Michael Moore: One of the MCs. Tom's right hand man

Michael has so many stories it's hard to know where to start. Like the one he tells about seeing Marilyn Monroe on the beach when he was a kid playing with his friends. He followed her, along with the paprazzi to her hotel room, she shared with her hubby, Joe DiMaggio. She smiled at him.

There are a number of stories of burning matresses being thrown out of windows at hte old Beaux Arts. One of them involves Michael Moore and another one involves Barry Sims. Regardless, there were several fires and enough mattresses to go around. Boo Erhsam caught the moment on pen and ink. I believe there were even t-shirts made of it, although that may be a stretch.

1966 Mike was a roadie. First time he played at Beaux Arts he wore a white shirt and tie, as did Jim Morrison.

Morrison story - He (Jim) played ukelele and read poetry. Read really short poems. Beaux Arts is mentioned in "Angles Dance, Angles Die" Jim at Beaux Arts is mentioned. Author insists Tom had a relationship with Jim, which Tom denies. He parents owned a laundromat. Barry Simms was the first MC. Kerouac showed up drunk and Tom always threw him out.

Tom's right hand man, Michael Moore wrote a great poem that tells a lot of the story.

To Tom Reese, Host of the Beaux Arts Gallery Coffeehouse,
on his Seventy-Fifth Birthday. "Let Pinellas Park rejoice that all these years they have had a choice."

Where Vines entwine
and vermiliads vermiliate
lie the garden paths where originators originate

This is to laud the improper proprietor
who creates the stage where creators stage
experimental experiences
Caveat emptor!

This is to celebrate Thomas Bruce Reese
Who taught us to quest for our own Golden Fleece
Who caused poets to think they'd never be prouder
than the day Tom failed to shout at them, “Read louder!”

With pride I swelled until I bi-trunkated
When he was satisfied that I’d enunciated
He who saved the arts from all adversity
'from youth through his Diamond Anniversary

Tom’s been a poet and dancer who
critiqued arts in the paper and had an art school too
For a time the uniform he wore
was the blue of a Navy Commodore

As such, we hear he explored around
historic streets of London Town
He then returned to host a coffeehouse
igniting the flame no flame can douse

The hip and the famous visited Beaux ARts
Beatniks and folkies and the free at heart
Jack Kerouac came; Jim Morrison read -
The leading place for those who refused to be led

It was the artists who made it real
including Rick von Schmidt and Florida’s Fred Neil
But most important, the amateurs came
to sing songs never heard adn tpoems the same

I remember my first appearance locally
was at Beaux ARts with D.D. Yokeley
I played the banjo adn experienced stage fright =
a nibble of performing, but a taste I like

I remember you mother, Tom,
taking tickets at the door
George Johnson got me in for free
because his guitar I, like a roady, bore

I remember barry Sims sing ”Ira Hays“
and ”Coal Mine Disaster” i nthose folk music days
I heard Danny Finley’s guitar beguile ’em
When the Beaux rocked with Bethlehem Asylum

And how the sound of 12-string ringing
blended withe the Wasel’s singing
How literati found it groovy
watching quote nasty unquote foreign movies

How Tom regaled us, for our innocence’s sake
with tales of fold-foil fig leaves bursting with beefcake
And how he once surprised some young college chaps
by flinging himself across five of their laps

Young people would rent from him
rooms with no bedchecks
Giving Tom a bad reputation
with some local rednecks

We recall how Captain Ego
drove his cycle through the garden -
with a naked girl on the handlebars
and asking no one's pardon

Through all the years it amazes me
when I stop to think
About how many of your renters, lied to you
and said they did not drink

They'd move in and on a binge they'd go
Soon they couldn't pay the rent though
But you'd let them work to meet he cost
They'd work half the time, take your tools and run off

I've heard that story so many times
that I can tell it here, while making it rhyme
Years, later, I ran into Tom again
at an Allen Ginzberg reading, and he like my plan

So we started the Beaux Arts Open Mike
We once had twenty-four performers in one night
Storyteller, magicians, musicians and dancers
poets and potters and filmmakers answered

the call to share and entertain
We boogied in the screen-house through wind and rain
A tree grew through the midst of our performance hall
We met so many people, I can't remember them all

We made little cash. Tom and I often clashed
As I told Boo at the Halloween Bash
She'd find us some day, lying in the same place
Purple, with our fingers pointed in each other's face

The amps would squeal, the crowd would writhe
But nothing could beat real music live
Festivals held with paintings displayed
People came costumed in in-conceivable ways

So let Pinellas Park rejoice
that all these years they've had a choice,
rare anywhere, and in a small town indeed,
to have such a grower, who pants such seeds

Providing a forum for all who would speak
from underground to traditional, this man unique
Of the many people he's recognized,
for some, he gave them their only prize

Now the recognition should be his
as each day he continues to give
By example do the wise teach -
And my example is Thomas Bruce Reese

Mike Moore
July 19. 1992