Donnie Pedrola (DP): Do you remember first becoming captivated by vacuum cleaners?
Tom Gasko (TG): My very first memory of the vacuum would have been my mother’s. I would drag that thing out and so many times I had nothing left to clean.
I learned to read from my mother’s vacuum cleaner instruction book, that was the book I wanted her to read to me.
And I was never shy about it. I would actually go up to people and I would say if you ever have a problem with your vacuum cleaner, I can help you with it.
Well, a lady down the street had a clog in the hose of her Electrolux. I remember she called my mother and my mother told me to go down and see if I could help her with it.
So I put the hose on the exhaust end of this machine and out pops a huge pair of panties! I held them up and she said “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe those were in there.” And I remember saying to her: “I can’t believe those were in there either!”
The night you came over for our very first date, I think we probably talked for four or five hours about the different designs of vacuums.
I would eventually start showing you the old ones that were in the garage. That’s when you thought I was crazy.
DP: Definitely. I had never heard of anybody collecting vacuums before. And a collection, to me, is 50-60, not 600-700.
TG: Has my collecting vacuums ever been a problem in our relationship?
DP: No, they’ve never been a problem. Sometimes the garage gets a little excess and it drives me nuts…
TG: But they’re special machines, they’re —
DP: No, they’ve never been a problem.
DP: Most people aren’t that passionate about something.
My life is totally different now. I see things differently, I view people differently. You get so excited about the simplest things.
TG: And you get swept up into it.
And the day that I pass, you know after you cremate me, I want you to take my favorite vacuum — the Airway — and I want you to vacuum my ashes up into it.
I want to spend eternity in that Airway vacuum cleaner.
DP: Okay. ‘Cause you know I love you.
TG: Well, and you never met anybody in your life like me.