was to spend time with them both. And how important it was for Rachael to be there to honor the late Atticus. She had gone out of her way to make time to be with us that day.



As the walk was coming to an end, Rachael and I were talking when we were interrupted by one of my readers, who had come from several hours away. Both Rachael and I were taken aback, but it did not matter to this woman. She had questions for Rachael about her dog, and it was clear that my time with the good doctor was over.

I would later learn that Rachael was stuck there with little Sylvia for an incredible length of time answering questions about a dog who was in another state.  



Throughout the next hours, while I was signing books outside of White Birch Books, I saw this same woman, constantly within feet of us. 



My poor brother Eddie was at his first event for "Following Atticus" and the same woman glommed onto him. It was a big deal for him to be there since he was heroic in stepping into a public situation while suffering from PTSD from his time in the service. He'd overcome much to be there for us that day.

For two hours, she shadowed him and even when he excused himself to walk to his car she followed. 



We would later joke about how trapped he felt. 



Fast forward to last May and an event in Vermont for “Will’s Red Coat.” It was when I next saw this same woman. She’d driven several hours to be there. After the talk, she waited in line, and when I signed her books she wanted to talk endlessly, and I gently reminded her that others we were waiting.

This is not unusual, and I do my best to give as much time as possible to those in the greeting line. But this interaction was reminiscent of the previous September. 



After everyone else had left, I looked up and waiting by the door was the same woman. For the first time ever I asked a store manager to walk me out to my car and explained why.



Fast forward to this past September. Samwise and I pulled up to the post office, as we do every day, and shockingly the same woman was standing there waiting for… I won’t pretend to know.

But I recognized her immediately and instead of stopping to get my mail, I pulled in and then turned right around again and left. I have no doubt she saw us. Over the following days, I saw her standing in front of the post office repeatedly. Each time I pulled out without getting my mail.

Shortly after, I was informed by stores that I frequent, that this woman, had now moved to the Mount Washington Valley. Each of them gave me warnings. Other businesses I don’t frequent reached out to let me know she asked if we ever came there.

On the day of last September’s Atticus M. Finch Memorial Walk for the Animals, there she was again. A friend who works in a bakery warned me that the woman had moved to Jackson, not too far from our home. 



Shit. 



My brother Eddie made the trek to North Conway again, which is still a big deal for him. Once again he wanted to be there to honor Atticus. He and I walked together. The entire time this woman hovered near.

Alas, Eddie and I became separated, and I would later learn that she attached herself to him for the remainder of the walk.

He and I had made plans to get away to Thorne Pond for some privacy after the memorial walk, but by the time it was over he decided he’d had enough and he could not get away from the event and the stifling woman soon enough. 

Unfortunately, he drove home, and we never did get to take our quiet walk together.

I would later learn that Eddie lost his phone that day in his hurry to escape.

I apologized for what he had to endure, and he was kind about it all. But still, I knew my life had entered into a strange place where I was no longer the only one inconvenienced.



As autumn came, I received regular reports from my friends at the different shops I’ve often written about that she often lingered there and asked about us. Then it became just lingering. 



I’d continue to see her at the post office, sometimes see her driving into a business we had just pulled into, always was updated by how often she was in the various shops. She even began volunteering at an organization we raise money for. 



I told a state trooper that I do not feel in danger and she has never entered our yard, but how I now feel the need to look around before I get out of my car. Not a day goes by where I am not aware of her presence. Alas, there is nothing the authorities can do. It’s not like she’s in my face, but knowing she has pretty much insinuated herself into my life in the area has been stressful. 



She’s one of the reasons we went away for close to two months this winter. 



Physically, I continue to make peace with my kidneys, heart, blood clots, and assorted health issues. I’m bloated and overweight. I have no illusion that I’m a good catch or even the object of someone’s fantasies. And yet how strange it is to have a person impact our lives as she does. 



