"What shall we name the baby if it's a boy," I asked Jeri, after Walt and I had been trying to agree on a boy's name for our fourth child.
"Uh...Tommy!" said Jeri. And thus was named Thomas Kirk Sykes (he never was a "Tommy." From early on it was obvious this was a "Thomas" or, later, "Tom.") "Kirk" was a reference to my Kirkpatrick ancestors.
Tom now lives in Santa Barbara and worked for several in the trust department of Santa Barbara Bank and Trust. He is now a software developer with Advanced Information Management. A child of ours with a "career." Whoda thunk! We're counting on him to take care of us in our old age.
Like all the kids, Tom has always been unique. He was the best cuddler as a baby. He was the little kid with the gruff voice who kept his room tidier than I kept the house and who loved Winnie the Pooh, his "baby." He, too, had his performing years with Sunshine Children's Theatre. He was a Chef in Sleeping Beautyand Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol In high school, he sang for two years with the jazz choir, performed in Kiss Me Kate and even appeared in a production of HMS Pinafore with The Lamplighters in San Francisco. But the stage was not Tom's first love--he is a sports buff through and through, and an avid 49er fan. He also loves skiing, riding his motorcycle, racing over sand dunes, hiking, and just about any other sport he can get into. Tom once worked as a floor manager for a CBS broadcast of a Rams-Redskins game in L.A. He's still waiting to be paid. After high school he spent a summer in Brasil visiting friends. On his first day in Rio de Janeiro, he got lost and all he knew how to say in Portuguese was "You stupid monkey, you're disgusting." It didn't get him far. He also learned how to surf while visiting Caico Botelho in Sao Paulo. He worked in restaurants, as either waiter or manager, while putting himself through schools--American River College in Sacramento, Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, and finally graduated from Cal Poly, magna cum laude, and not owing a cent. Over the years of restaurant service he became a gourmet cook and wine conoisseur and has served special banquets at Hearst Castle. He also rebuilt his Toyota truck (at least twice).
Some of Tom's favorite things include: Tom gives terrific barbecues
on his birthday each year
a toast...to martini time!