Friday, December 24, 2021

Tom Saad—one of my best friends dies at 66 years old

By Steve Otto

Once again I'm writing on the death of a friend, Tom Saad. Tom and I went to Goddard High together. That is how we met. I don't know why, but for many years we hung out and did all kinds of things. We went bar hopping all the time. We use to frequent the Riverside Chalet, for many years. It was our favorite bar. That is where I first met my future first wife to be Mary Ann.

Before that we did a lot of things. One year we took a trip to Colorado. We got to Denver after mid-night. Everything was closed so we went to Boulder, a college town. All the bars had stopped serving alcohol but they let bands play until dawn. We met a woman who wanted to sell us "scag" (heroin) but at the time neither of us was into that.

When we were younger Tom was the bad boy. He committed senseless acts of minor criminality. He was found of telling me the story of when he broke into a local mortuary, near his home in Colwich, and he stole the hearse. He drove it down Douglas, a street we youngsters used to drive around for fun, back in the 1970s. At the end of the night he returned the hearse and no one at the mortuary ever realized he had stolen it. One day he came to my house and he was driving a car he stole. I was freaked out knowing how much trouble he could get into and me if I were caught with him.

I could go on and on about the things we used to do. I remember a night when we went to the drive-in to see Easy Rider, a popular movie. At the end of the show his truck was not recharging and the battery was about to go dead. We went down Kellogg going 80 miles an hour without head lights. And we made it to his house. Another night, for what ever reason, he drove real fast down a one-way street the wrong way.

While I and a few of my friends used LSD[1] a few times and cautiously, he went through a faze where he took it all the time. For a few years he did it lots of times. He was almost an LSD junky. I should point out that, at that time, he seem to get a lot more women than I did.

It is all amazing, however, in later years I was the bad boy. I shot up heroin and used narcotics. He strayed away from LSD but kept using marijuana. He never shot up drugs. We both used to visit a drug dealer who we both knew was shooting people up with heroin. He never did that.

At about the age of 20, I got married to my first wife and we moved away. We lost touch. I didn't see Tom again for a few decades. About 10 years ago we met up again. It was great to see someone from the old days. Tom had health problems. We both had been married to various women, me two time, him three. I remember that one of his wives had a child. She beat him to death and they tried to blame Tom. While he was on trial for murdering a 3 month old child, she left town for Colorado. It didn't take long for authorities to realize she was the murderer. Still Tom got injured by some self righteous jack ass in the prison.

Once again we went places and saw each other from time to time.

Tom was always a hippie (some of Tom's artwork can be seen in this article) and in some ways I am also. He was a painter and a poet. But I always felt his real talents were in his art work. He had a very distinctive stile.

In the beginning of our friendship Tom was more of a working class kid and I was a little more middle class, with ambitions to go to college. Tom didn't like education and never went. In the end we were more alike, both of us working class people. I told him more than once that I enjoyed college, and I learned a lot about philosophy and art, but it didn't help as much as I would have liked as far as getting me a high paying job. Also we both had wives, him Linda and me Cam Gentry,  which we had for many years. In the end we were much more alike.

I will miss Tom. He has been one of my best friends. And there are few people I know as long as I knew him.

As I write this article I have not yet seen an Obit on Tom. As I get that information I will post it.

[1] AKA acid, Lysergic acid diethylamide.

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