Courtesy of The Ellsworth American
ELLSWORTH — Create some unique and cool metal art, post it on Instagram, and you never know who will come calling. Ellsworth High School graduate Tom Patsis first took a call from Netflix, who saw his work on social media. Then he took home the top $50,000 prize in “Metal Shop Masters,” which Netflix aired in September of 2021.
Patsis had already carved out an artist’s life after over a decade at professional drag racing’s Don Schumacher Racing in Indianapolis. He’d learned his welding and automotive skills at Hancock County Technical Center and K&B Automotive, and then at the University of Northwestern Ohio Motorsports College.
Bob Alexander owned K&B Automotive then, and now his son Brett does. Both remember Patsis well, first as an intern and then as a part-time employee during his last two years of high school.
“Even at that age, Tom definitely made an impression,” Brett said. “He drove this old piece of crap truck, spray-painted in all NAPA colors. At that time, he had a focus on professional motor sports. It was kind of hard to picture this scrawny, wild-eyed kid — it just makes you appreciate a lot more where he ended up. It’s very impressive.” Read more