The Colorful Commish has a rather conservative background, growing up in a small coastal community called Ponte Vedra Beach, between Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Florida. He attended Catholic school through 10'th grade ,and then went to a college prep school called Riverside Military Academy where he graduated with the rank of sergeant and as an honor student. Tom was also one of the top sharp shooters in his class. He completed his education at Florida State University and is proud to be a Seminole.
After college Tom lived in Atlanta, Georgia where he owned and operated a publishing company until he moved to Key West in 1982. His parents, Joe and Mary Ann Worth, had bought an historical building, formerly a car dealership and 46 unit hotel in ruins in 1977, and had just finished restoring it as their family home, Casa Antigua, when Tom arrived. He designed and planted the courtyard garden and ran his own plant shop and landscaping service for eight years, before taking over the family's Caribbean art gallery called Pelican Poop when his late step-father, Joe Worth, succumbed to cancer.
Tom went on to host many benefits for local arts and charities including AIDS Help, The Red Barn Theater, The Waterfront Playhouse, Keys Kids, AIDS Brigade, Help Line, the You're Safe Task Force, and many others over the years. For the past ten years Tom has hosted the literary events for the annual Hemingway Days Festival working with the late author's grand-daughter, Lorian Hemingway. Four years ago, the colorful one helped conductor Sebrina Maria Alfonso start the Key West Symphony Orchestra with a fund raiser at Casa Antigua and served the first year as a working board member and founding officer.
Commissioner Oosterhoudt is now in his second term and is proud to represent a district that includes the historic district, Truman Annex, Garrison Bight & Key West Bight, the city marinas, the cruise ship ports, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, Sunset Key, the Outer Mole, and the busiest end of Duval ,as well as some of the island's largest resort hotels and night clubs.
The Colorful Commish is proud to be one of those given credit for the current renaissance of the arts in Key West, and sees the arts and entertainment scene here as an integral part of the equation that make Key West such an exciting and wonderful place to live. He has written a weekly column ever since he was elected three years ago, and his article can be found every Thursday in the centerfold of the Paradise magazine section of the Key West Citizen.