Boston sportswriter and friend Joe Concannon called him the “Guru” and he drew people to him with his light as a friend of long distance running, Athletics, and a lover of the Boston Marathon its official greeter.
I first met Tommy in February 1975 at the Amherst 10 miler I drove out there from Boston in my Buick Skylark with the passenger door that didn’t open and I still remember GBTC teammates Billy Rodgers, girlfriend Ellen and Vinny Fleming climbing through the window to get in and out of the car.
This was prior to Billy ever having won Boston or finished third in the World Cross Country both of which happened only weeks later. Vinny had been telling me about the Eliot and Tommy but I still had never been. It was beginning to become a clubhouse for the Greater Boston Track Club then and that was because of Tommy and his love for running, runners and the Boston Marathon.
After the race in Amherst we went to a local pub and I met Tommy who when I told him I was from Lowell he said “Jack Kerouac!” yes Tommy I am aware. He told me I had to run Falmouth and I had to come to the Eliot on marathon day.
The Falmouth race Tommy’s baby then was what brought me back to running after a brief hiatus I had read about the 1974 race with Will Rodgers beating Marty Liquori and the rest of the top ten mainly GBTC runners.
This was definitely the beginning of something special and Billy and Tommy were the catalysts but that day in Amherst I just felt motivated to become a better athlete. I had no idea that Boston and the Eliot was about to become a mecca and Tommy it’s leading light.
I am happy to have had Tommy as a friend and confidant for all these years. Be a good boy Tommy.
Soundtrack Tommy can you hear me…
When in Woods Hole MA I give Tommy a Pat on the head and I might have heard him say “Bobby!!! When did you get to town!!!! I definitely heard his cackle😀
Soundtrack: Tommy The Who :
Bonus track Catch a Wave Beach Boys: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yLgWbH-qhVo
Bonus bonus Marcella: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TmkyOD714PAi