Blog: Here's what Tom says about that!

On Writing

Posted May 26th, 2013 by Tom

Home. Finally I have time to write.

Uh, not so fast, there Tommy…

From October through April mine was a life spent primarily on the road; promoting Gather at the Table with my writing partner Sharon Morgan and speaking solo at several colleges, universities and libraries. I was determined that once I returned home toward the end of April, I would stay home and focus on writing for the next 4-5 months.

There were a few technical details that needed attending. I had time to take my new laptop in to the Geek Squad to get the on/off button fixed (it broke in January but I couldn’t be without it while on the road so I simply put it into hibernate mode when I wasn’t using it). I had time to replace my aging and ailing Blackberry with a new iPhone. Learning how to use the iPhone, figure out how to add all my¬† contacts, email accounts, calendar, was challenging. But knowing I would be without my laptop for at least a week, I did my best to make the iPhone work for me. Then I was told that fixing my laptop was more costly to Best Buy than simply giving me a new computer. Oh, no! Read the rest of this entry »

Pete Seeger: The Power of Song

Posted May 16th, 2010 by Tom

I’m not sure that anyone loves America more than Pete Seeger. He’s been a lifelong supporter of the labor movement. He was at the forefront in the struggle for Civil Rights. Pete and his music have been used to support peace and end war. He’s always been an active and vocal participant in cleaning up the environment. He used his influence to almost single-handedly insure that the Hudson River was restored to a state of health. He had the distinct honor of being blacklisted by HUAC.

I’ve started a photo album on my Facebook page called “Tom’s World View Influencers.” Whether you’re on Facebook or not you can see the photo album here. We each have stories about people that have influenced what we believe and who we have become. Today I added Pete Seeger to my growing collection of memories about people who made a difference in me.

I love Pete Seeger. I love his music and his message. I’ve seen him in concert, purchased his albums, and read about him in the media. Throughout my life I have been inspired by Pete. If you want to stop war; if you believe in clean water and air; if you love justice, if you want to undo racism, then you are a friend of Pete Seeger.

I recently watched Pete Seeger: The Power of Song. It’s available on DVD. Check it out on Netflix. We have much work to do to achieve justice. Pete points us in the right direction. I encourage you to watch this wonderful film.

Everything is Amazing (including Facebook)

Posted October 14th, 2009 by Tom

4th Grade TomOne of the services I offer to reading clubs as an author is that, if we can work out the scheduling, I’ll meet with groups who have read Inheriting the Trade in person, via Skype, speaker phone, or I will respond to questions/comments that clubs send me in advance of their meeting. I’ve thus met with reading clubs as far away as Denver and Tulsa, and as close as my home town.

A few weeks ago I received a list of questions from one such club in Chicago. The final question had nothing to do with Inheriting the Trade. A woman asked if I remembered Gary and Greg, twin brothers from elementary school in Pomona. Of course I did! I remember not being able to tell them apart. I remember them going to each other’s classes to fool their teachers (this may be my imagination but I think it happened).

I’m now Facebook friends with both Greg, Gary, and Gary’s wife Debbie (the member of the reading club) and we’ve been catching up on each other’s lives since we last saw each other more than 40 years ago. We went to different junior high schools and then they moved away. Here’s a photo of Greg and me with all our 4th grade classmates:

4th Grade class

Cute, huh? That’s me, front row, third from the right.

The point of this is that I LOVE Facebook. I love how technology has advanced to the point that connecting with people is easier than ever before in history. Cell phones, Skype, e-mail, and all sorts of social media hold the promise of connection, of relationship. An online chat cannot replace face-to-face contact any more than “Hi, how are you?” “Fine, how are you?” “Fine” can replace a deeply authentic relationship. It’s all in how we choose to maintain and enhance our relationships.

No, I’m not saying that I’m best friends with each of my 700+ Facebook friends. Most are people I’ve never met. But as in all of life we have significant relationships with very few people and, hopefully, passing, respectful, and mutually beneficial relationships with many others.

And all this technology has allowed for so much more access to travel, communication, and information. Whatever we want, it seems, is at our fingertips. Last week on Facebook I posted a video of a guy talking about how “Everything is amazing and nobody’s happy.” You have to see this. I’m certain you will be amused at how silly and spoiled we have become.

Everything IS amazing!

Copyright 2012 by Thomas Norman DeWolf | Website: James DeW. Perry