As friends and I talk about her impact, they realize I’ve stopped coming into their stores as I used to. Some have attempted to laugh it off, but until someone haunts your life like this one never knows what it feels like.

I understand I am an ambassador of sorts for this region. We lead a quiet but attractive life. It’s terrific that people want to come here to see what it is like for themselves. It’s grand that some have even moved here. But there’s a difference between moving to the mountains or to the Mount Washington Valley as compared to moving right down the street in our little town an adopting much of my lifestyle. 



Today, I informed friends that over the next year I will be looking to move from this part of the mountains. 

That day may have come sooner or later, but because of one specific person the time has come to start planning. 



I cannot tell you what is in this person’s head. But I can tell you that from the people who stalk us that I’ve conversed with, they feel bad that I have to put up with it, but always they think I’m talking about others when I address stalkers. It seems most stalkers do not realize what they are doing. Perhaps she doesn’t.

She is considered a pleasant enough person, I guess. Awkward and tone deaf, but not dangerous. 



As I was telling a shop owner about this today he confessed to not opening his store on time one recently when he saw her in the parking lot. Instead, he waited until she left. 



Years ago, when Atticus and I took a week each winter in Provincetown, I noted on our Facebook page that the poet Mary Oliver lived there at the time. “I wouldn’t mind running into her by chance on the beach,” I wrote.



I was surprised by the number of people who suggested I look up the poet’s address and just knock on her door. 

Just because a person writes books we read, it does not give us a right to intrude upon them.

Earlier today Eddie summed it up well. "She may not be breaking any law but what an intrusion on your life!"

I write this in hopes that people will understand that I am mostly a private person. It’s the reason I got rid of ATTI 48 license plate. I didn't enjoy exiting the woods only to have folks waiting for us.

It’s the reason we drive as many miles as we do each day to go for ordinary walks. 



What I wish for everyone is that they can find some of the peace we have worked hard to attain. But I hope in so doing that ours is also respected. 



Thank you for reading.


77 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jesus! What is wrong with people?

- Jenn

Liz Webster said...

Your books have inspired us: to pay attention, enjoy nature and to simplify. I just feel so sad that you have to think about uprooting your life right now, especially in the midst of health challenges. :(

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry that you're having to deal with this. It makes me incredibly sad for you, Samwise, and Emily.

Gabby said...

This is so disturbing! I hope you don't post your new location, for fear of the same happening. I know you will find a wonderful location, with the kinds of trails you and your friends enjoy. Peace to you, and thank you for sharing all you do.

BPLD Director's Notes said...

What a sad commentary on fandom. I hope you quickly find the place of peace that you desire and deserve.

Anonymous said...

Sad commentary on today's society

Jan said...

Tom,
That is the saddest blog I've ever read. You sound frustrated and at your wit's end.The fact that you are thinking of moving from the home that you love because of this person is just nuts. Do you think that if you spoke to her face to face about this that she would get it? Maybe someone else could speak to her. I'm really sorry you have to deal with this. It's just wrong. Be well.

Cajun Ghost Hunter said...

You are too kind hearted. This coonass would approach her, tell her like it is and let her know to leave you alone and go on with her life instead of hovering over yours. Best wishes and hope you find your peace soon.

Candice said...

So sorry you’re going through this; don’t understand how people can be clueless to their actions. I was thinking this woman needs to read this, but then as you say, she probably wouldn’t see herself as a stalker. I wish you well in finding solace and lack of recognition somewhere.

judedirect said...

Tom,

Obviously, most of us have had no idea this was going on. I am so saddened to think that you must leave the home you have made for yourself in Jackson. It's tragic really. I am an introvert myself after living a very public life in the performing arts for two decades, and the woman that you speak of would freak me out. I understand why you feel the need to move along.
I hope that you will be able to recover your sense of solitude, privacy and love for a new place you will call home. Onward.

Blessings to you, Samwise and Emily.

Looking forward to your re=telling of the next adventure.

Anonymous said...

