Tom was brought up in Solana Beach, California, and in 1962 took to the sport of surfing, cutting his teeth at Seaside beach, the surf break of internationally known surfers such as Rob Machado. When he wasn’t on the water he was shaping and glassing surfboards in his Mother’s former potting shed, a skill inherited from his grandfather “Fritz” Ayars who was the “doper” on the Ryan aeronautics team that built the Spirit of St. Louis.
Not unlike other young surfers of that era, Tom joined the Jesus movement which later influenced his decision to become a Religious Studies major at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and then a seminary student at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena.
After seminary Tom changed career course and started his own historic restoration contracting business in 1985, while living in Ithaca New York- a town chock full of 19th and early twentieth homes, including his own vintage home built in 1878. There he apprenticed with a third-generation painting and wallpaper contractor. He moved his business to New Haven and Fairfield County, Connecticut in 1998, restoring many of the Elm City’s vintage homes.
Today Tom is extending his business model to Nantucket, where he and his wife Kathy have been vacationing since the late 1990’s. In 2010 they purchased a small cottage in town that they have been renovating. Over the years they have invested themselves in the community, visiting year-round ,and supporting the not-for-profit and for-profit businesses.
Tom loves watersports of all kinds, surfing, sailing, windsurfing, and Stand Up Paddling. Now that he is on island more, Tom hopes to take up fishing and scalloping. His hobbies include cooking, making shell jewelry, photography, pottery and painting. His love of reading science fiction and fantasy are translated to the work place through books on tape that entertain his imagination while on the job.
His goals as a contributor to Nantucket Chronicle are to cover issues of preserving historic homes and educate the public about “green” approaches to renovations.
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