Tom Kuhn Thomas Kuhn

Profile Updated: June 7, 2010
Tom Kuhn
Residing In: San Francisco, CA USA
Spouse/Partner: Kim
Occupation: Dentist & Yo-Yo Maker
Yes! Attending Reunion

I attended Wayne State and then UofD for Dental School. Graduating with Alpha Omega award in 1967, I entered the US Public Health Service & was stationed at the USPHS Hospital in San Francisco. in 1969, I started a general dental practice in San Francisco. Forty three years later, dentistry still fits me. In 1976, I made a few wooden yo-yos as holiday gifts. This led to a second continuing passion and a business - Tom Kuhn Yo-Yos Ltd. I patented the first take apart yo-yo called the No Jive 3-in-1 Yo-yo in 1980 and created the first playable ball bearing yo-yo called the SB-2 in 1990. This long spinning technology allowed for intricate new yo-yo tricks, and attracted a new generation of creative players to the sport. These kids can yo-yo circles around me! Along the way we built a GIANT No Jive Yo-Yo replica weighing 256 lbs that we yo-yoed with a crane from the back of Pier 39 over San Francisco Bay (and other places). See Guinness Book -1981 edition. In 1985, I was dubbed "Dr YO" by the Smothers Brothers and appeared twice on their Comedy Hour show. Astronaut friends have taken six different TK models into space. There is a jeweled "No Jive" Mandala yo-yo in the Smithsonion Collection. When not looking in people's mouths, or yo-yoing, I have hiked, rock climbed, and mountaineered. Motorcycling and skate boarding to the office is more occasional now. Tamer pastimes include Photography, Tai Chi (since 1975), and avid golf (flog) since my dental school days. Since 1969 I've been active in a Coalition of Groups that has fostered close contacts with local, state, and federal agencies and the National Park Service, to preserve and maintain coastal land in San Francisco. My wife Kim and I are fortunate to live across from a national park that we use on a daily basis. We have one very sweet himalayan cat. I am turning 67 this weekend. I feel very blessed and grateful.

School Story:

I loved Bill Gardners biology classes. He was tough but very passionate about the subject. I felt a real rapport with him.
Five years later on my first orientation day as a freshman at U of D Dental school, I take a seat next to a somewhat familiar looking man - - After a minute or two I say:
"Don't I know you from somewhere? "
He put on his coke bottle thick glasses, looked at me, smiled and said - "Yes you do."
"Whoa! Mr GARDNER! What are you doing here? "

"Same thing you are Tom. Call me BILL".

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Apr 03, 2020 at 4:35 AM
Apr 03, 2019 at 4:33 AM
Tom Kuhn Thomas Kuhn has left an In Memory comment for Profile.
Jan 01, 2019 at 4:33 PM

Tall Phil was a great guy - very giving and thoughtful. I think he got his height from his attractive mom.   Always made me laugh with the faces he could make. i also rode around in his yellow Nash Metropolitan.  RIP PO

Apr 03, 2018 at 4:33 AM
Mar 27, 2018 at 4:15 PM

happy birthday old pal.

Tom Kuhn Thomas Kuhn has a birthday today. New comment added.
Apr 03, 2017 at 2:29 PM

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Oct 09, 2015 at 12:38 PM

More sad news from Harvey Robb's family - : way too much pain for one family.
Tom, I just got an email from my cousin Ruthie about Harvey Robb’s sister’s (Linda Sacks) daughter. Sometime last week Leah, her 2nd daughter, was on a vacation with her family in Yosemite. While she was there she just dropped dead! I don't know if the reason has even been detected yet. 37 years old- left a husband and 4 children-ages 11 years to 8 months. One of the reasons Linda (Robb) Sacks moved to LA was to be near this daughter and her family. I don’t know if you knew this family, but what terribly sad news for all of them!

It makes appreciating today something we need to be constantly mindful of!
xo Judy (Simon)

Oct 09, 2015 at 11:24 AM

cute as ever

Sep 30, 2015 at 5:02 PM

Today's (9-30-15) San Francisco Chronicle had a great tribute to Harvey Robb. He was an amazing man. Keep reading beyond Popemania.

