Longtime Corona del Mar resident, Tommy “Road Runner” Martin, celebrated his 50th anniversary at the famed Five Crowns restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach’s Corona del Mar this past month.
Tommy met Chuck Jones in 1980 and he describes his relationship with Jones in an article in a recent Los Angeles Times article.
“In 1980, he met his best friend, Chuck Jones, the famed animator who drew the Road Runner character and so many others for Warner Bros.
“Before Martin became a regular runner, he was an avid tennis player who darted around the court. His friends nicknamed him “Road Runner” for his speed.
“One night, Jones, who lived in Cameo Shores with his wife and daughter, was dining at Five Crowns. Jones asked for something to draw on and sketched the Road Runner with a tennis racket and signed it.
“Throughout their decades of friendship, Martin considered Jones a father figure. Martin even joined the Jones family when the animator received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“Each Father’s Day, Martin and Jones’ daughter celebrate the life of the cartoonist, who died in 2002. Martin continues to wear a “Looney Tunes” tie and pin.
“What he gave from his heart was so much more important,” Martin says. “Meeting Chuck Jones and gaining employment at Five Crowns are the biggest moments of of my life.”