TomSlik = Tom Cantwell
Although I’m not exactly sure who first nick-named me TomSlik, I know it happened quite a long time ago when I was still a teenager. Back in the 80’s when you’d often find me hammering down the throttle of whatever I could get behind the wheel of, and the cartoon “Tom Slick” was still pretty popular, I guess it just fit me. This was also back when it was cool to get your favorite names airbrush-painted in the back windows of your hot-rod, mini-truck/slammed/lifted-truck or in my case a 1971 Datsun 510 “race” prepped.
Also back in the 80’s is when I got the bug to dive into photography, with my first 35mm camera (Fuji something, hmmm…). Luckily, my buddy Scott, already working to be a professional photog himself, would help get me great deals on film and developing, which soon lead to my friends noting that I’d take a picture of anything including a blade of grass if it moved. I still have a vast collection of photos from back then till today, incriminating evidence I suppose, but wonderful memories of the shenanigans and events we’d get involved in.
I’ve been lucky enough to travel to some great places around the globe to immerse myself in foreign lands to soak up wildly different cultures, meet fascinating people, experience unique environments, all while snapping shots to share and remember. Adventure is in my blood, and I’m somewhat of an adrenaline or throttle-junkie, so it’s perfectly normal to find me tearing it up in the various deserts in and around California and the West, zooming through the sand-dunes of Glamis or Gordon’s Well, rock-crawling the mountains of the High Sierra’s, trekking through the red-rock of Moab Utah, exploring up and down the Colorado River canyons, or speeding down to Baja Mexico pre-running and chasing a race team from coast to coast.
Over the years I’ve experienced the start and end of a marriage, the birth of a mini-me daughter that has developed into an amazing young woman (with a healthy dose of my traits and incredible peculiarities), and the loss of a truly wonderful mom and dad.
I am so thankful to still be connected to a thriving number of age old friends, best buddies, a wide gamut of newly formed friendships, neighbors, and even Poway High School Alumni. Meanwhile I’ve found a partner-in-crime to be by my side as the most lovingly cute girlfriend and fellow adventurer, that I’m hanging onto for dear life, as her firecracker personality takes me on the ride of my life! She has girls I love as my own and have a blast acting like the “parent” (sometimes), and a whole heard of animals to keep the farm populated.
I couldn’t get many of the amazing photos you see here without the help of two special individuals; Lynn Olsen and Scott Zeitler. Lynn is my “partner-in-crime” mentioned above, and can usually be found by my side on the many adventures we take to far away places, catching photos from her perspective. Scott is a loooong time friend that I’ve had the privilege of knowing for 30+ years, a true pro photographer that started crafting his skills in the 80’s, and now hangs out with me periodically to assist with his eye on images.
I’m a firm believer that as often as possible in your life, you should get your ass off the sofa and go explore the world around you, and make memories that are worthy of snapping photos. I guarantee your life will be so much more rewarding and fulfilling when you reach for the stars, the mountains, the next valley, a big rock, a far away town, a long-lost friend, a winding road, or that foreign destination you’ve only dreamed of. And, those precious moments are better remembered when you’ve got photos or video to reminisce or fill the gap before your next adventure…