By David O. Heishman –
Every weekday evening, after financial markets have closed, I sit down at my computer and collect daily trading data on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). I gather the Dow final average, volume of shares traded, composite volume of the New York Stock Exchange, and other numbers I deem important to my research. With numbers all packed into computer spreadsheets, I turn to financial news of the day.
Normally, first thought that crosses my mind as I begin reading is of Bill Tom Slonaker. Bill Tom was a Wardensville “character” of days gone by. A deaf shoe repairman, he had his shop in an old building, which stood just North of St. Peter’s Lutheran church. I remember being inside his shop a time or two and in good weather he often sat outside enjoying the sun.
Pap liked Bill Tom. They talked a bit whenever they met. Pap had learned some sign language from both his sisters, Esther and Hilda Frye, who as young ladies had taught at Romney School for the Deaf and Blind. Bill Tom always had a grin for Pap.
Between financial market’s evening close and next morning’s opening, analysts run rampant. Their frantic searches for reasons why DJIA rose or fell remind me of Bill Tom and a story Pap often told about him.
Bill Tom loved to ice skate. He was truly an accomplished skater. Better than anybody else around Wardensville, Pap said he would have compared very well with some of the best skaters he’d seen in Canada while attending veterinary medical school there.