I call Thom my brother; we call each other that, actually, since we're much more than just friends. I met him the first day of what would become my first job, way back in 1993. We worked in the same office for six years, and it was Thom who encouraged me to join him in the gym. We went at lunchtime when we worked together, then met once a week after work once I had moved on. Besides the gym, we share a love of good food and baseball, and his solid Midwest values are a rarity these days.
Today is Thom's birthday, and I have no reservations about saying it's his 58th; he posted it on Facebook himself. I took this picture last year when I met him in his hometown of St. Louis for a weekend of Cardinals baseball and barbecue. You'd be hard-pressed to find a friend better than Thom, and I do miss seeing him on a regular basis.
So happy birthday, my brother, and may your beloved Cardinals always win.