Decatur, Illinois

Decatur, Illinois
Curve-In, Fairview Avenue

Monday, September 6, 2010

Tom Harrington

At MacArthur, Tom Harrington played a little baseball and went out for track early on. In the day, he was that guy that was friendly to so many of us, including me, and hung out, especially, with Steve Day, Gary Hawke, Bob Dondeville and Lynn Lowe.

Tom sends along some memories to fill in his biography:

"After my somewhat quiet and uneventful tenure at Big Mac I attended Millikin University until graduation in January, 1970 with a B.S. degree in accounting.

"For me, the 1970s and 1980s were years of becoming a father to two beautiful girls, Beth and Laura, living in various small towns in central and southern Illinois, working horrendous hours as a CPA for a couple of firms, and ultimately starting my own practice. I loved living in small towns in those years and was the picture of big fish in a little pond. It is also a great atmosphere for raising kids. I was everything from the local CPA to the Halloween parade emcee (as the biggest Easter bunny you've ever seen), Rotary Club President, and public address announcer for the high school varsity basketball teams.

"The 1990s were years of tremendous change. After years of indifference, a marriage ended--but happily another started. I even became a grandfather! With my CPA practice sold I moved to the huge city of Nashville and, with my current wife Cordia, started a wholesale bakery business.

"In 1997 and until the present--with my wife Cordia--we started Tennessee Bun Company, a Nashville-based wholesale bakery/manufacturing business baking sandwich buns, English muffins and biscuits mostly for McDonald’s but also for Pepperidge Farm, KFC, Sara Lee and others.

"Nashville isn't really that big but compared to Altamont, Illinois, it might as well be Beijing, China. I had always traveled, worked and vacationed in big cities but to live in one was really different. I was ready to move from small town life to a city with a ton of opportunities and style.

"Cordia and I love living in Nashville. We hang with country stars sometimes, go the 'glam' parties and big-league sporting events, and have an absolute blast with our great friends. When not working, I enjoy playing golf, watching the Vanderbilt Commodores, Tennessee Titans and Chicago Cubs, community service and serving my church. I've never had more fun in life than now."

Tom also shares info on the question of his first and current cars:

"One of the highlights of my years at Millikin answers one of your questions--that is, the purchase of my first car. It was a 1962 cream-colored Corvair bought for 200 bucks. That little beauty had no horn, no turn lights, no heater, hardly a battery that ever worked, and very little gas almost the entire time I owned it. The battery was always so bad I can remember making sure I parked on a hill so I could pop the clutch to get it going. After virtually driving all over the Southern and Midwest U.S., I finally sold the car just before graduation to some poor slob for...the same 200 bucks. To this day I find that incredible.

"These days I drive around Nashville in my dream car--a 2008 white Mercedes S550--but I still love turning the radio up to max to listen to the Rivieras and the Big Bopper...just like the days in my old Corvair. Not much changes in 45 years, does it?

"Your old pal, Tom"