So sorry to read this. I share your desire for a space to lead the contemplative life.

Colleen said...

I am so upset for your loss of privacy, simply because you show such a loving persona; Bless your heart Tom Ryan, I hope you find peace nearby to the places you love so much.

HarvardAbby said...

Oh MY! So very sorry to know this has been happening to you. It is unfortunate this person is clueless that her actions have impacted your life in this way. There are more readers, like myself, who are enraged that someone so thoughtless could disrupt your peaceful existence. Wishing you well wherever your new secret digs end up. I so enjoy your short videos of your walks with the dogs.

Dawn Middlestead said...

Tom, my jaw dropped reading this Blog. I am angry, sad, frustrated...so many emotions as I read this Blog for you, Samwise and Emily. It is truly very sad you are going to be searching for a new home. You love Jackson. This is such a shame that this woman...this stalker is basically pushing you out of the home you have enjoyed for so many years now. She needs to get a life, move on and let you be, let you live...in peace. She is obviously a very unbalanced person and if she knew who Tom Ryan is...she would know this behavior is completely unacceptable. Anyone who has read your books, your Blogs, your posts, listened to your videos knows you are a private person, you seek out places to go where you, Samwise and Emily can walk in peace...in solitude. It's really beyond awful how this person is affecting you and others now in Jackson. This is a very, very sad situation.

Sandra Lund said...

I am sorry you are having to experience this situation. I don't think this is particularly normal Perhaps, I have seen too many movies about "stalkers" and I would probably not be comfortable. Maybe it is all innocent and she just idolizes you and your writing. But you don't know for sure. You might move and she might follow you. And now you feel you have to move away. I don't know that this is the answer. You shouldn't have to move until you want to, if you do. I only had one scary experience with a stalker. After strange phone calls and feeling like I was followed all the time by someone I didn't know, I told a friend policeman and he found out who it was and had a chat with him. Done!I can understand your discomfort. I think you or someone you trust should have a chat with her and help her understand that this is not the way to act. I hope it can be resolved and you can live your life peacefully on your own terms. You give a lot to your readers and friends and you have a right to your life. Blessings and love to you and Emily and Samwise!

Ramona said...

Tom, I am so sorry that you have to put up with this woman. You are wrong in one thing, tho. She could very well be a danger to you. She could be the cause of your health deteriorating again. That is her danger! Stress is never a good thing. Please take care. I hope that you are able to find another little piece of your paradise and this woman doesn't ever find out where it is. It is sad that you would even have to think about changing your residence. That is not right and someone needs to tell this woman that.

Anonymous said...

I am deeply saddened to read this. I thoroughly enjoyed both of your books and blogs and although I would be honored to meet you I would never dream of encroaching on your personal space. Sadly I know exactly how you feel. I moved to a house on the ocean to save my sanity. I love the ocean and can sit for hours listening to and watching the waves. This brings me peace. I too am an introvert and prefer the company of dogs to others. However I made an acquaintance who now feels she can join me any time she sees me out. She does not live here but has tried to move nearby. She seems to always be near. I now check before leaving the house to see if her car is there. I feel confined to my home and can't go to the beach as freely. This is a private area and she still parks here and accesses my beach. There is so much more but it is similar to your problem so no need to elaborate. She is stealing my peace that I moved here to find. I am at a loss what to do. I just wanted you to know I know a little of how you feel. I don't have to deal with strangers bothering me though. Just one person who doean't understand personal space. I appreciate you sharing Atticus and Will with us and look forward hearing about Samwise and Emily. However, I can truly understand if you disappear for a while. I hope you find another place that brings you the contentment and privacy you need.

Carol West said...

This breaks my heart! You - and Atticus, Will, Samwise and Emily - have given us all such joy over the years. You should be able to live your life where you want and how you want. You deserve days filled with peace, joy, the beauty of nature and the love of friends (both 2-legged and 4-legged). I hope you find that again soon.

Jan said...

