I never had any trouble with him, talked to him on several occasions, he was certainly bright and at times even pretty funny. I think he made a lot of money on the racist schtick, would see him leaving the post office with big fat envelopes that I believe were stuffed with cash. Racism was evidently very good business.
Not to say he was harmless, but the violence he preached strayed elsewhere, places like Portland, not his hometown. And he was seen on occasion in the company of hispanics and was even friends at one time with a black guy in town. Not an easy guy to figure out.
Tom fixed televisions and was very strict about who he would work for. A friend of mine named Fred was married to a Hawaiian Filipino woman here in town and Tom refused to work on their set because they were what he considered a mixed race.
Most of us who have lived here for a long time have had to explain to too many people that Tom did not represent the views of even a small minority of Fallbrookians.
I had one incident with him that I thought was rather funny. He was parading in front of my shop one day on Main Avenue wearing a sandwich board with the Mexican flag painted on it with a cross out circle over it (what exactly is the name for that?) I guess it is called a no circle. [Interdit]
Anyhow he was walking up and down the street bitching to anyone who would listen about hispanics in/and overrunning our schools and I said, "Hey Tom. You know I'm Jewish. Do you have any problems with my kids going to school here?"
He thought for a minute and looked at me squarely in the eye.
"No Robert, not as the constitution is currently written."
I started to walk away and he yelled after me in a louder voice.
"But, that's subject to change!"
I couldn't help laughing. I think he did too.
Obviously the universe has a great sense of humor.