My RI Life: Bouncer Turned Ordained Minister, TV Host & Oil Guy Todd Hart
I was born in Providence and raised in Warwick, before moving back to Providence in my teens. After leaving Warwick, years later, I learned that I had been next door neighbors with one of RI’s most infamous individuals and that my childhood home would forever be changed. (I’ll save that story for my next post. LOL)
From the smallest state in the union, I’ve met some big people and experienced some amazing things. From meeting Bill Clinton and later Al Gore to riding in VP Dick Cheney’s motorcade from Quonset Airbase to Newport for a fundraiser. The day was long, but the behind the scenes peek into the Secret Service security routines was amazing. It was an experience that I will forever remember. At the end of the day, I got to do a photo shoot with the VP. The surprising thing is that they NEVER searched me for weapons. Apparently, my FBI and Secret Service background checks came back squeaky clean.
One of my favorite stories stems from my stint as a bouncer at the old Living Room. The one behind the bubble. (True fans will know what that means.) I had a knife pulled on me in the parking lot once and another time, I was confronted by a group of men looking for trouble at the end of the night. All of the other bouncers were cleaning up the parking lot and there I was all alone. They looked at me and asked, in a sneering sort of way, if I was the bouncer. I laughed, tapped my jacket, and said “Oh no, I’m the peace keeper!" Then I laughed some more. They looked at one another and didn’t wait to see if that meant I was carrying (a gun) or not. They turned and quietly left. Later, the club owner came up and told me how brilliant I was. I told him that I just didn’t want to get my ass kicked, so I'd tried to outsmart them. And that guy with the knife? I chased him down the street with an empty trash can over my head. (I was young.) Ok, back to my favorite story...The Ramones were playing and I was one of the people responsible for keeping them safe. They were so skinny and out of it. I was practically holding Joey up when he turned and opened his mouth. A lemon came flying out and rolled down my leg. I said loudly, “I’ll never wash these jeans again!” Joey was NOT amused...I wore glasses at the time too and one of the other bouncers told me to wear them at all times. He said, "People will think you're so bad ass that you can wear glasses and not worry about getting hit in the face and having your glasses broken." I think he was a psych major. I never did get hit. (I wonder what he's doing today?)
From the little state of Rhody, I became a Global Accounts Manager for a British software company. I have been with them for almost 20 years. Along the way, I’ve become an ordained minister, so that I could marry my brother-in-law and his fiancee. Then other friends asked me to perform their weddings. I’ve now married three couples and have my fourth coming up next year. They are all part of a group that hangs out together on the Cape. (On the beach, I’m known as 'Father Todd'.) It's an incredible feeling to pronounce someone husband and wife. I will forever be linked to them in a small way. It’s very cool.
I also have a TV show I host called The Holistic Way. I interview people from the holistic community. You can find it on YouTube. Recently, I've discovered essential oils. After suffering with a serious health issue for about 8 years, I FINALLY found relief. It's a network marketing company, so I decided to give it a go part-time. I now have almost 1,000 people from 4 countries on my team and earn more part-time than the average American family earns per year. (In the oil world, I’m known as ‘The Oil Guy’.) Everyone should learn about essential oils. They are a game changer! This new venture has now taken over my life and I love it.
My wife and I recently built a new home in Seekonk, MA. We are right over the border. It was really hard for me to leave RI because I was born and raised here. The taxes, however, were killing us! We get so much more, moving just a few miles away. I still ride my Harley Road King in RI. My favorite ride is to Newport, along Ocean Drive. I still shop at the little Whole Foods on the East Side. I workout at BSC. We eat mostly at Garden Grille, Olga’s, Julian’s, The Grange, and Nick's on Broadway. Another favorite is Wildflour. Oh, and the occasional visits to Tortilla Flats, Rasoi, Seven Stars, and North Bakery when in the mood. Also, I’ve recently discovered Dave’s Coffee. The Cubano is my favorite. It’s sugar, sugar, and more sugar with some espresso. I’m sure I’m leaving a million stories and places out. There are just so many places to go and stories to tell. It's RI after all!
I’ll always proudly call myself a Rhode Islander. It’s the best state in the country and no one can compare to our shorelines. If you see me out and about, stop and say hello. I love meeting new people and learning new things.
More From Todd
To see Todd's tv show The Holistic Way, click here.
Photo Credits: Picture of Todd at Julian's courtesy of him. Living Room photo found online at thirdav.com. Pictures of Olga's and Nick's are courtesy of Ashley Farney. All other photos provided by the PattyJDotCom Instagram account.