Tom Wood

Profile Updated: June 18, 2016
Tom Wood
Residing In: Sandy, UT USA
Spouse/Partner: Diane
Homepage: http://tomdwoodart.bigcartel.com/
Occupation: Artist, Curriculum Specialist
Children: Noelle, born 1977; Amanda, born 1979; Melanie, born 1983
Yes! Attending Reunion
Who was your favorite East High teacher? Why?

I spent so much time over at Pete's or a little further up 13th East at the Pantry that I don't think I ever properly learned my teachers' names. That notwithstanding, Michael Croft was my favorite. He tailored his World History curriculum to work with my hobbies and talents. An example would be that he assigned me to research and report on the history of the Blues music in America complete with recorded examples and some demonstrations with my electric guitar. Even though I was a challenging student, he stuck with me and made education quite an adventure for me. I think he was pretty new when our class arrived at East.

School Story:

There were so many school stories I could almost write a book about them. Mark VanWagoner and I were close buddies and we were always on the lookout for little "events" or mischief we could perpetrate. I apologize to anyone who through no effort on their part became an unwitting victim in one of our high jinks. Several of our most enjoyable pranks occurred in the lunch room which was open most of the day for our flexible scheduling hunger pangs. Mrs Hansen was the school aide assigned to keep order in the lunch room. I think if she would have been rich enough she would have taken a contract out on Mark and my lives. One memorable food fight we had resulted in our being chased around the school by several school authorities. As we ran and hid in various places in the school our clothes began to dry out and become quite stiff from all the goo and junk we had thrown at each other. In our final hiding spot after several close calls at being caught, we were crouching low breathing hard. It occurred to me that Mark seemed to be laughing but had not said one word while we were eluding the angry school authorities. I looked over at him and, though out of breath, he was smiling. I knew I was in for it but didn't even try to escape. He had been carrying a wad of Red Hots in his mouth the whole time we had been running away. Just then he sprayed them out all over me making me look like a shotgun victim. Then through his laughter, he said "I won!" He indeed won the fight with that clever ruse.

There were so many memories of stomps, eating lunch out front, tripling the desert recipes in Cooking for Men class, even the day to day unremarkable activities were fun for me at East. I really loved my time there.

What was the most fun you had recently?

This last summer I staged a Summer Art Studio for Elementary age students. I did this in Nebo School District. I had a slew of art materials, a couple of Elementary Teachers, and volunteer parents to help with with two classes of 30 students each. It was a ball to see what the young students came up with. I taught them how to basically use the materials and then encouraged them to express themselves however they wanted. The parents loved it (what parent wouldn't love 3 hours every week day of supervised art activity for their kids? Each class lasted two weeks), the Elementary teachers had a ball, and I couldn't stop smiling. It was a lot of work, but the kids made tons of art work and memories this summer. Kid art is so immediate and pure. It was a great time for all of us.

What would you do over since high school (on the lighter side)?

My life has been full of wonder. I'm not rich, not well known, not yet cannonized; but I've pretty much been living my dream. I guess there is lots I could do over, but I'm not sure that I would anything over, mainly for fear of changing what has been. Perhaps I would do more of a few things. I don't know... Life is good.

How have your priorities changed in the past 10 years?

My priorities have not changed so much as they have become more refined and thought out. They haven't had much of a change since the year after I graduated. In an accident that now seems more humorous than painful, I crushed my left pinkie finger in a giant donut glazing machine. I almost lost it, but there was a doctor that wanted to experiment with it and was able to save most of it. That event immediately took me out of the music scene. When I saw that musical performance was no longer an option, I turned to my other passion - visual art. Becoming an artist and making a living teaching art became the career priority and that has not changed since that event.

Who would you like to meet for lunch?