I can't help wondering where will Aragon nap when you've gone? It is so sad that you have been driven from your magical home by socially inept people.

Anonymous said...

People think that just because they know you, they KNOW you. In my day, I dated many famous men and was appalled by the number of people that interrupted our quiet dinners...two people that obviously wanted to be alone and have quiet conversation...with loud pointless chatter because they felt like they were friends of the person I was with, ignoring me completely; often standing between he and I, like I didn't matter and had no right to be there! People are self centered, ignorant, and of course think the social rules of etiquette never apply to them.

revkjarla said...

Yikes! How dreadful for you. I’m so so sorry you have been bearing the weight of this life altering intrusion. I’ll hold you in the light and shadows as you discern what is next.

Diane Couper said...

This makes me so sad, you don't deserve this.

Anonymous said...

This is disturbing on so many levels. For you to have to leave a place you love because of another human being....I am so sorry.
You have brought such joy to my life, reading your books, your blogs, your posts on Facebook...I cannot tell you what it means. I have always hoped to run into you in my travels and hikes, but never would I impose myself on you.
Find peace.

Emily J. said...

I understand how you feel. I had a stalker that did the same type thing. It is quite unnerving to know someone is watching you like that. It will change your daily life. I finally threatened a restraining order to stop it and it did. So sorry you are having to deal with this. Always use caution when dealing with those type people as you never know what they will do.

Janice Badger Nelson said...

Good grief Tom. She sounds dreadful. Isn't it sad that when you are a success, people feel they can become intrusive, like it is their right. That you are suddenly part of the public domain.
I know Dan Brown had to build a literal brick fortress around his home in Rye, NH.
Stay safe and do not let it affect your health!
We had a house in Dorchester NH. Secluded but safe. Beautiful hikes. Near the town of Plymouth. Not expensive. Our neighbors were a variety of Plymouth State professors, weekenders and good old NH rednecks. We all got along and got together often. But mostly we all stayed private and to ourselves. We loved it. Near Holderness and Squam Lake. Newfound Lake not far. It was heaven.
Drive around there sometime. We were on 24 Pheasant Run Road. At the end of the road. No houses next to us. There is a hike to
A beautiful large lake near Smarts Mountain. Town line Pond. Thousands of miles of nature.

Lynn said...

How very sad for you. Having to give up so much of the beauty and peace that is close to home. Wishing you peace.

ValRoyed said...

I am sorry this is happening to you. You’re smart to not engage her. I read a book called, The Gift of Fear, by Gavin DeBecker, who says when someone is not taking ‘no’ for an answer, you need to ask yourself, why is this person trying to control me? Very interesting. Too bad you have to leave your home, and familiar places. Thanks for sharing this.

Rena P. said...

Would I love to meet you?? Sure, I would. But, in an "organic" moment. Those are the best. But,to stalk...so very sorry. Love to all of you.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear this.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully this intrusive person will read this blog and recognize herself then realize the angst she has caused....hopefully. Onward by any means until then.

Katherine Beach said...

I am so sad that you are having this issue. I know I would be freaked out if this happened to me. It's just incredible that you will have to leave your home and town and go into hiding to preserve your peace of mind and,indeed, your physical health. Wish something could be done about this person besides you having to uproot your life and go into hiding. In any case, be safe, be well
be happy and "onward by all means".

Sue said...

So sorry you have this going on. It is hard to believe that someone would insinuate themselves into your lives like that. I love seeing the adventures of Samwise and Emily. You add a lot of joy to many people’s lives, and should be given respect for your privacy. Sad that some don’t feel the need to respect that. I hope you find a peaceful lovely place or that woman moves on.

Evie said...

I echo Gaby - "I know you will find a wonderful location, with the kinds of trails you and your friends enjoy. Peace to you, and thank you for sharing all you do", but Tom, don't tell us where you go. Go in peace.

Be happy said...

