artist, christian, linguist, djtom hails from massechusets. he's irish catholic; you'd know this by his red hair and irish perma-grin. he's a slow speaker, gettin' warmed up; when he gets there, he's a good story teller and a good teacher.
accordingly, i spent a lot of time with tom, in his house on the coast of the laguna caratasca, in puerto lempira.
tom is one of the best minds i ran across in la moskitia. he's been here since the late seventies. he originally came to honduras with the peace corps. he had a masters in fine arts.
he met martana, the daughter of his house owner. they had a kid, they got married. now there's five of them - jenni, the oldest around 16, tommy, 15, and brian, who's the most facially expressive kid i've seen in quite some time at seven years.
they've lived in los angeles some, and most of the time in la moskitia. someone in every town throughout has heard of tom keogh; he's got a reputation as the best gringo miskito speaker in la moskitia today.
but he just don't speak it, he's got the kind of mind that has been observing all this. like if i had been there asking questions and taking notes for ten years, what kinds of connections and observations would i report? he shared with me.
my understanding of miskito culture really started with him.
he worked on radio SANI, in the 1980s.
he was at woodstock in the sixties. now he has been reborn, as a church of god christian. he went to bible school, in texas no less, so he's ordained.
he continues to draw, and make art; he showed me his children's stories he's written and illustrated - "fiddler crab and wee wee" - tal vez a christian uncle remus with a wry sense of humor. christian children's book publishers have told him he uses too many big words for the intended age group.
for mopawi, he is a linguistic consultant on a project to develop bilingual education.
right now, his favourite american culture download comes when his dad sends him the entire NCAA finals unedited on videotape. he's keen on sports. i hope to help hook him up with e-mail, maybe by radio modem.
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