The first time we crossed paths was when he came to my apartment in Inman Square, Cambridge, to teach us the Japanese Snake Dance – must’ve been 1967 or 68. At that time I was working for the New England Resistance – a movement against the war in Viet Nam. Tom had learned this formation from leftists in Japan, who fashioned much more structured demonstrations than we ever did. It was a non-violent technique for breaking through police lines by linking arms in a certain secure way and moving forward rhythmically.
We were operating church sanctuaries for men refusing the draft because of their opposition to the disastrous war in Viet Nam. We were mobilizing people on the street. We were in constant friction with the police and needed ways to cope.
I had a kind of driveway path to my scuzzy ground-floor apartment and Tom came there to teach us the Snake Dance, which we actually used (to little effect) in subsequent confrontations with the police.
Some months later I was in California for a movement meeting. This all happened between his early 60s marriage to Sandra Cason and his 1973 marriage to Jane Fonda. Tom offered me a bedroom for a couple of days in his Berkeley commune.
There was a huge St. Bernard in that commune – I think it may have been Tom’s. I was awakened by something beating against my face. It was this dog’s dick – and it was huge. Think baseball bat. The dog was all over me, thrusting his massive cock at me – the strangest sexual assault I ever experienced. I was scared, screamed, and Tom came and took the dog out of my room.
I don’t recall much about Tom personally. But not a dog goes by that I don’t remember his beastly animal.