About Tom

Tom as a youngsterTom as an industrial arts teacher instructing a student in the use of a table saw.I was born in South Brooklyn, N.Y. and early in life developed a taste for the finer things in life. However, coming from a middle class family many of those dreams became realities for me only later in life, when years of school and teaching gave me a modicum of financial comfort.

I came into this world during the onset of the market-crash depression, as my family struggled to maintain financial equilibrium. Hard working parents inspired me to be fearless when it came to new ventures, never flinching when the going was rough. I also learned early in life not to pine for what was on the other side of the fence but to be happy and content with what one had.

Owing to my broad interest in many things, I've had several rewarding careers. One set of skills that proved particularly useful included the ability to work skillfully with my hands. I spent many summers as a youth on a farm in Upstate New York where we performed our own home-repairs and constructed various outbuildings, barns, and animal pens as we required.

Tom as a reading specialist teacher in the classroom.My woodworking skills were also enhanced through a number of years of formal education in shop classes, where I grew to appreciate attention to detail, and craftsmanship.To my great satisfaction, I ultimately was able to pass along those skills as a shop-teacher. Of course, those same skills and experiences would pay dividends many years later as I went about the restoration of two historic homes in Newburgh New York.

Higher Education and Reading Specialist

In 1961 I received a BA in Education and English from Saint Edwards University in Austin Texas, and began teaching in the Ramapo Central School System in Suffern, New York. During this time I matriculated at Manhattan College and was awarded a Masters in Reading September 1, 1975. Perhaps one of the most rewarding aspects of being a retired teacher is that so many of my former students still keep in touch with me.

Tom dressed in overalls working on the interior of the historic Stockbridge Ramsdell house in Newburgh New York.

Restoration of Historic Stockbridge Ramsdell House

Thanks to an early retirement from teaching I've had the opportunity to fulfill several life-long dreams, including the meticulous restoration of two homes listed with the National Register for Historic Places, and the operation of one of them as a Bed and Breakfast.

Although the task of restoring the historic home of 1800's shipping magnate Stockbridge Ramsdell was demanding, requiring a great deal of time and effort, it was a very rewarding experience. Likewise, running a Bed and Breakfast in this beautiful home for over eighteen years was the ultimate satisfaction.

Tom sitting at the helm of the boat

Purpose of TomPorfidio.com

I have sold my B&B, but I'm not content to rest on my laurels. Instead, I've launched TomPorfidio.com in order to pass along my expertise in both the fields of historic restoration, and how to run a successful bed and breakfast. As we go forward TomPorfidio.com will feature additional information, stories, recommendations, links, and tips that cover a wealth of information not found in my last book Breakfast With Tom, the Stories. But read the book first!