In woodshop class one day, Tyler Rathbun took a slim, bendable piece of wood and wrapped it around his head. He held another piece of wood in his hands like a club, posing. Senior Cole Hogan laughed as he snapped a picture.

After his death, Hogan posted the photo to Tyler’s Facebook wall, remembering Tyler. How he wasn’t afraid to be embarrassed, just comfortable messing around.

“He was just a really, really nice guy, really genuine,” Hogan said. “Nice to everyone.”

Hogan never got to know Tyler very well. At least, not until they had woodshop class together this year. After being assigned a project together, Tyler and Hogan became friends. Not outside-of-school friends, but friends nonetheless.

“I just got to know the type of person he was, and that he had a good heart,” Hogan said. “I could talk to him, joke around with him.”

In class, Tyler would ask Hogan for help or advice while he was working on a project. What was originally supposed to be a lapboard was so big that the boys joked about it being a tabletop on the Tuesday before the accident. It was then that Tyler decided to turn his lapboard into a sewing table for his mom. That was Tyler’s last, unfinished project.

That was the first thing Hogan thought about on that Sunday, Nov. 25 he heard about Tyler’s death. To finish what Tyler had started. Hogan knew Tyler was making it for his mom, and he was determined to get it to her, finished

Hogan talked to the woodshop teacher, Shaban Scott, and set to work with two other experienced kids. They made the legs, the art on the top and finished it.

Because he knew that Tyler would have done it for him.

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