Timory Hyde - and the 'bite me' Bench

Timory Hyde
April 18, 1975
April 18, 1997

Every gravestone represents a life story. If you came across a gravestone while wandering in the cemetery - and you see that a person, 'Timory', died 22 years to the day after being born, you'd wonder about the name name "Timory" - is that a feminine name? How did she die? You'd wonder what the story is, with someone dying on their birthday. Could it have been a suicide? An accident?

Googling.. From a news report after the tragic April 18, 1997 event.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A Brown University student from Oregon was killed and another critically injured after the pair fell through a third-floor window during a crowded off-campus party.

College junior Timory Hyde and senior Elliot Winard, 21, were hugging while sitting on a dresser pressed against the window when the accident occurred early Saturday. Hyde, of Portland, was celebrating her 22nd birthday.

The pair "leaned back together, thinking they were leaning against a wall", Brown spokesman Mark Nickel said. "It was what appears to be a tragic freak accident."

So, Timory died as a result of a hug. Can you imagine any greater tragedy?

Timory came to be buried at River View...

Obviously the family had to make arrangements, and a fitting memorial. First we see the gravestone.

Timory's Gravestone, in February 2012.
. . . embracing the end of a happy life
      . . . full circle, spin on . . .

                          --- "MYSTIC"

Location of the Gravestone

Timory Hyde's grave is in River View Cemetery, next to the back loop road in Greenwood Hills Cemetery. There is a nice view of Mount Hood from the gravesite.

The Bench

The family also placed a bench at the site. (There is a story of that effort.)

The bench has 'HYDE' on the side - So, this may be a family plot. (?) The bench is adorned with words on all sides. On the top, in one corner is the phrase "Bite Me" which must have been a favorite refrain of Timory's.

Corner of bite me Bench

After reading the initial blog post, Emma and her daughter transcribed the words on the bench, wrapping around the corners, taking two full turns to encircle the bench top.

She reports: “bite me” (on top of the north east corner) is where it begins, on the east-facing side. [An arrow denotes turning a corner sometimes in the middle of a word, until the last word 'ireland'. Note the bench has two long sides and two short sides. -jm]

frogs guitar didjeridu motorcycles sunflowers things that bounce deep belly la→ughs rollerblading cl→othing by the pound brown things that glow bottom smell coffee buds piano song f→reedom) Anne rice jelly → adventure art mom dad nate tattoos piercings salman rushdie games stephen ki→ng balance jiggers danc→e seaweed popcorn mystic oneanta falls beans elsa haggis seven nellie dulcinea→ good little eyes ireland

People who know the Bite Me bench leave offerings - flowers, glass beads, coffee beans, coins, or pebbles.

Side view of BITE ME Bench, showing the west face with words.

You can see the gravestone just to the right of the bench in this photo.


Editor's Note

The Hyde family established intern scholarship in memory of daughter Timory — The Timory Hyde Class of 1997 Memorabubble Intern Scholarship. Gifts to the fund may be sent to Brown University, c/o Timory Hyde Scholarship, Box 1893, Providence, RI 02912.

Recordings of Timory singing exist. (Sorry, no links. One is with a band "OK Go".)

The author stumbled upon the bench at a significant time. Both dates happened to be personally significant. BITE ME was significant.

Photos by J Miller, editor J Miller. Thanks to Emma and daughter for transcribing the stream of words.

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How this Blog Post should be (was) described on Social Media

Have you ever noticed the "Bite Me" bench in River View?

This marks the grave of Timory Hyde who died in a tragic accident at Brown University on April 18th, 1997.. On her 22nd birthday. -- She was hugging her boyfriend at a party, when they leaned against a window which gave way. They plunged 3 stories.. Timory died. Her boyfriend survived.