When Renee and I moved back to NC from NYC, I got a job contracting at IBM. One of the people I worked with there was a man named Tom Graham.
Tom was fantastic to work with, and to have as a friend. He was happy to be a argumentative, opinionated old coot, even though he was not yet 50. It was because of him that I choose the house we have now – it’s just down the road from where he lived.
I say lived, because in March 1999 (I can’t recall the exact day – and the N&O now charges for access to the archives), on his way in to work, Tom had a car accident – he ran headlong into a Semi, while trying to avoid something – we don’t know what.
Tom turned me on to Carl Hiaasen’s books. His favorite character (since Hiaasen is all about recurring characters) was the governor turned environmental activist known as “Skink” in the books. I have a funny feeling that Tom would have gladly been Skink given half a chance. I know he loved Florida enough.
So Sick Puppy is about Skink, and the general paving of Florida, and as I finish this book, I can’t help but think about Tom, who would have loved it.
Two years later, and I miss ya bud. Hope the beer is cold, the food is good, the cigarettes are plentiful, and the women are pretty.