My heart aches for you that you,Samwise and Emily have to leave your friends and area you live because of this woman. Why people think that they can invade ones life because of your books leaves me dumbfounded. Your books talk about your solitude and how important this is to you. Anyone who knows you through your books knows this. I’ve hiked that area and the solitude I found was wonderful. Maybe this woman reads your blog and heeds what is said. Wishing you find that peace and solitude again. Hopefully a book in the future. ❤️

Paula Clare said...

Situations like these help me understand how Thoreau and others begin living as a recluse rather than just a person who loves solitude. I am a contemplative, a Franciscan monk actually, and so introverted I often think I could live a hermit’s life and be perfectly content. Praying for you and your friends, Emily and Samwise to find peace and a secluded, solitary space in the mountains where you may all live out your days in communion with nature and with each other. Take care of yourself...our lives are so much richer for having had the benefit of your writing about your experiences in the White Mountains. And about friendships that weather all kinds of storms...both private and public.

Georgia Adamson said...

Some people really have no concept of personal space or the need to respect someone's privacy--not intruding, waiting until they're "invited in." It sounds as if this woman has gone way beyond that threshold. Apparently, to her it really is "all about me." I'm sad that you will need to uproot yourself, Samwise and Emily before you might otherwise have planned to, but I greatly hope that you will find a new home where you can all be blessed as you have been for so long where you are now.
P.S. I had the pleasure of attending your talk in Salisbury, MA, and meeting both you and Samwise. I'm just a tad sorry Emily didn't join you until later .

Kelly Aquino Crocetto said...

I wish you the best and all the peace and tranquillity you seek in life Tom, wherever your move takes you , Samwise, Emily. Thank you for writing such inspiring books and look forward to your novel.

Robert Ribokas said...

This sounds very creepy and I am sorry you have had to endure this woman. Maybe she reads this blog and will get the message. I maintain a Grand Canyon Hiking web site myself and have many times been stopped by people on the trail (and at Phantom Ranch) and want to talk my ear off when they discover who I am. I enjoy those encounters but have never experienced anything like this.

Jeff Swett said...

I am sure you have heard this before but that woman is dangerous, very much so. I don't blame you for moving and I hope you can do so safely. Anyone reading you should know you value your privacy and as much as I'd love to meet you on the trails I'd hate to intrude, being a more than a bit or an introvert myself often more comfortable with dogs than people. Take care and I hope we continue to follow you and the adventures of Tom, Samwise and Emily. Stay safe.

Anonymous said...

hmmm, maybe she will get the hint now?

Ginny said...

I’m so sorry you’ve had to deal with this...it shouldn’t happen to anyone!
The vast majority of your “fans” just love your “voice” and your stories and have
no wish to impose on you in any way! 😥

Shannon Zapf said...

I am shocked and horrified by the level of intrusion that you and your family, friends, and associates are experiencing. This is beyond any "normal" interactions and expectations. Anyone who reads your books and posts has to know how much privacy and respect mean to you. I am just so sorry that this is hapening. Stay safe, Tom. I hope that you can find that level of peace again someday, somewhere.

Joanne & Joe said...

We are so very sorry to learn of this awful situation, Tom. We are both thrilled if you pass us on the road, & call it a "Tom sighting" & just smile. It's always a bonus to our day. We have a friend who found himself in a similar situation. He told the "stalker" he would report the situation to the police & get an order of protection. IT WORKED! We hate to have you forced out of your home, your sanctuary & these mountains. MAYBE if this person finds out about all this, she will be embarrassed enough to leave. We will pray it gets resolved. Our love & wishes for peace. Joanne & Joe

Anonymous said...

Wishing you hearty resilience, like the beech tree in winter!

Boomer Sooner said...

Have to confess, I did steal a page out of your playbook. I put a treat next to my aging Schnauzer, Beau, and I love watching him awake to the treat. So sorry, Tom, you're having to deal with this person--sounds like another Mac truck full of it!!!!

Paula Ivie said...

