For many years every December, people would drive through the “Tom and Jerry” House on 21st Street in San Francisco, to see the tall Norfolk Island pine tree decorated with Christmas lights and ornaments. Other large Christmas decorations were in display every year around the tall tree and the house. Families and their children would be in awe while viewing the magic outside that home on a hill. It was one of the Holiday pieces to drive to and see for many people in the Bay Area. A must see that left you smiling.
Behind the Holiday cheer was Tom Taylor, who lived in that beautiful home along with husband Dr. Jerome (“Jerry”) Goldstein. Both have been active participants of the San Francisco’s LGBT+ communities. Their generosity has contributed to the strengthening of many pro-gay and human rights causes and the improvement of community organizations.
Among other acts of service, Tom dedicated many hours to maintaining the famous rainbow flag in the Castro District and ensuring other rainbow flags in the area were in good standing.
Tom passed away almost two months ago in October 2020, after years of dealing with cancer. Some feared the Christmas cheer would go away with him, but the Christmas lights and the tree around his home are still on and continue to be a source of joy and a testament to Tom and Jerry’s contributions to family, friends, neighbors, and to San Francisco.
On the evening of December 4, 2020, I walked up the hills to see the Tom and Jerry House and the Christmas Tree outside and it made me remember how magical Christmas can be. Knowing who made this display possible for many years made me feel grateful and aspire to one day be like them. Thank you Tom and Jerry for the inspiration. May Tom be able to see his Christmas tree from the sky.
-Lupita Franco Peimbert.