Thursday, June 16, 2016

Tom Tom on the Radio

Everyone Hates Tom Tom! At least that's the way it might seem downtown sometimes!

People who know him and see him downtown may even cross the street to avoid him. I can't say I blame them, he has a history of being aggressive with people but I thought I would try to shed some light on the situation.

My first experience with Tom Tom was not a pleasant one. One summers day, three years ago on Duckworth St, 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 I did get a fright. I stepped back, took a few breaths and regained my personal space. I was momentarily lost for words but I wasn't completely surprised. I had seen him around for some years and talked about him with other people. We knew what he was like and I knew he definitely has some psychological issues. That realization helped me not to take this "confrontation" personally!.

Tom Tom
Since that day I still talk to him and I've photographed him a few times. 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"? I usually get a reassuring nod!

I don't know how life has been for him over the years and he seems much calmer these days. I've seen him many times over the last year offering to fist bump passersby. He seems to have settled a bit!

Tom Tom on the Radio by Brian Carey
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 it. He has it hung up at home on his wall. 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!

Good Luck Tom Tom!


UPDATE: Tom Tom got his new photo.

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