At age 12, Tom began working in his parents’ gas station. He was raised in a family with a strong work ethic.
Besides working at the gas station, he had two paper routes and played sports.
Being raised behind a gas station, it is not surprising that he became a pretty decent mechanic and developed a life-long love of cars and engines.
Motor sports is another passion in which he excelled. This photo was taken in 1965 at Yakima Speedway, within 30 minutes of a complete rollover. Undaunted, he became Speedway Mid-Season Champion that year.
En route, he found racing was more lucrative than working at his parents; gas station and racing helped pay his way through college. He even sold his car for enough money to pay for a semester at Washington State University.
He began dating his wife, also from Wapato, after he asked her to be a trophy queen at the track – an invitation she declined. They have been married 40 years.
Tom went off to college in Pullman. Again, he watched, asked questions and applied himself.
In 1966, he made his first trip to Olympia, one of two WSU students selected to work as interns for a summer in the governors office.
Here he is seen with his things packed in his dad’s 1954 Dodge pickup – ready for his first position in Olympia.
In the fall of 1966, Tom entered law school at the University of Washington.
He and Judy lived in a housing project known as Holly Park. For awhile, this motorcycle was the young couple’s only form of transportation.
Because women weren’t permitted to wear pants on campus, Judy had to ride sidesaddle on the Yamaha 250.
Although the couple was often drenched by the Seattle rain, Tom’s budding law career would blossom upon graduation.
His roots in the gas station can still be seen in how he chooses to spend his time away from the law.
In 1984, he decided to enter the Supercross at the Kingdome, only to be informed that he had to qualify.
So he entered a motocross race at this track in Eastern Washington.
Thankfully, he didn’t qualify.
Every Father’s Day, Tom and his children do something exhilarating together.
They hang glide, paraglide, and sky dive.
Here, he celebrates with one of his daughters after a successful parachute jump.
Tom Chambers’ commitment to excellence in the legal profession is just one side of him. He’s brought the same energy and enthusiasm to a host of endeavors which also define him. He’s been an accomplished pilot for 35 years.
Here, he is with his daughter and grandson and this photograph brings a relationship full circle. You see, his daughter first flew with her dad when she was in diapers, and she herself soloed an airplane on her 16th birthday.
He will still race anything with wheels or a propeller.
He named this boat “Rocking Chair.”
When he tells people he spent the weekend sitting in his Rocking Chair, most people don’t have a clue what he’s talking about.
Always looking for ways to direct his energy toward new challenges.
In 1997 Tom took up scuba diving – and actually convinced the rest of the family to join in.
He now is a certified dive master and he and Judy have scuba dived all over the world in places like the Red Sea, the Galapagos Island, and the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. Here, Tom is petting a harmless nurse shark.
Tom was raised behind this simple 12 ft X 18 ft cabin behind his parents gas station until he was 10.
He began working part time in the gas station when he was 12.
He has never forgotten where he came from.
Nor has he forgotten his roots in the housing projects.
He has been a consistent supporter, giving both his time and money to those less fortunate.
In 1999, he and Judy were the recipients of the prestigious Neighborhood House “Good Neighbor Award” for “over 20 years of service” to the residents of the Seattle Housing Authority.
Tom has not lost his passion for justice, nor his commitment to a level playing field.
He believes that everyone should be treated fairly, regardless of whether that person is rich or poor, or the circumstances of that person’s birth.