This will probably be the longest blog post you’ll see from me.
For those of you who don’t know, I used to do graffiti. I was kind of the sissy of the graffiti scene though as I did hardly any of it in the public eye. Mainly because I didn’t want to get arrested and to be honest, I always felt bad for doing it without permission. My friend Tom on the other hand was an animal. His name was everywhere you looked. If he came to visit your home, his name would be somewhere before he left. One day I even found his name etched in on my license plate 🙂 We were introduced to each other back in 1996 through graffiti, but our friendship grew beyond our common interest in the art.
Tom passed away in 2005. After that, I attempted to drive around the city and take as many photos of his work that I could before it was erased or destroyed by others ignorant to the significance of his name. The image below is one of my favorites.
Wrong or right, graffiti gave Tom the chance to use his passion for many reasons. He used it to prove a point, to help him build confidence, and to share it with others and unite people. He was a somewhat central figure in the Midwest for this movement. His ambition and passion united artists from several cities and states which in turn caused these people to form strong – unbreakable bonds with each other.
Tom had a vocabulary that he used among his friends that sticks to this day along with a lot of random phrases he would use for one reason or another. We speak this vocabulary with each other frequently almost as a language that lets us communicate with each other while at the same time saying to each other “I’m thinking of him too”.
I could talk about Tom all day long, but instead I’ll share this summary of my thoughts at the moment.. He made a big impact in my life in many ways and if I had never crossed paths with him, I would be a very different person than I am today. His death helped me to value life in a new way and I am thankful that I had the opportunity to know him and call him one of my close friends.