Who’s Who on the Blues Crew --- Tom King

tom_king_RB_volunteer.jpgWhat was your high school mascot?

Our mascot was an Indian and we were the Ontario High School Warriors just outside of Mansfield, Ohio. 

What brought you to Bradenton?

I lived in Ohio my whole life. My partner wanted to move to Florida, and I said if he found job we would move. He did, so we did.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wasn’t much into sports in school, I gravitated more towards the arts - mostly music, singing in chorus.  So I wanted to be an artist. 

What DID you do when you grew up?

I’ve always been connected to the arts somehow. I worked for years in an antiques auction featuring Americana, English ceramics, painted art, and folk art. I also taught elementary art in Ohio so I guess I was never far off from what I wanted to do as a kid. 

I make folk art and miniatures and do calligraphy. Recently a woman in Hawaii contacted me to make her miniature room boxes. She had been saving a bunch of miniature collectibles and wanted a display case that was also a vignette tying everything together. I used to make them on my own because I enjoyed it, now it’s turning into more than just a hobby.

How did you get started volunteering with Realize Bradenton?

I was new in town, looking for things to do when I came across the Bradenton Blues Festival. I volunteered twice for the Blues Fest and once for the Skyway Film Festival through Realize Bradenton.

Where else do you volunteer?

I’ve been in the Reading PALS program (through United Way of Manatee County) for 3 years. Each week I go to Ballard Elementary and read books with a kindergarten student there. It’s enjoyable to see these eager learners each week and very rewarding to see them make progress.

What do you love to do so much that you lose track of time while you’re doing it?

I guess I don’t do things unless they really capture my attention; everything I do is something that I enjoy. My partner and I are fixing up 20-year-old house so I enjoy working on projects there. I also love researching and visiting Carnegie libraries and historic homes.

Name a few of your favorite places in downtown Bradenton.

By far my favorite place is Riverwalk.

Batman or Superman?

Batman is a lot cooler.