Local artist Tom Watson III has experienced more in all his years than most people will live in a lifetime. Tom is a stroke survivor, a cancer survivor and a man who keeps fighting to live a full life. Food Adventures recently sat down with Tom at Christopher’s in Kettering, a restaurant that is showcasing his art through July 30th.
Christopher’s Art Show Closing Reception and live painting session is Saturday, July 30, from 2:30 to 4:30pm.
Tom’s paintings adorn the walls of the far dining room, and if you didnt know better, you would think the place was purposely decorated that way. His art blends well with the warm scene at Christopher’s Restaurant. Tom explained the toll that having a stroke has taken on his life, and how art and painting, helped him rehabilitate in so many ways. With a lovely wife and 2 healthy, happy boys, he has so much to live for, and has accompished so much.
HERE’S THE SKINNY on LOCAL ARTIST TOM WATSON III:
— In the 90’s Tom had recently graduated high school. He became a fixture on the local art and music scene. He was known around Dayton as a scenester and a zinester. As the millenium passed he concentrated on college.
— March 17th, 2005 – Tom Watson’s life changes forever as he suffers a brain-stem embolism, a severe stroke, while in class at the University of Dayton. He was 34 years old.
Against the odds, he survived the stroke, but he had to learn to walk and write again.
— Tom Watson III used art to fuel his recovery. In the coming years, his strength returns and his motor skills improve and he graduates college. His art is well received and his story hits local media outlets. His art was featured at Ha Ha Pizza, where Big Ragu did a Food Adventure with Tom. His art was also displayed at Emporium Wines in Yellow Springs, and the Dayton Art Institute as well as others. Many of his paintings of this era feature a prominent artery map of his stroke, taken from an x-ray.
— In 2011, Tom was awarded the first annual RAISE Award from the National Stroke Association. The RAISE Awards highlight individuals and groups who have impacted the lives of others through stroke advocacy and education. He was presented the award by iconic 70’s celebrity, Henry Winkler, who played “the Fonz” on the “Happy Days” TV Show. “Fonz” has a painting of tom’s that hangs in his home ’til this day.
— Things were looking up for Tom, he now had 2 sons and his health had improved tremendously. As fate would have it, on Valentines Day 2014, he was diagnosed with tongue cancer. He went forward with aggressive treatment. After some surgeries, he is currently cancer free.
— Saturday July 30, 2016 – 2:30 to 4:30pm Tom will be be at Christopher’s Restaurant in person making some more of his unique paintings. Here’s more info on this event.
As we sat there having lunch with Tom, we talked about everything from the local music of Boxcar Suite to the favorite restaurants of Dayton. We talked about his art, about how depressed his stroke and cancer had him. He talked about his beautiful painting “The Vagueness of Youth,” explaining, we all dont know who we are yet at that young point in our lives.
Tom has come full circle. These days he is very pensive and thoughtful. He appreciates
life. He knows what is means to stare death in the face. It has given him a new appreciation on everything. He is grateful for friends and family. He is thankful for his health. He even told us about how he is a true foodie and just appreciates good food. Tom gifted us a piece of his artwork, and the Food Adventures crew will display it proudly at home.
Tom’s story is a tale of perseverance. It is the story of succeeding in life, the will to live and what to learn from life’s experiences. His art was the tool that brought him back from the brink. It is a story of an artist, but it is really the story of a rugged survivor.
VISIT CHRISTOPHER’S FOR GREAT FOOD, MEET TOM WATSON, and HIS ART – restaurant is at the corner of Woodman and Dorothy Lane.
MUST EATS at CHRISTOPHERS:
— MEAT CHILI: Always a top vote getter at the local chili cook offs, this version is insanely god when served with onions, sour cream and cheese.
— MUSHROOM BISQUE: You have never had something so creamy and good. Be a fun guy, and try the fungi.
— THE GROUND BEEF BURGER : Local meat is the secret and so is the grain bun. Get
cheese and all the trimmings. See why this made the list of one of the top burgers in Dayton.
— BUFFALO CHICKEN SOUP: Phenomenal homemade soup with a kick better than Pelé. Eat some and become a Buffalo Soldier like The Big Ragu.
— RASPBERRY PIE: With 2 bakers on staff you know their desserts are stellar. This pie tops the list!
— CARROT CAKE: Some say it is the best in the world….. we think they may have a point !
— BREAKFAST: We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that the entire breakfast menu is a must eat at Christopher’s. Butter Pecan Pancakes will start you in the right direction. … and they serve breakfast every day until 1pm
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