Anyone who reads The Way of Improvement Leads Home knows Tom Van Dyke. He is a regular contributor to the comments section of this blog. And yes, he is a real human being.
A few weeks ago, after I wrote that I was coming to LA for the biennial meeting of the Conference on Faith and History, Tom e-mailed me and asked if he could give me a ride from the airport to my hotel and possibly stop along the way for a drink. I accepted immediately. Tom has been one of the most consistent readers of my blog over the years and I wanted to meet him.
Tom has become a friend, so I do not feel comfortable blogging about everything we talked about yesterday. But since he is a public figure in the blogosphere, and he spends a lot of time writing in my comments section, I thought I should at least say something about what I took away from our time together.
First, Tom looks exactly like his avatar. He showed up with a Hawaiian shirt and big blue sun glasses.
Second, Tom is very smart and very well-read in a host of primary sources in the Western political tradition. (He is a self-professed Thomist). He admits that he is a gadfly, a provocateur, and a real pain in the butt, but I got the impression that he is legitimately interested in pursuing the truth, albeit in a very independent way that most left-leaning academics will find uncomfortable.
As I said in the first paragraph of this blog, Tom is a real human being. He made a gesture of friendship toward me and I accepted it. I am glad I did.