Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Courtroom Is Adjourned

Thomas Everett Williams
Tom was a lot of things to a lot of people from closest family and friends to mere acquaintances. This is not the place and I am not the one to speak to that. That would be a magnus opus, to be sure. (Here is where Tom would respond to the Latin with a witty quip like, "Yeah, okay, I got ya ..." or "I don't think they had Latin  over there at Luther College.")

This short post simply speaks to something that I think was noticeable early on and often  in Tom's life with our family. It always amazed and amused me.

Whenever there would be a Dolan-side gathering and all or some of the nephews and nieces were in attendance (especially the boys, I think), sooner or later you would see Tom "holding court" - as I like to describe it. In some corner or another, there you would see the the groupies huddled around and Tom would be in the middle commanding their attention. It might be one of his stories which he had a knack for telling - all of which may or may not contain some degree of truth. ("Hey, did I ever tell you about .....?") No one was better at taking an otherwise normal, ordinary event or happening and making it interesting, funny, if not knee-slapping hysterical. It may have been some of his self-deprecating humor, or a bit of his experienced advice on a variety of issues. But on one level or another, there was some wisdom to be had, to everyone's joy and delight - and no one enjoying it more than Tom himself.

I wanted to find a picture that could illustrate adequately Tom's courtroom in action, but could not find one on such short notice. Maybe one will turn up. Better yet, maybe one of you can remember one, or have one to share. Give it some thought. Give it a look. Let me know if you find anything.

This family will continue to get together, I am sure. However, we cannot take that for granted. If it is going to be, it is up to thee! They will never all be the same, but that is the nature of the beast, and time and life circumstances have a way messing with us. And God will always have his say.

But with Tom no longer with us, one thing is for sure: the courtroom is adjourned.

UPDATE to "The Courtroom is Adjourned"

Here you have the first contribution photo showing Tom in the act of holding court. It was 4th of July, 2004, in the basement of St. Peter in Fond du Lac. Whatever Tom had going that day sure tickled Tim's funny bone and had Aaron's attention. Way to go KT Dolan for finding this one. I am sure there are others. JD's Jottings will wait patiently.


  1. This makes me very sad. But I'm so glad that we've had so many opportunities to be together as a family that we all have good Tom stories to share.

  2. One thing I love about this picture....Tom is wearing his sandals!!! The sandals that are somewhat his trademark now and were of high importance to take to the funeral home-which Mary Beth said "those stay with him". :)

  3. So true! To think of this "holding court" not happening again makes me really sad. I have never heard the tidbit about his sandals. I love it.

  4. Good find, Katie!

  5. Thank you Johnny He loved us all so much.