the thom thom club

Last night I got a note that someone on Orkut had added me to her friend’s list. Soon thereafter I got an email from the person in question asking me if I were the Thom Watson she’d known from Harvard, and also pointing out that we have some real-life friends in common.

It turns out that while the latter is true, and I did go to Harvard (class of 1984), I was not the specific Thom Watson (class of 1991) she knew.

As a kid I already was aware of professional golfer Tom Watson; the founder of IBM, Thomas J. Watson; and even Southern Populist leader, Tom Watson: Agrarian Rebel. I thought that my spelling of Thom with an h, however, would help my name stand out a little.

And in the small pre- and early-Internet world, it did. Between 1994 and 2000, sites owned by or related to me generally were the only ones returned for the search term “Thom Watson.” No more, though. My personal site is still the first result from Google, and other sites with which I’ve been affiliated speckle the results, but even the more unusual spelling now returns a plethora of results, many of which I’ve tied to specific individuals. At a minimum, there’s the:

We’re nothing if not a diverse bunch, we Thom Watsons.

3 thoughts on “the thom thom club

  1. Aside from me, the other major Gene Cowans on the net seem to be a bowhunter, a rafter, and a sheriff. There was once a reference to a child molester, which I’m happy to say seems to have disappeared…

  2. There is, most certainly, but one Sheldon K. Menery. I mean, how many more guys can there be with Italian last names corrupted so they can sound like they’re Irish to go with Jewish given names.

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