BELLEVILLE, ILL. - Longtime Blues PA Announcer Tom Calhoun was on his way to work when he heard about the Virginia shooting. Once he got in and heard who was behind the shooting, he was in disbelief.
"My initial reaction was well it can't be the same Tom Hodgkinson I went to school with," Calhoun said.
Calhoun went to kindergarten with Hodgkinson at Henry Raab Elementary School in Belleville. He graduated with him in 1968 at Belleville West High School.
"My phone started blowing up after they identified that he was from Belleville and I realized it was the same Tom Hodgkinson that I knew as a friend from school."
Calhoun and Hodgkinson played pickup football and basketball together around their neighborhood. But, Calhoun said Hodgkinson wasn't involved in much of anything at school, other than going to class. He said he wouldn't consider him anti-social, but he did keep to himself.
"He seemed to be a guy in those days who sort of blended into the student population."
Calhoun also echoes the same sentiments of others who knew Hodgkinson. He was a guy who didn't back down from anyone. Yet, he never would've thought his childhood friend would have been capable of doing such a terrible thing.
He said he thinks he may have seen Hodgkinson at a local Walgreens in Belleville not too long ago. Calhoun
said he wishes he would've said something to him, and maybe it would have helped him.
Calhoun said he feels for Hodgkinson's wife and the rest of his family because he knows they are going through a lot.
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