Sep 7, 2009, 8:42 PM
Post #1 of 2
As a photojournalist for KRON TV in San Francisco, I was always looking for interesting people to profile and Tom truly fit bill. By this time in his life he was already hugely famous, what with multiple wins in races all over the world, owner of the North loft, grand master of teaching a new sail owner how to get the most out of it, but a new thrill had crept into his being...open wheel car racing. After a few calls from me (the stranger), he opened up his playbook and invited me out for a testing of new sails on the bay for a recent client. His ability to get across what makes the sails work to the new client in a simple, easy to understand, no ego formula was just one sign of a remarkable man. But a few weeks later when we met at Sears Point Raceway so he could practice his new sport, open wheel auto racing, that brought out a no holds barred kind of man. He was just getting started in this sport and I felt comfortable enough to place my camera and myself on the edge of the track near the outside turns, a place where a four wheel skid could end my career, but I trusted him, just like the new sail client trusted him. All was fun and afterwords we spent fifteen minutes for an on camera interview. To this day I still remember one of his answers to a question that went something like...'Tom, you seem to have it all, multiple wins on the water, America's Cup intentions, owner of a sail loft, good looks, a robust...take no enemies approach to life. All must be good." But his answer surprised me. He said, he had asked the formula 1 driver Emerson Fittipaldi the same question a year or so earlier and Tom said he had the same answer... "nothing's as good as it seems."
Tom Blackaller...THE man to look up to.
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by Rich Carlson