Tom's Open Road
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Sometimes life is overwhelming. Doing the next right thing is a good byword.
- His father was a politician so he grew up helping him out on campaigns.
- One day, while he was reading a bill out loud, someone suggested that he should become a radio broadcaster.
- When he was 15, he became a disc jockey; he was working for the local NBC station.
- For their fiftieth anniversary of broadcasting, they decided to have a hot air balloon race.
- He organized 13 balloons to come to Albuquerque to race; afterwards, he stayed interested in hot air ballooning.
- His interest in politics continued; in 1972, he won his campaign for state senate and became the youngest state senator in New Mexico's history.
- Throughout all of this time, he was struggling with alcoholism; he hit rock bottom, then sobered up around age 46.
- His only regret in life had been that he didn't spend enough time with his family; now gets to lobby with his son, an opportunity he calls "a gift."