Over the years I talked Tom Gipson on a regular basis over the telephone, but we never met face-to-face. More than a few of the articles I’ve written or videos I’ve posted on this blog were inspired by some of Tom’s emails or comments.
Tom was a Texas farmer who enjoyed his solitude and preferred to be largely unknown. But he wasn’t shy. Tom was big, stubborn, hard-headed, hard-working, proud, and ready to fight. You wouldn’t want to mess with that man. He was genuinely tough and I doubt that he ever backed down from a fight.
Tom had written “patriot” articles for years under the pen name of “Valiant Liberty”. I posted one of Tom’s articles on this blog.
Because of Tom’s penchant for anonymity, very few people realize that during the 1990s and early 2000s Tom was one of the top 5 or 10 researchers in America’s “patriot” or “legal reform” movements. If you you consider yourself a “patriot,” you probably owe quite a bit of your knowledge to Tom Gipson–even if you’ve never before heard his name.
On July 7th, A.D. 2012 Tom was working his garden in the summer heat when he passed away from a massive heart attack. He was 60 years old and he died as he’d lived–as a real Texan.
Millions of people live in Texas, but there aren’t many that I’d call a real Texan. There aren’t many who realize what label means. ”Texan” goes back to another time and another breed of man who had a lot in common with barbed wire. You don’t find real Texans in the cities or suburbs. They’re strictly country.
It’s not easy to find the real Texas anymore. But I’ve caught a couple of glimpses, and I know that the real Texas and real Texans are something so unexpected and so quintessentially American that they make you proud.
Tom Gipson was a Texan. I’m proud to have been one of his friends. I wish him well.