Back to profile

Tom Garrett

Stories by Tom

Tease photo

Stanley did more than just find Livingstone

Your Turn

About all that most of us know about Sir Henry M. Stanley is that he is the man who trekked through darkest Africa, found an aging missionary that no one else seemed able to find, and asked him a polite question that people will be chuckling about until the Earth quits rolling around the sun:

Tease photo

Home is not just a word; it’s a feeling – Part 2

Your Turn

Last week I left off at the point where my new friend Rick and I were driving north toward Sedona on I-17, a first for me because I had only been here in Arizona for about three or four weeks.

Tease photo

Home is not just a word; it’s a feeling

Your Turn

Yesterday evening I happened to open an anthology of “Famous American Short Stories.” I was on page 412 and just starting to read “The Courtship of Sister Wisby,” written by Sarah Orne Jewett, in 1888.

Tease photo

Words that captured the meaning of America

Your Turn

After the defeat and exile of Napoleon Bonaparte in April 1814, the British turned their eyes upon a still young nation across the seas that had dared to defy them.

Tease photo

Life doesn’t work that way, Part 3

Your Turn

Life has a way of humbling us when we get overconfident. Some learn early. Some never learn.

Tease photo

Life doesn’t work that way, Part 2

Your Turn

When it comes to future events, life has a way of making us pay a price for overconfidence.

Tease photo

Life doesn’t work that way

Your Turn

A few weeks ago I was writing about a Hi-Li paddle, a toy you could buy for a nickel when I was a kid. I mentioned that if you had one now you could get $29.95 for it on eBay. As I wrote that, a thought crossed my mind.

Tease photo

The pioneer spirit lives on, Part 2

Your Turn

It has taken me a long time, but I at long last understand what it was that so strongly attracted me to Arizona when I first passed through here 57 years ago.

Tease photo

The pioneer spirit lives on

Your Turn

It has taken me a long time, but at long last I understand what it was that attracted me so strongly to Arizona when I first passed through here almost 60 years ago.

Tease photo

The joy of being one half of a pair

Your Turn

What fun Lolly and I used to have together! What laughs! Last week I mentioned some evenings when we would go to a little Italian restaurant in Missouri with a couple of friends and spend an entire evening eating pizza, sipping beer, and — most important of all — talking and laughing. About what? I don’t know — but I can guarantee you it wasn’t politics or money.

Tease photo

Do people still just sit around and enjoy talking?

Your Turn

I can’t eat pizza. The cheese in it turns me inside out. Know what I mean? lactose intolerance? Ugh!

Tease photo

Eighty-three years is a LOT of years, Part 3

Your Turn

Thinking back to my life on the streets of New York City in the 1930s is like entering a time machine.

Tease photo

Eighty-three years is a LOT of years, Part 2

Your Turn

As I said last week, every time I think back upon my childhood in New York City it’s like entering a time machine.

Tease photo

83 years is a LOT of years

Your Turn

Each time I think back upon my childhood days it’s like entering a time machine. “Time marches on,” they say — and they’re not kidding! If you live long enough you make a startling discovery: The world you grew up in no longer exists.

Tease photo

A perfect marriage is a loving, caring partnership - Part 2

Your Turn

Last week I told you a little about our marriage and why it has been so great. The reason is simple, but profound: When two people are truly in love they focus on doing everything they can for each other. That’s how our marriage has been, and the result is that each of us has been filled with the joy of giving for 55 long, happy years.

Tease photo

A perfect marriage is a loving, caring partnership

Your Turn

People sometimes tell us that Lolly and I have a perfect marriage. I have thought about that many times.

Tease photo

There was an angel at my wedding

Your Turn

I recently showed a friend some photographs that Lolly and I treasure. They show us during our wedding.

Tease photo

As Bette Davis once said, getting old is not for sissies – Part 2

Your Turn

Last week we talked about Bette Davis’ comment on aging, including how tired you can get at times.

Tease photo

As Bette Davis once said: ‘Getting old is not for sissies’

Your Turn

Today is 11 Dec 2014. I just got done writing out a stack of Christmas cards, some headed for Australia, the UK, and India, and the rest headed around the good old USA. The odd part of it is that it wore me out more than if I had gone outside and spent the same hour-and-a-half shoveling snow.

Tease photo

There’s something to be said for having ink in your veins – Part 3

Your Turn

When I first arrived in New London my very first friend, Bobby Schultz, took me to the New London Day and showed me around.

Tease photo

There’s something to be said for having ink in your veins – Part 2

Your Turn

Back in New York City our third-grade teacher used to bring in “spoils” from the Staten Island Advance to help us learn how to write.

Tease photo

There’s something to be said for having ink in your veins

Your Turn

A month or two ago the Roundup ran an article about Bob Earl and Donnie Severs, the Roundup pressmen. What fun it was to read! And how it took me back! I was just 11 the first time I entered a pressroom and I can remember it as if it were yesterday.

Tease photo

It’s amazing how many things we know that we don’t know we know Part 2

Your Turn

Last week I mentioned that there are an incredible number of things we know that we don’t know we know, and I quoted what Andy Rooney said in his book, “And More by Andy Rooney.”

Tease photo

It is amazing how many things we know that we don’t know we know

Your Turn

Way back in my teens, I once told a friend that we know a lot of things we don’t know we know.

Tease photo

A writer’s world is a world of ideas, Part 3

It has taken us a while to get here, but now I can show you why I so often tell people, “If you want to write, read.”

