So today is the day that I’m supposed to mail out to you guys a note saying that our dear beloved gravel-voice maniac Flash has made it to the big time.
Tom Kennedy wrote me an email on Saturday. I’ll share that with you now:
The intention of this email is to let you
know that Flash has a Discovery Channel
TV show premiering Monday evening,
called Doing Da Vinci. I believe that
it is scheduled to air at both 7 & 10 PM.
Flash does not have a publicity
department back here, but I thought
it was important to let his friends know that
his show is about to air. If I was to help
him spread the word, I would send out
a few emails. Tell your friends of course.
And for you tech savy Flash fans, go to
Discovery.com and search for the show called
Doing Da Vinci and you can view over ten clips
that show the team of builders, including Flash,
build some amazing machines out of the
sketchbooks of Leonardo DaVinci. Building
mostly war machines, the crew sometimes
encounter disagreements on how to get
the job done…and Flash will be Flash….
…Your mission, if you decide to accept it, is
to watch (or record) TV on Monday night.
This tape will self-destruct in 5 seconds….
Over and Out,
Monday, April 13th
7 & 10 PM
My response to Tom was terse. I had a show that night. I actually wrote back to him the follow note, in total:
No signature. No fun. Nothing to denotate that he was a mentor to me and I loved him and that he was one of my most favorite people on the face of the planet. Nope.
Just “on it”. Taking for granted that he would always be there to muse with and advise me and make impossible, truly impossible creations that baffle, astound and impress t he people… me included.
Tom saw his last sunset that day. He drown at Ocean Beach on Sunday, caught in a mother of a rip tide.
His passing leaves us impoverished.
This is a big man, a giant almost. Stong. Powerful. Hard worker. Hands like medium Cornish hens. How a tide could get him and not others is either baffling or there are some super-tides out there. I have always feared the rip tides. I will now be terrified of them.
I met Tom for the first time in 1995, he made Ripper the friendly shark. At his request…. Actually his INSISTANCE, I took a 30 person circus to his town, Houston Texas, for the annual art car parade. Which was a great experience for a young showman and forever changed my perception on what “family” entertainment could (and should) be.
The art car parade was amazing. It was a freak festival. In 1997 we brought the Vegomatic of the Apocalypse and it won First Place! This is a festival of freakish proportions with 400,000 people in attendance. And it happens probably because of Tom Kennedy.
Tom built this whale:
Tom build this bus:
Tom’s body of work is astounding. He built American Art, the Art Car. And took us all along for the ride. Without fear or a parking spot for any of them. He lost his art to the tow truck many times. Can you imagine?
Sad. But I really feel blessed to have known him at all. I’m kinda in shock, I guess. Because I havn’t seen him in a little bit, and was expecting to see him tonight.
I’ll let ya’ll know when the things are. So it goes.
Life is fragile. I will miss Tom Kennedy. So will a million others. The really sad thing here is all the kids that will miss his work… the work he never got to make. Lets make sure that we always have a spot for Tom to park…. visit Laughing Squid for memorial updates and blog comments on this truly remarkable life.