Sunday, October 19, 2008
A blast from the past...
As with most people I know here in Homer, my friendship with Tom Bodett began through food, that is, him ordering and me serving...in that way, it started out as an entirely professional relationship. It was right around the time that his second book was published that I first came to Homer and it was during my first winter here that he began his radio show, I felt priviledged to help out with catering backstage.
Through his generous nature I was introduced to many people who became good friends at a time when I was very new to town. Tom's time living here in Homer was spent, in part, dodging the growing number of tourists he was attracting to town and much of the rest doing his best to promote the local arts scene on a meaningful level. In 1991, he helped me by sponsoring a 'Winter Writers Series' at the little bistro I was running, which attracted such varied national talent as Tess Gallagher and Bill McKibben as well as local luminaries Tom Kizzia and Nancy Lord (who was just named Alaska's writer laureat). It was also through Tom that I was welcomed into a group of local writers who helped mentor me into living a writers life, (whether or not that's where my paycheck was coming from). Unfortunately for us, Tom and his family have been gone from Homer for a while now...too many tour buses stopping in front of his house, I'm cetain. So it was funny to me when one day, about a month ago, while sweeping the bakery floor after closing time, I picked up what looked like a business card from the dining room floor...it was this ticket, to the first taping of 'The End of the Road ' radio show in 1988...nearly 20 years ago to the day! I sent off an e-mail to Tom telling him about my find, citing it kinda strange. He responded with his familiar blend of humor and pragmatism, "I think it's more likely someone just needs a new jacket!"...that radio show didn't last too long but I'm glad that, at least in some small way, our friendship has. Take care, Tom...we'll see you on the radio!