1,000 Words: 49er Faithful
Pictured here are John Almeida, my step-father, Tom Wilks and Leroy. They were at a San Francisco 49er game at Candlestick Park and I'm going to bet the 'Niners were playing the Dallas Cowboys that day. Tom was a season ticket holder and he knew that John and Leroy were Dallas fans. On more than one occasion he hosted the boys for games. (This was a sacrifice on my mom's part because it meant she had to give up her seat for the game... and she didn't like to miss the games.) Leroy and John liked going to the games with Tom. Not only was he a great guy, he knew The Stick and San Francisco like the back of his hand. He had mastered the public transit schedules and got them all in and out of games in record time. He knew exactly when to leave early to beat the rush and where to meet in case they were separated.
There was one game that Tom enjoyed more than the others. It was the NFC Championship game in January of 1995. San Francisco beat Dallas that day and Tom made the boys wait with him in the stands to watch the trophy presentation. There was no leaving early that day and I can still hear Tom's wonderful laughter in my memory.