Thomas Sykstus

What’s your favorite activity/hobby outside of work?

I’m torn between drawing and reading. I’ve been drawing since I was first able to hold a pencil. In middle school, I was mainly drawing goofy cartoons to make my friends laugh, but now I mainly draw charcoal portraits (when I can find the time.) A couple of my portraits were displayed in an online art gallery a few years ago. Reading is my new passion though. It’s funny, because I’d pull my hair out doing the required reading for school growing up, but I can’t get enough of it now. I love non-fiction—David Grann, Erik Larson, Ron Chernow, Patrick Radden Keefe, and Omprakash Valmiki are some of my favorites.

Favorite song or musical artist and why?

This is an easy one. My favorite artist is Bruce Springsteen. Growing up, my brothers and I went with our dad to more Springsteen concerts than I can count. Springsteen was on all the time. Even now, any time I hear The Promised Land by him, I am teleported back to my childhood–riding in my dad’s Ford Explorer on the way to baseball practice. My favorite song, however, is probably Silver Spring by Fleetwood Mac. (The live version from their 1997Dancetour, of course.) The story goes that it was written by Stevie Nicks about her tumultuous relationship and breakup with Lindsey Buckingham, the band’s guitarist. The passion in the live performance is unmatched. I encourage everyone to look it upon YouTube if you have some spare time!

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