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This letter was forwarded to us by Ethel Tomaszewski, of Duanesburg, NY.  It was written by Peter Tomaszewski, of Raleigh - obviously a devoted Tough Traveler fan!  

Can I join TT anonymous?  Here is my story:

"About 2 1/2 years ago when we were blessed with our triplets we were also blessed with the kindness of others who needed to clean out their garages and attics of unused children's clothes and 'hardware.'  I did not know I had a problem until I saw the backpack child carrier.  I suddenly just had to know... was it a T[ough] T[raveler] or not.  I rushed  across the living room...and with a final dive-roll I landed face to face with the object of my desire, but where was the tag?  Frantically, and with sweat running down my brow and hands shaking, I looked for the tag.  It seemed like an eternity as I felt around and fumbled with the item wanting to reach that moment when I would know... is this the real thing or will my efforts be for naught?... Suddenly there it was, and as I recognized the label and read those words "Tough Traveler Schenectady, NY" I knew that I would love and cherish that backpack and each of my sons that rode in it would know the legacy of TT and all would be well.   Unfortunately, those around me that witnessed the event expressed concern which I brushed off.  The next day I found myself sitting on the bench in the mudroom cuddling Jenni's backpack caressing the TT label. I do not know how long I was there.   I thought, do I have a problem?  Nah, it was just hometown nostalgia.   That night as I set out my things for the next morning I spied my TT workout bag and was overcome with tears when I realized that I would not be using it until the day after.  Two nights later Jenni heard a noise in the middle of the night and I was not in bed, she found me in the attic sleeping with my college backpack, another TT item.   On our trip to NY this summer we ran into a high school friend that worked at TT... I struggled to keep back the tears of joy and envy at her position but I could not...I wept openly... and loud..and hard...making a big scene.  With Jenni's strength and encouragement behind me I thought that I had fought the battle and was in the clear until this... your e-mails about TT backpacks.  I now find myself writing this in an attempt to open up to others and use their love of TT to help me with my affliction.   So please.. if you can find it in your heart to help someone with a need far greater than the earthquake and flood victims send your donation to "Help Pete Kick TT".... you know the rest.  And God bless..."

Leading to this Response:

"We have [a Tough Traveler] support group here and it's really helped....   During our "session" we load cans in, one at a time, [to a Tough Traveler and a BrandX backpack] until we split a seam on the WT (Wimpy Traveler) item.   This exercise has not yet failed to cause us to vomit laughter.  We then sit around...and reminisce about an instance we've stopped along the path of some hike to assist a BrandX bag-person in picking up their spilled provisions..." Paul

Thanks for forwarding us these letters!  We appreciate your support.

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