I remember one day, Tommy came to the house to show us his guitar. He said the lady across the street from his house was giving him lessons. We ask him to play so we gathered around. I'm not real sure of the song. Maybe something like B I N G O to the tune of Amazing Grace, lol!!! I do remember him trying to play and having to start over a bunch. He got better after we started pattin' our feet and clapping along. All we needed was to turn the light down and flick a Bic lighter.
Now, y'all, I don't recall this story but Daddy and Keith swear by it so... here goes. Daddy came home from work one evening and Tommy was there with is guitar wrapped around his neck. Daddy told Tommy he would give him two dollars if he would climb a ladder up to my bedroom window and sing to me. I told Keith I didn't remember this and he said, "I know you don't because Tommy barely got perched up there and he dropped his guitar." Daddy says I saw Tommy sitting up there and came stomping down the stairs mad at them. LOL!!!
Finally, Tommy went from a Honda 70 to bluish/gray station wagon.Yep, driving!!!! He Did It!!! He wore that drivers handbook out. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall the day he was given his test orally. I gotta say he was a very careful driver, not that I ever rode with him. Oh my gosh, the day he put that CB radio in his car, he was one happy feller. He would have to wait till that antenna stopped whipping around before he could even get out of his car. Soon, everyone around town knew Race Baby if they didn't already, 10-4 . 10-4
Back in'72, I started dating this long hair guy who became my husband in'74. Tommy wasn't crazy about him at first. He kinda sided with my parents and thought he was no good just because of his hair. And Tommy wanted me to marry him instead, hehe!!! I gotta say, during those two years he and J Samuel Darwin (my future husband and local disc jockey) became friends. Especially when Sammy would play his favorite song on the radio and would give a little "shout out" to him. Sammy made his day when he made him a cassette tape of "Jeremiah was Bull Frog" so he could play it over and over and over. And, you could bet there was singing and dancing involved. January 12th, as Mama and I were backing out of the driveway to go to the church for my wedding, there was Tommy sitting on the fence crying because I was getting married. I guess reality had hit him. LOL!!!
Then, there was the time he went treat-or-treating and got lost. He found his way home after 5 days and quite a few states. He was around 30 years old and this is how he told it to me. He had him a girl in Cherokee and he wanted to take her treat-or-treating. You know, every girls dream. For you out -of - towners, that's about ummm... 15 miles east of here in Alabama. He was in his chartreuse Chevy Luv truck, got on the Natchez Trace, found his love, and got back on the Trace. He must have gotten turned around when he got off the Trace because he ended up on Interstate 65 in Alabama, way on up the road. I remember him saying there were a lot of roads going ever which way. Uhh, that would be the Interstate. If I remember right, he only had around $110 and he needed to save his money for gas. His girlfriend got hungry so he bought her a hot dog and he got coffee. He didn't mention what they ate the other 4 days. I asked where they spent their nights. He said they parked at rest stop. "I let her sleep in the cab of the truck and I slept in bed of the truck. I didn't want people talking." LOL!!!! Lord Bless'em!!! Tommy called his mama collect and told her he was lost. She called a very good friend of Tommy's and he eventually guided him back home. Tommy kept Interstate 65 North and South... HOT. I ask him if he got lots of candy. He laughed and said, "Naw, but I got to see a lot of places,TTTTeresa." And, he did. Chicago, Cincinnati, Kentucky, the Florida/Alabama state line. Finally, he made it home to Mississippi. You know, as many times as I heard him tell that story, I can't remember how his girl got home. Maybe it was a drive-bye. You know, "I'm gonna drive by and you bale out. I gotta get home, it's supper time."
After being gone 11 years and 2 little girls later, we came back home to Iuka. Tommy came to visit often. We hired him to mow our yard and rake our leaves for years. I remember the first year we were home we had a pretty good snow. So we, Tommy, included, found sleds and garbage can lids, and we went sledding down a huge hill, across from Jack's. We started early and stayed late. I will never forget that because I fell down so many time just walking down the road trying to get to that hill. The road was so slick! Little did I know I was pregnant with our son, Jay. I wouldn't have even been out there, but we had so much fun! Nine years later Tommy got to meet our third baby girl, Kinsley.
Years later, Tommy met a lady and they had a baby girl. That marriage didn't work out but he was one proud daddy. As she grew up, Tommy would bring her over to play with my girls. She was always so sweet and mannerly. She went on to finish school and went to college. I'm not real sure what she is doing now but, believe me her Daddy, was so proud of her and loved her so much.
Tommy soon married again to a sweet lady who was right by his side till his death. He is now dancing and singing around his family in Heaven. Along with Sammy, Jay, Kinsley, and Dale Earhart. I'm so glad we were neighbors. I'm thankful he forgave my husband for marring me and taking me off. LOL !!!I'm thankful my children grew up knowing him. He gave them a lot of laughter and danced at their weddings.
As the song goes," Jeremiah was a Bull Frog, was a good friend of mine." Tommy was a good friend of mine and God's Special Edition.
I know you know his heart and sometimes I often wonder, did he buck dance for you or sing or play you a tune. I'm sure he didn't stutter or was he so excited he couldn't speak at all. I know we are all
special to you and different in our own way but you love us just the same. Thank you for our friendship. I know Tommy is just perfect now, as he long to be. Amen
| Breaker... Breaker... 1... 9...|
Race Baby see ya on the flip side. ( Heaven )
10 - 4 .... Good Buddy !!!!