When you get to the rooms they tell you to find people that “have what you want…and then do what they do.” One of those jewels is Tom.

* * * * * * * * * * * *


His voice came from behind me but was instantly recognizable. Sort of like Jim Runyan’s (from the old KYW), with a unique ability to sound calm and excited all at once.

We hadn’t seen each other in a bit— he’d been out west. So I kidded him about his round-the-clock Facebook postings but he pushed right back, accusing me of living by the text message.

If it’s true that G/d speaks to me through other people, then Tom G often gives the keynote address. Somewhat like the old E.F. Hutton commercial….when Tom talks, (silence)…everybody listens.

If his stats as my friend were listed like they do on the back of baseball cards, he’d already have earned his spot in Cooperstown. Tom’s taught me that much.

May, 2006. One Saturday morning I got wind that a girlfriend was cheating.
Calling Tom from Club 24’s second floor I was frantic—upset at her and mad at myself—

“Bogie, it’s OK. Own your feelings. It’s OK to be angry. Claim them.”
(I exhaled).
“OK,” he continued. “Now, how long do you want to sit in it?”

(Sometimes you don’t have to be with a friend to feel his arm around you).

Tom’s Hall Of Fame credentials, though, were solidified later that year when I went to see him professionally. He is, you should know, a well-respected mental health professional. (He’s one of those psychologists with ¾ of the alphabet after his name).

Fifteen minutes into the session Tom stood dramatically.

“Do you know what you have?” he inquired.
He picked up a marker, approaching the white board.

“You have….H T FIB.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“You have …H T FIB…..High Tolerance For Inappropriate Behavior.”

(I don’t think it was from any of those DSM charts. Rather, it was a diagnosis he’d conjured through the years).

But it made sense. I focused and I learned.

You see, like I said before, he’s one of those guys you listen to. And he’s never, (to use my Dad’s expression), given me a “bum steer.”

Once he recommended a book. The author, he told me, was a Pierro Ferruci. He said it matter-of-factly, like I should know the name. (To me Pierro was a local ice cream; Ferruci sounded like a sports car).

I not only bought the book, but I read it. Twice.

The beauty of guys like Tom is they ask nothing in return. His friendship, as they saying goes, is freely given. That having been said, it was nice seeing him today and once again feeling the arm of my friend around me.

Facebook can only go so far.

2 Responses to “BROTHER TOM”

  1. brother Tom says:

    wow, thanks for those kind words I will take them into my heart where they belong and not my head where they can do damage.


  2. Susan says:

    You might also enjoy joining and reading their e-newsletter. I have been reading their e-letters and sharing them with friends for some time. Kindness has always been important to me. My father was a very kind, generous, compassionate, and generous man. I have always aspired to be like him.

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