If the tables were turned, would she be okay with someone intruding in her life? HELL NO

Putman Lake Designs said...

I am so very sorry you are having to deal with this woman. Not sure she would recognize herself if she read this. It's not fair that you have to leave your home because of her actions. You do need to do what is best for you, your health, Samwise, and Emily. Wishes for peace and the solitude you crave. Onward by all means.

Betty & Lenny said...

No words. I simply do not understand so many people that surround us.
I am sad for you, Samwise, Emily, your brother, and all in the circle that you are comfortable in and with.
As always, the Yankee fan and I wish you, Samwise, and Emily the life you want to live.
Peace.

Anonymous said...

So very sorry to read of your stuggles. Though it would be nice to meet you, I respect your privacy. Why do some people think this behavior is ok? Be careful, and find your peace.

Valerie said...

Love and light and peace to you and yours.

Paula Ivie said...

If the tables were turned, would she be accepting to the intrusion in her life? HELL NO

Anonymous said...

You think that lady would have gotten the message, obviously not. People coming to see the area and not seeking you out was good. But with the intrusion from one lady, people swarming to you when they see you, it is appropriate for you to move where you seek the privacy and the life you want. I’m sorry it came to that. People automatically believe that it is their right to intrude in your life. I hope you find what you are looking for. Take good care of yourself and your health. God speed. Adrienne

Diane Kerwin said...

I knkw, right!

Jacki Wyper said...

Hi from Jacki in australia. I've been following your page for years and feel very sad that this is happening to you Tom. I really hope this can be resolved for you soon. No-one should ever have to experience this sort of behavior. Best wishes to you, Samwise and Emily

Anonymous said...

I hope she reads your blog and receives the message. As your aunt. Said some people are a Mack truck full of crazy. Aragorn will miss you and your vegan cherry pies.

Kathleen Crellin said...

It has to make it hard to write honestly with this intrusion happening, That woman is the last straw. We readers have lost something too, now. I visioned you living your life with your dogs and yourself and the friends you have introduced and your internet brigade. It is like that woman wants to be you, somehow. Don’t stay if you feel hounded. I am introverted and have interests that are solitary, like genealogy. I may be able to move away to places I have thought I would like to try. I do have my little dog. The hard part is leaving my few close friends and having my family further away. I wonder if anyone has written a poem about contentment. I enjoy your books and writing, Tom Ryan.

D Ahmed said...

So sorry this has happened to you and yours, I pray you get peace and comfort and especially the privacy you need. People can be so rude and not even think of the damage they do...best of everything to you and yours always..thank you for sharing your life in your books for all of us..

ROSALINDA GARCIA DRYDEN said...

Wishing only the best in your new location. Best of everything to all of you. Take care and hope to hear more adventures soon. Best of luck.

Doug Bates said...

I was afraid of this happening. About a year ago I happened to pull into the parking lot at Thorne Pond -- I live in Glen -- to walk my dog there for a change rather than the trails near my home. You had just pulled in before me. You turned around and left. It was clear that you were trying to avoid contact with people.

It's such a shame. I remember the first time we met. My Boston Terrier and I were headed up the Mt Caribou trail when we encountered Atticus, always ahead of you. I said to Atticus, "you look like Atticus." Then I heard you calling "Atticus." We had a fun conversation. There aren't many people who hike with small dogs.

These days I'm trying to get my manuscript published. If I'm ever successful with that, I'll take your story here as a cautionary tale about certain kinds of disclosure.

Anonymous said...

I worked in Jackson for a while and would often see Tom and Attics during their walks. Being a huge fan I still respected his privacy and would only say hi and move along. I think it's sad that one has to leave their home and friends because of the actions of others. God bless you, and hope to see much more from following Atticus.

Anonymous said...

I don't get the "celebrity" gawking thing. It so does not interest me. I once meant an artist in Sante Fe, whose work I had two pieces of. Meeting him almost ruined my love of his art. I wish for you peace and tranquility wherever you go, Tom.

