Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Human Interest

Looking Back: 7-year-old Tommy gets a loaf of bread for Mom . . . eventually (January 29, 1964)

This photo essay appeared in the pages of the St. Petersburg Times on January 29, 1964. What follows is the text of the original story, interspersed with photos taken by Times staff photographer Ron Wahl.

A boy, though still under Nature's protection and not yet able to guide himself, left loose to the world and fortune, revels in his youth as the hour wherein he ought to enjoy life to its fullest extent; and, because he wishes not to waste his time, spends it.

He seldom does anything he would not do again. He is like a ship without a pilot, a safari without a guide; and only the hands of Nature and good fortune guide him.

This is the fate of all young boys and of 7 1/2-year-old Eugene "Tommy" Thomas Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Thomas, 1842 Nebraska Ave. Tommy is in the second grade at Shore Acres Elementary School.

Tommy typically illustrates what a mother can expect when she sends her favorite boy on an errand to the store – in this case for a loaf of bread.

After purchasing the bread at the store, Tommy decided to try his hand at some amateur acrobatics, but soon gives this up to examine a tree stump.

RON WAHL | Times

Back of photo

RON WAHL | Times

Meeting a friend along the way, Tommy finds that the loaf of bread makes a good substitute for a football, and a few plays from scrimmage are in the offing.

RON WAHL | Times

Back of photo

Remembering that mom had said to come right home, Tommy leaves his friend and, tossing the bread lightly in his hands, resumes his journey homeward.

RON WAHL | Times

Back of photo

Soon Tommy realizes that the wrapping around the bread has given away to the youthful play and decides mom won't mind if he enjoys a few slices from the loaf.

RON WAHL | Times

Back of photo

The bread once again takes a sideline seat as Tommy tests his strength with a neighborhood friend before rounding the corner to home.

RON WAHL | Times

Back of photo

Apologetically, Tommy hands the battered and partially devoured loaf of bread to his mother.

RON WAHL | Times

Back of photo

Mother had rather suspected this might be the outcome of Tommy's trip to the store; but she wouldn't have Tommy, or Jimmy, or Johnny, or whatever her son's name might be, any other way – for she understands the world of her son and his life's little detours.

To order reprints or download any image from this story, please visit the Times image archive.

Tim Rozgonyi

Twitter: @timrozgonyi

e-mail: [email protected]

Comments
Colombia-based body shapewear boutique, Sexy Skinz opens second location in South Tampa

Colombia-based body shapewear boutique, Sexy Skinz opens second location in South Tampa

After listening to the needs of men and women desiring and personally desiring to look slimmer without having to exercise, Colombia native, Elizabeth Muñoz spent years designing top-of-the-line body shapewear at her undergarment shop in Colombia...
Published: 09/21/18
Updated: 09/24/18
I was hospitalized for my eating disorder. Here's what Netflix shows get right and wrong about it.

I was hospitalized for my eating disorder. Here's what Netflix shows get right and wrong about it.

It took me a year and a half to watch Netflix’s To the Bone. The movie, which debuted in January 2017, portrays Ellen, a 20-year-old woman battling anorexia nervosa, and her experience being in and out of various treatment programs. When it w...
Published: 09/20/18
Updated: 09/21/18
'Game of Thrones,' 'Mrs. Maisel' and a proposal highlight Emmy Awards

'Game of Thrones,' 'Mrs. Maisel' and a proposal highlight Emmy Awards

LOS ANGELES — Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel became the first streaming series to win top Emmy comedy honors and HBO's Game of Thrones recaptured the best drama series award Monday at a ceremony that largely slighted its most ethnically di...
Published: 09/18/18
Lens on Pasco wildlife: Park supervisor shares encounters with his pictures

Lens on Pasco wildlife: Park supervisor shares encounters with his pictures

NEW PORT RICHEY — For Mark Berlinger, getting the best shot is a matter of serendipity. Being in the right place. Looking up at the right time. Hearing a rustle and following a notion to take the lens cap off your camera and shoot.Often, the right pl...
Updated one month ago
New Miss America glad she didn’t have to don swimsuit to win

New Miss America glad she didn’t have to don swimsuit to win

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The first woman to win the Miss America crown without having to don a swimsuit says she’s glad she didn’t have to. Nia Imani Franklin, who won the title Sunday night in Atlantic City while competing as Miss New York, said the ch...
Updated one month ago
Judy Garland’s stolen ruby slippers from ‘Wizard of Oz’ are found

Judy Garland’s stolen ruby slippers from ‘Wizard of Oz’ are found

MINNEAPOLIS — Federal authorities say they have recovered a pair of sequined ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz that were stolen from a museum in her northern Minnesota hometown 13 years ago. The slippers were taken from the Judy ...
Updated one month ago
Local Loudmouth Lip Attire founder makes a colorful statement, and you can, too

Local Loudmouth Lip Attire founder makes a colorful statement, and you can, too

TAMPAAmber Parker loves to stand out in a crowd.And with a vivacious personality and a funky personal style, the petite 32-year-old certainly makes a bold impression.So it’s only fitting that her makeup line, Loudmouth Lip Attire, features vibrant an...
Updated one month ago
‘What the hell did you do to my daughter?’ He was accused of a crime he swore he never committed; she believed her 4-year-old

‘What the hell did you do to my daughter?’ He was accused of a crime he swore he never committed; she believed her 4-year-old

ST. PETERSBURGOn the evening of the accusation, before the police came, Austin Holcomb walked to his neighbors’ house to get his son.The boy, who was almost 4, had been playing there all afternoon.The neighbors’ house was a wreck. That Saturday, they...
Updated one month ago
Zephyrhills High rallys to support ‘the greatest kid,’ who’s in a fight for his life

Zephyrhills High rallys to support ‘the greatest kid,’ who’s in a fight for his life

ZEPHYRHILLS There was a swelling of Bulldog Pride as students, many donning orange and black school colors and "I Run For Zack" T-shirts, flocked to the gymnasium for the afternoon pep rally at Zephyrhills High. • The marching band played rousing...
Updated one month ago