This is the famous Tommy Blocker (head of the campground at Lake Columbia here in Arkansas). Tommy is a former Vietnam Veteran (a marine who did 3 tours of duty). He let me set up my hammock under the mini pavilion outside house here in the campground. After talking with Tommy earlier this morning and reviewing the updated weather forecast, I decided to ride my bike today after all. We were supposed to have thunderstorms, but now it’s just going to be cloudy which is perfect weather for riding. So I’m heading for the Texas border in Texarkana. Tommy called his half brother Cecil and Cecil recommended a state park right on the lake just north of Texarkana.

Tommy Blocker is a cross between Tommy Lee Jones, Bill Murray and Walter Matthau. His grandmother was a full blooded Cherokee and his grandfather met her when he was coming through Oklahoma with Jessie James. (Yes, that Jessie James. He has a photo of his grandfather with the legendary outlaw).

Tommy showed me a beautiful gun that was handmade by his father. His house was built in 1923 and when he looked at the foundation, he saw that they’d used whiskey barrels as forms when they poured the foundation. You can still see the outline of the wire and the boards.

Tommy is a champion of the underdog, a protector of folks who need a hand and is kind of a celebrity around this area of Lake Columbia, Arkansas. He also caught a 75 pound catfish around midnight one night a few years back and it was so big he had trouble getting it in the boat. On another occasion, waves came up over the side of his small fishing boat and it sank.

I got to hear a lot about Tommy’s adventurous life sitting up on his front porch drinking coffee. When I was finished drinking my coffee, he told me to keep the mug. It says “Honary Arky” and I’m honored. 🙂

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