Tom Naughton knew far too many things his "friends" could use as comedy fodder against him. They didn't fail.
Banker, a staid Irish Catholic from Iowa, an OCD perfectionist with nary a hair out of place, told the folks roasting him Feb. 24: "You had a lot to work with."
Indeed they did. At the annual Cheyenne Village "Turn Up the Heat as We Roast" fundraiser, they ruffled his hair, loosened his always-perfect tie and tossed his immaculate suit coat on the floor. Then he had to wear the fried-food T-shirt: "I went to the Iowa State Fair and all I got was Type 2 Diabetes."
Naughton, regional president of U.S. Bank, took it all in stride. After all, he knows things about the others, especially lead roaster Dan Mueller, whose claim to fame is being in the Candy Hall of Fame. Candy as in Smarties and licorice and a 40-plus-year career as grocery candy broker. They've been buddies since the '60s, "Tom Naughty" and "Opie" from Des Moines.
Mueller said Naughton had such intense OCD as a kid, when he had 64 crayons and only one needed sharpening, "Tom had to sharpen all 64 of them."
"You bet," said Naughton.
Friend Ray Deeny said Naughton is like Imelda Marcos. "When he travels, he brings 12 pairs of shoes."
Added Naughton, "And they're all lined up."
Barbara Winter of Ent Credit Union said she was chosen as a roaster because of "that bank-credit union thing." She zapped Naughton, pointing out the candy silver dollars wrapped in gold on the tables and "In Tom We Trust" bills hanging around the stage. "Those bankers, they have all the money they need from all those fees they charge!"
Naughton could only shake his head and note those "member rewards" credit unions give out.
Accountant Marvin Strait teased Naughton: "He was an exciting speaker when he was young, but he got over it!"
The Naughton-roast jokes had started off stage even before the event began. Gate malfunctions stalled guests from entering the Antlers parking garage, and Naughton was to blame, people joked. Then, when long lines of cars couldn't get out of the garage, they were certain he was the culprit again.
Naughton landed some zingers about his roasters but had special words about his wife of 40 years, Ann, "a wonderful mother for our four children." Their third grandchild, Nina, was born just days before the roast.
Naughton said Cheyenne Village, which supports adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, was the first nonprofit he worked with in Colorado Springs. He had a fond childhood memory of "Sister Barbara" taking students through an institution for "mentally retarded" people in Des Moines. They watched as she took them into her arms and said, "These are all children of God."
"Look how far society has come," said Naughton.
The Cheyenne Village resident featured was Kirk Palmes, whose family was there to share his evening.
The annual roasts, all with prominent roastees, have evolved into a bit of a competition. The Naughton Roast raised nearly $200,000 and drew 400 guests. GE Johnson's Jim Johnson had an almost identical tally two years ago. But the fellow with the gotcha chuckle was Mayor John Suthers, whose championship total was $250,000 with 550 attending.
Next up to challenge the fellows: 2019's Pam Shockley-Zalabak, retired chancellor of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.