Editors Note: Tom Columbus is editor emeritus of University of Dayton Magazine. Prior to working at the magazine, Tom worked in the English department at the University.
Suzanne and I walked through the door at Arrow Wine for its Saturday morning wine tasting. We were the old married couple among much younger folk in Tom Davis’ Wines of the World course at UD. That Saturday was a busy day — grandkids at our house during the day, Flyer basketball at night. So, when we saw the group at Arrow was a bunch of men who all seemed to know each other, we hesitated to join them, having what looked like more enjoyable, more comfortable, things to do.
As we were about to leave, two young women came in. We discerned they were students by their age and by their carrying our course textbook, Wine for Dummies. So we stayed and drank some wine and met people and talked.
Tom sent the tenor of the class early in the semester with a story about his military days, of being far away from home one night with comrades and strangers and of their talking about their lives, about the world, about everything.
We expected him to then tell us what wine they had that night. But they had no wine, just cheap beer. The important part was the talk, the togetherness, people sharing themselves with others.
Tom knew an infinite amount about wine. He generously shared the contents of his cellar and his mind. But his life — he died June 11 — was about far more. It may be trite to say it was about community, but it was. We learned about wine and about the countries that it came from and the earth and air and water that nurtured it. We learned about people. We learned about each other.