Remembering Tom Wegman

Lynne Nugent

We were saddened to hear of the death of TIR cover artist Tom Wegman earlier this month at age 81. A prominent member of the local community, his passing occasioned a remembrance in the Iowa City Press-Citizen. I did not know until then that he had owned a store legendary in town called Things, Things, & Things. Nor did I know that he had become a paraplegic after a 1986 mororcycle accident. I did know that his three covers for TIR in 2003, featuring intricately beaded and insanely colorful roller skates, cowboy boots, and a bug sprayer, have become our most remarked-upon covers to date. We still give out postcards featuring these covers to patrons at book fairs, and they never fail to draw a laugh and an "I love this" from passersby. Evidently, others thought so too, as Wegman and his wife and collaborator, Kathy, exhibited at the Smithsonian. On their web site, where more of their work can be seen, they explain their philosophy of making the discarded—like the roller skates, which originated from the Salvation Army—shiny and new again.