There are a lot of artists I would like to meet for lunch. Rembrandt, Jan VanEyck, Carivaggio, Gisleburtis, the list could go on and on. There are so many interesting people in the arts. I think I would have to have a banquet. If I had to limit it to one female and one male, the female would be Artemisia Gentileschi and the male would Marcel Duchamps. Artemisia was an Italian Baroque artist that faced many difficulties to become an artist, some so intense that you might say she barely survived them. She was also from a time that I find fascinating. Marcel Duchamps is more recent (he died in 1968) and is more difficult to catagorize. He took part in the Dada and Surrealist movements but was never limited to either. His art is challenging and in the end forces the viewer to take part in creating its meaning. At a point he quit the world of art and became a Grand Master chess player for France. I would love for him to talk to me about creativity and what art is (for him). I know, I know... this may sound pretty boring, but it would tickle me pink.

What is the most important thing you have learrned since 1970?

I'm not sure what would be the most important; but a significant point I've learned is that it doesn't matter what you choose to do in life as long as you do it well.

Another important point that has been a happy discovery for me is that I can have a crush on the same beautiful woman for 34 years and look forward to building the flame of that crush for many years to come. The heat and flame of that crush has only grown. I would not have predicted that in 1970.

What is a goal for the next 10 years

I would like to learn how not to itch. I would also like to work a lot more on my personal art work.

My mother taught me something that has always helped me in finding my way or in determining what path to take in life. She said, "Find something that you love and run after it." That has pretty much been my compass. For the next ten years I'll be running after my wife (which affords me one of my favorite views of her!), my children (and their children), my art, my religion, and finally my new career.

Comments:

I loved my time at East. I hope I didn't offend too many of my classmates by my lack of self-control or impish creativity. I'm sorry if I did. I am grateful for the friendship that everybody gave me and for the friends that I hung with. East was a great experience and our class was filled with great people, many who have left good impressions on me - some without even knowing it. I felt like I was held aloft by a super group of people. It means a lot to me to say I'm a part of the class that graduated from East High in 1970.

Tom's Latest Interactions

Hide Comments
It's Tom Wood's birthday today.
Apr
14
Apr 14, 2018 at 2:33 AM
It's Tom Wood's birthday today.
Apr 14, 2017 at 2:33 AM
Tom Wood updated profile. View.
Jun 18, 2016 at 4:25 PM
It's Tom Wood's birthday today.
Apr 14, 2016 at 2:33 AM
It's Tom Wood's birthday today. New comment added.
Apr 29, 2015 at 12:43 PM

Posted on: Apr 14, 2015 at 2:33 AM

Hide Comments
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:02 PM
This is our old rock group. From left: me, Don Malouf (class of '69), and Mark VanWagoner. We were called Pub. This is a dance at the old gym at East High (the old East High). We played a lot of Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Who, and a bunch of our own stuff which I imagine was the most painful of all of it to listen to. We always played a bit too loud.
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:02 PM
I strumming the old guitar and singing about some girl. I was always singing about some girl.
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:02 PM
This is at Christmas of '70. I look so angelic. If I looked like what I was this would be a truly scary photo!
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:02 PM
This is a silly self-portrait indicating my mood. I'd pin it up in my art room as an indication of how I was feeling that day. The students knew to tread lightly on the days this showed up.
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:02 PM
Since I've got a chance to show some stuff, I thought I'd throw a couple of my prints into the mix. These are all about 17"X22" or about poster size. This one is called "Guilt." I'll let you figure out why. Oh, and trust me, the quality of the real things are much better than these quick scans.
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:02 PM
This is called "Echoes." Here again, your decision on what this means is as important if not more important than whatever meaning I may have attached to it. If you're really stumped, talk to me at the reunion.
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:02 PM
This is titled "Moon Angel." This is a celebration of an angel I found on earth.
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:02 PM
I couldn't resist a throw-back to the hippie era. This is titled "Nurture" and is a thinly veiled portrait.
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:02 PM
This one was in the garbage until my wife saw it and said she liked it and insisted I save it. It is titled "Adam." I think my wife liked it because its eyes remind her of father's eyes (he passed on several years ago).

Not to take advantage of you, but I have quite a few more of these in black and white and printed in a few different sizes. If you are interested in any of these or want to see any of the others, just talk to me at the reunion. Sorry for the plug.