People who know him and see him downtown ignore him and may even cross the street to avoid him. I can't say I blame them as he has a history of being aggressive with people but I thought I would add some context to the situation.
My first experience with Tom Tom was not a pleasant one. One day on Duckworth St, summer 2013, I asked him if I could take his portrait and his reaction was to draw back his fist as if to strike me! As a fairly big guy who has experience with various martial arts I am not easily intimidated but as you might suspect I got a fright. I stepped back and took a few breaths and regained my personal space. But I had seen him around before and knew from his actions he definitely has some psychological issues so I had some idea of what was going on.
I do talk to him when I see him now. I've photographed him a few times since. I've been telling him that "if you want people to be nice to you you have to be nice to them. You want people to be nice to you don't you"? He seems much calmer these days. I've seen him many times over the last year or so when he is approaching someone he will stick out his fist for a fist bump. He seems much less aggressive these days for sure!
|Tom Tom on the Radio|
I did get to photograph him after our first encounter and gave him a copy and now every time I see him he tells me about. But I wanted to photograph him again, this time I wanted to get him holding his radio, that's the Tom Tom we see around! He'll get a copy of this one too!