Tease photo

The writer’s world is a world of ideas – Part 2

Your Turn

Last week I told you how my second-grade class made it through a cold, damp rainstorm to the public library, after which we each slogged home wet, but with a library book.

Tease photo

The writer’s world is a world of ideas

Your Turn

I can’t tell you the exact date in 1939 that my life and my world expanded from a few streets in New York to the entire universe. It was the day of my entry into a world of ideas, but all I remember about it is almost freezing to death in a cold wet rain.

Tease photo

What we believe at any given moment depends on what we know – Part 2

Your Turn

Last week we talked about how odd it is that we read books and watch programs and films about things we know never happened.

Tease photo

What we believe at any given moment depends on what we know

Your Turn

Ever think about how odd it is that you and I read fiction or watch fictional TV programs and films? If you think about it for a minute, you’ll realize that we are voluntarily spending our time focusing on things we know doggone well didn’t happen.

Tease photo

Truth can be both stranger and sadder than fiction

Your Turn

Back in October I mentioned the Battle of Saratoga fought in 1777, where the strategy of the British was to separate New York and New England from the southern states, where support for the Revolution was fading. Had they succeeded, most historians agree, the Revolution would probably have ended right there and then.

Tease photo

The America we love is still alive and well

Your Turn

On the online forum I do for the Roundup we talk about all kinds of things. One of the first things we talked about when the Roundup asked me to do the forum was, “What is victory in Iraq?”

Tease photo

Some ancestors had great humor Part 2

Your Turn

Last week I wrote that I happened to look up someone mentioned in a humorous way in a story I read. His name was Sydney Smith, an Anglican minister born in England in 1771. I didn’t think I had found someone likely to say anything very funny.

Tease photo

Our ancestors were not all serious

Your Turn

In reading books about our ancestors, or looking at some of their portraits, you would swear that they must have been a straight-laced bunch that never cracked a smile. And by and large you wouldn’t be too far from being right. But every once in a while ...

Tease photo

The Depression years were good for America – Part 2

Your Turn

Last week I started to tell you about a typical 1930s Sunday in New York City where I lived as a boy, but I had to talk about the reason younger people have the wrong idea about the Depression, and here we are with a Part 2.

Tease photo

Depression years were good for us

Your Turn

I wouldn’t blame someone if he or she read the title to this column and said, “Well, that’s it; Tom has finally lost it.”

Tease photo

Ever try buying a 1943 Ford or Chevy?

You’re wondering why I asked the question in the title, right?

Tease photo

Amazing to read thoughts of our predecessors

Your Turn

I was reading Agatha Christie’s delightfully well-written autobiography when I came across something that really surprised me.

Tease photo

Grab your seat and hang on for the ride

Your Turn

A few weeks ago I was sitting in the eye doctor’s watching a bright spot of sunlight slowly creeping across the tiled floor. I suppose that bright spot was nothing special to anyone else in the room. There it was, as ordinary as the day is long — a spot of sunlight. So what?

Tease photo

The United States Marines

Your Turn

As I write this it is Thursday Oct 2, 2014. Yesterday, as I read the Roundup I noticed a letter inviting everyone to attend the annual celebration of the founding of the United States Marine Corps.

Tease photo

Somebody up there likes us

Your Turn

I just finished reading a book titled “The Fifteen Decisive Battles of The World From Marathon to Waterloo.” It was written in 1851 by Sir Edward Creasy, and is a classic, which is still read and quoted today.

Tease photo

Things my pets taught me, Part 3

Your Turn

Though Lolly and I always talked about having a dog around the house, it never happened.

Tease photo

Things my pets taught me, Part 2

Your Turn

Last week I told you that my very first memories include our dog Duke, a small white fox terrier. He lived until I was 21, but after I re-enlisted in the Air Force I learned a harsh truth: there are no pets in barracks, and even after you are married, pets are not part of your life.

Tease photo

Things my pets have taught me

Your Turn

No matter how far I look back in my life I always see a pet. For the first 21 years of my life it was always the same pet — a small white fox terrier named Duke.

Tease photo

Not-so-famous last words Part 2

Your Turn

Last week we mentioned Lt. Pat O’Brien, an American volunteer who served in the Royal Flying Corps in World War I.

Tease photo

Not-so-famous last words

Your Turn

Lt. Pat O’Brien, an American volunteer who served in the Royal Flying Corps in WWI, was shot down over hostile territory, escaped, and wrote a book about it.

Tease photo

We are lucky to have PRMC

Your Turn

Years ago when Lolly and I first began looking for a retirement home away from the Valley our eyes turned northward. It didn’t take long before we knew where we wanted to be: up here among the tall pines, beautiful vistas, and friendly people of the Rim Country.

Tease photo

We create some of life’s ‘worst’ moments Part 2

Your Turn

Last week I mentioned that we sometimes get into one of life’s worst moments by not using the area of the body located above the ears.

Tease photo

We create some of life’s worst moments

Your Turn

A while back I wrote a pair of columns about life’s most exciting moments. At the time something occurred to me. I didn’t mention it then, but I thought about it a lot — some of life’s most exciting moments are also some of its worst ones.

Tease photo

It’s amazing how chance events affect our lives. The last word.

Your Turn

I didn’t write this column. It wrote itself in my head at 6:30 p.m. on 26 May 2014 as I took a shower after finishing the second part of what was to have been a two-part series on good luck, and is now a three-part series.

Tease photo

Impact of chance events amazing Part II

Your Turn

Last week I talked about a few of the events in my life that looked terrible, but turned out to be lucky breaks.

Prev