Anonymous said...

The town in Maine in which I lived (on the Maine side of the White Mts but only 40 min from no. Conway) is fiercely protective of the privacy of it's famous residents, of which there are a few, yet many trails are within walking distance and they are barely used. Feel free to PM me for exact info.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry this has become a part of your life.

Anonymous said...

I am beyond sad to hear that you are dealing with this intrusion in your life Tom. Be safe & I hope that you find peace again .

Dorothy said...

Another very well written piece. But I am very sad that,you had to write this.I can only hope that maybe some of the people who have caused you to write this may finally get it !! And back away and let you live and enjoy your life in the peace you are longing for .

Kathy Whitney said...

So sorry to hear about this. I wish you all the best as you search for your new mountain sanctuary.

William Crounse said...

So sad to read this Tom. So sorry you have to put up with such nonsense.

Anonymous said...

This is so wrong. We am so sorry that this is happening, and agree with other commenters that it is damaging to your health as well as your happiness. Please take care of yourself in whatever way you can. We want you to be able to leave apprehension behind and find joy again.

Pat Umbarger said...

I'm confident you, Samwise and Emily will again find your own space. God bless.

Karen Ward Smarkola said...

Reading this blog I am amazed at the audacity of this woman and her intrusion upon your privacy and your life. I enjoy your writings and am so sorry you are going through this. Blessings to you and your roommates.

Laura said...

I'm very sorry to hear you have to put up with this behavior. It should not happen to anyone. Wishing you the best in finding a solution and reestablishing your private space.

Laurie said...

Tom,
I am a fellow a fellow introvertjaving spent the better part of my life as a university professor and getting up in front of my classes to teach. The beginning of each semester was always a challenge for me ... the horrendous thought of a sea of new faces. I relish the peace and quiet of my solitude ... I occasionally reach out and gather with friends but am content to spend days upon days alone with the easy companionship of my two dogs. I can’t imagine not having physically moved away from my former environment and running into students regularly. I wish you nothing but peace and happiness and the continuation of a return to health.

Onward by all means!

Suzanne Bryant said...

Oh that's awful, so very sad that you have to move on due to, I'm guessing, somebody's mental illness. Things need to change with regard to Stalking Laws and what is classed as stalking. So unfair for people's lives to be ripped apart through no fault of their own. So sorry Tom to hear this story, so unfair and wrong. Wishing you all the best in your new town/city x

Barb Reuter said...

Tom, I'm just so very sorry to hear about this situation. I know, from reading your books and blog, how much you love your home, community, and precious mountains. To be driven from all of that by a very insensitive person is just so awful. I'm truly sorry that you are going through this. I wish you the best of luck!!

Anonymous said...

Tom, I really hurt for you..... so sorry about this invasion into your life and I wish something will be resolved so you don't have to leave your comfortable environment. I've missed your blogs - you mentioned going away this winter - perhaps that's why you had not written but goodness --- you've had more than enough to deal with !!! I don't know Sanwise and Emily very well and hope there will be more about them as well. You're a very special person, with very special dogs and I do wish the very best for all of you. Oh I am so sorry !!! Bea Johnson

Anonymous said...

Still reading your books I ordered recently. So sad to read your comments here. In addition to you, I love Edie Clark's writings (Harrisville NH/Yankee magazine, etc..) She also commented on well meaning folks just showing up at her house. Freaked her out most of the time. Total intrusion. Sorry this happened to you as well. I liked to think New Hampshirites were laid back. I feel so bad this happened to you!

Erin Potter said...

I can understand how you feel. I, of course would love to meet you, but your fame has exploded. Can you blame anyone? Your writing style is great as are your adventures. Even if I never meet you, I want to thank you for your inspiration. Being a nature lover and living simply, your words resonate with me. I also am a vegan so I thoroughly enjoyed reading that section of the book.
I wish you well. Walk in beauty.