hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


May 17, 2012

Poor Tom's Almanac: Flip side of life full of surprises


We all have our flip sides, our alter egos, and a side people may not recognize.

You may know the columnist in me over the past 42 years. That's how long I've been hacking out these pieces. But did you know I was a big science fiction fan who devoured everything from Bradbury to Asimov?

Bet you didn't know that I've watched every "Twilight Zone" episode ever introduced by Rod Sterling. Read the books, too.

And are you aware that I cannot get through the day without doing something to enhance my Armenian heritage, whether it's promoting genocide issues through school presentations or writing about them for the ethnic press?

Did you know that I had this insatiable dream of becoming a chemist during my school days and when that didn't work, a yen for accounting followed? Of course, there was that time I was suspended from junior high school for selling firecrackers. Wasn't my fault, honest. Some culprit slipped them into my pocket and I was getting rid of them.

Which of you would have thought I spent a year inside a monastery with aged priests wearing long white beards speaking a language that was 1,700 years old?

Or that I succeeded in my attempt to climb the tallest mountain peak in all our New England states and even survived a frigid overnight in Maine after getting caught in a storm?

Did you know that I corresponded with a pen pal for 25 years before I finally met him? It actually made me a better writer and I recommend the gesture at student workshops.

My instrument as an adolescent was the violin and I had aspirations of being a professional. Until I smashed it over the head of a heckler and mom cut out the lessons.

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