That pope craziness infects us all
By Jon CarrollSeptember 28, 2015 Updated: September 29, 2015 1:46pm


Popemania managed to take up all the media oxygen in the last week or so. Putin and Xi and Modi all came to this country, giving us the Big Three of problematic but extremely powerful people on these shores simultaneously. None of them showed interest in the pope’s visit, the pope’s views or even the pope’s interest in human rights.

Also, the pope was apparently the only one interested in making news. While Russian President Vladimir Putin was chortling his way through a “60 Minutes” interview, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was preaching to the converted in San Jose, and Chinese President Xi Jinping was playing air hockey or whatever he does between issuing bland statements and jailing dissidents, Francis was all about lepers and beggars.

I like the pope; most people like the pope. That’s partly because he’s so much better than the pinch-faced moralists who went before him. We don’t need much, we atheists; throw us a few humanist bones, and we’ll lie peacefully growling in the corner. But it’s partly something, well, better.

We pause for the usual disclaimers about the Roman Catholic Church and its appalling attitude toward women, gays and survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of pedophile priests. The current pope made gestures of reconciliation to each of these groups, but there’s still a very long way to go, and the church’s patriarchal dogma (with which Francis still agrees) remains steadfast against both reason and compassion.

But still; out of the mud the lotus grows. The pope is talking about love. He is unapologetic about that. He preaches tolerance and respect, and, over and over, he champions the rights of the poor over the excesses of the oligarchs. He reminds us of the duty we hold to each other as human beings. He reminds us to cherish each other.

There’s not a lot of that in public life, have you noticed? The religious dialogue, Christian and Muslim, seems to have been taken over by death-loving ideologues, preaching an unappetizing blend of ignorance and fear. The idea of religious freedom — which the pope singled out for special approval — is under furious attack.

The pope is trying to rescue religion from religion. It may not be quite working in his own heart, but still.

Here’s what seems to me to be true: The point of religion is not to find out how God works and what God wants; it’s to find out how we can be of service to each other. We have to find the deep reservoirs of kindness inside our hearts. That is true no matter who believes what. It’s sort of an obvious message; experience suggests that we need obvious messages.

All that got me thinking about Harvey Robb. He would be amused by that, I imagine; although we never talked specifically about the pope, he had a great distrust of organized religion. He was a red diaper baby from Detroit with roots in the labor movement; his belief system was firmly secular and more than a little Marxist.

He sounds like a hard man, but he wasn’t. He was the most generous and respectful person you can imagine. He accorded each human being dignity. He did not preach about being a good person; he was a good person. We hear so much about “role models,” people to give concerts for orphans or whatever; Harvey was a role model.

He gave concerts for a million worthy causes in his lifetime; in a sense, his whole life was a concert for a worthy cause.

In later years, Harvey would write me letters, always well and politely expressed, disagreeing (more in sorrow, always) with some bit of wrongheadedness on some political matter. His views were always impassioned; his tone was always moderate.

He was by trade a jazz saxophonist. For 20 years, he played with the Pickle Family Circus band, which is where I got to meet him. He was very calm and modest; you would never have known that he hadn’t missed a Pickle show ever unless somebody told you.

The Pickles were both anarchic and highly organized; both a dictatorship and a collective. The company began in the mid-1970s, a particularly, uh, excessive time in the San Francisco arts community. You may have heard about those long, strange trips — the Pickles were one of those.

And the whole time, it seems to me, Harvey was the adult in the room. When my younger daughter started traveling with the circus, she was assigned to Harvey’s truck. A lot of young performers were; it was considered that he would provide a certain sanity to their experience. Which is what happened.

Harvey died this month; I imagine you figured that out by now. The Pickle world has had a few hard hits lately; Joan Mankin, the estimable Queenie Moon, died within 10 days of Harvey. She was a fabulously flamboyant performer and a fabulously flamboyant person. I’ll miss her, as I will miss Harvey. This people-dying thing is really getting out of hand.

“A cheap sort of present!” thought Alice. “I’m glad people don’t give birthday presents

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Jul 03, 2015 at 12:20 PM
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Apr 03, 2015 at 4:33 AM
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Kitty-Witty 19
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tommy & tommy - Fall River GC Mascot
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43rd year
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t tees 5 6/6/10
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t tees 13 6/5/10 near Burney Falls State Park
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how do i finish this
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outside old yo workshop