From our initial conversations on the phone, Thomas seemed like a character, and he didn’t disappoint in person. A real charmer, with a twinkle in his eye and a quick wit.
I asked him why he agreed to talk with me.
“I had nothin’ else better to do.”
“I thought it was very interesting … what could that hurt? And how do other people live at this same address?”
We talked about a time in his life when he was happiest … as in, “those were the days.” He wasn’t specific beyond just “back then”:
“There was more kindness back then. I don’t know why, it’s just the way everybody is. [Now] everybody wants to be on top, I guess.” He paused. “There’s a lot of Indians around. They always said, ‘the white man spoke with forked tongue.’ And they do.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means you’re not telling the truth.”
“Do you always tell the truth?”
“No. But generally, yeah.”
As for the advice he would give his younger self:
“Bend your knees a little bit deeper when fieldin’ them ground balls.”
Thomas was off to the casino later that night to meet some pals. And, he said with a wink, “I’m gonna play 923.”