About I’m about as average as it gets.  Really.  Having left 50 in my wake … I’m a married, workaday normal person.  Now, some would say the fact I play guitar, enjoy cooking, learned to fly little airplanes when I was 18, SCUBA dive, boat (power and sail) fish, have acted both as an improv player and stage actor, take a lot of pictures, and love to travel places with palm trees, warm breezes and clear, blue water make me a little less ordinary … but it doesn’t feel that way.

I hope you’ll comment on what you read here, if you’re so inclined.  Looking at the stats from SiteMeter, I’m fascinated by the number of people that just stumble onto the blog from all parts of the world.  If you’ve stopped by and like what you’re read, or don’t, please take a minute to say hello.

Still in all, this is largely for me.  In most of my posts, you’ll notice judicious use of the word “I”.  I think that’s a good deal of what blogging is all about.  All that being said … I really hope you enjoy the blog.



3 responses to “About

  1. forkboy1965

    forkboy1965 here…..found your site through tag surfing….I’ve been trying to figure out if you’re in the Jacksonville area and I’ve come to the conclusion that you must be. JU is sort of a give away, but you could be travelling there. There are also the pics of the St Johns cleanup in Arlington; where I grew up (not 10 minutes from JU – just down Merrill, then left on Rogero).

    Small world, eh?

  2. Laura and Bard Smith

    Dear Tom,

    My husband and I were sitting down tonight to watch PBS NOW and Bill Moyers when we saw an ad for Karen Feagins for an upcoming Health show she would be doing. At the same time we looked at one another and said “Sure miss Tom Patton” wonder where he is… We were a couple of your devoted Friday night fans. We enjoyed your weekly roundup of Jax news with ice cream and brownies and found the many journalists and political folk you shared the table with interesting. We laugh that we are a couple of PBS news nerds that were raised on Public Television and NPR. We felt your pain on the last night your thoughtful and educational show aired. I just wanted to give you a hug. And then we were shocked to read in the Folio that you had been laid off. I grew up watching and listening to you on WJCT. To me you were PBS in Jacksonville. You gave your heart and soul to your job and it was obvious to those of us who watched you. My husband assured me that you were a smart man who would land on his feet and may even head to another PBS station since you were so good at your job. I just discovered this website and the Jacksonville Observer. We are delighted to hear you are doing well and still enjoying life at the beach. Hope you stay warm tomorrow and have a wonderful 2010!

    Thank you for continuing to write and enlighten our community,
    Laura and Bard

  3. MsRock4Ever

    I just discovered your blog and will come back and read more later. I’ve been working on a book about the limestone industry for ages but due to health problems can’t seem to get it finished. I was wondering if you had taken the “Land of Limestone” Tour at the old Indiana Limestone Building? IF not, you should see it next time you come back to Bedford. I mentioned in another comment that the last time I saw Mrs. Patton (Gladys) was at BNL when The Residue were playing. After I left that comment, I remembered that your Dad played (trombone?) in that band. I didn’t really know him but knew of him and never heard anyone say anything bad about him. He was a well-respected and well-liked man too. I’m also working on a project about the immigrant families that came to Bedford and Lawrence County specifically to work in the limestone industry. I made a list of just the ones I knew of personally and so far have about fifty families from more than seven countries. I’m sure there are probably three times that many or more. I have seen an article about the Tennessee War Memorial at Nashville, and the stone was supplied for that by Furst-Kerber; it is quite impressive. My family would not be here if not for the limestone industry. My paternal grandfather and his brothers came here from KY to work in the quarries. His brothers went back but my grandpa stayed. Both my grandfathers worked in the quarries. in 1926, one of our 11-year old cousins was playing in the stack rocks at Dark Hollow and fell and hit his head. He died two days later. My Great Uncle was caught between two stone blocks at Dark Hollow quarry and died later that day. My maternal Great Grandfather worked at the McMillan and Sons Quarry at Peerless and he also was caught between two stone blocks. He lived about two weeks and died at age 46. I myself worked in the office at Start Stone/Star Quarry for a brief period. The receptionist told me she would introduce me to everyone. Imagine my shock when I found that 90% of the people who came to the office were people I’d known all my life. That’s when I became really interested in the limestone industry. Have you seen the panels at the back of the old Indiana Limestone Building? They show different grades and different textures of stone, fascinating to me.

    I know I’m rambling now, should be in bed but I have to tell you one story from 1999, and I bet you may appreciate it. Here is what I had written:

    Driving across McMillan Stone Mill–A spiritual experience

    A few years ago, I worked for Culligan Water Conditioning. The old McMillan Stone Mill sits at the top of the Oolitic Rd. hill, but is now an aggregate company called “AMI”. They rented several water coolers from us.

    Wednesday, August 4, 1999 was an exceptionally hot and humid day. AMI called to say they were out of bottled water. Our delivery truck was already overbooked and overloaded, so I told them I’d bring a few bottles in my car to tide them over till our delivery man could get there in another day or so. I loaded up six 5-gallon bottles in the back seat of my car and drove over there.

    As I drove up to the East side of the building, to an open door, there was a guy standing in front of the building. I asked where they wanted me to unload the water. I was shocked when he said “Just drive inside & across (the mill)”. I said incredulously, “Just drive across the mill?” and he said “Yes.”

    As I was driving those water bottles across the mill to the place they wanted them stored, I could literally feel the spirit of the stonecutters and the stone itself, as if I were in a holy and sacred space. It was a little eerie, and a highly spiritual experience for me too. I had tears streaming down my face the entire time, and I still carry that feeling of wonder and deep spirituality with me in my heart.

    Thanks for sharing your blog Tom. I hope I haven’t bored you with my comments. I do hope your Mother will be happy in FL. Best Wishes to you and your family for good health, safety, love, peace, prosperity and happiness always!

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