Music had always been a part of Tom’s life since he was young. Being blind, Tom gained great joy from music. This was apparent from the day he moved in when we saw his very large Grundig radio. The radio took up an entire corner of his small room and was his prize possession along with his harmonica.
Tom immediately jumped at the chance to make music with someone else and taught me many songs from the fifties, especially “Red Roses for a Blue Lady” and “Withcraft.” Occasionally, family members came to join in on the music making as well. Although we played the same few songs every time, Tom never tired of making music together.
I will never forget when I had gotten a little busy and had not come to see him for about a week. Tom said very politely, “Please come often. This is very therapeutic for me.” I never went more than a few days without seeing him again.
Tom quickly got the nickname “Harmonica Tom” and everyone enjoyed hearing the music come from his room.