Papas World – Growing up in a little town – my family.

We did not know that we did not have much!

We never talked about it – we had a black and white TV.

We had numerous cars – first one I remember was when we

brought my baby brother home from the hospital in 1954?

It was a green color and I remember being in the back seat

The upholstery was a fuzzy feeling

and Mom was in the front with Mike and dad driving.


We had the old rotary phone on the wall by the steps to the celler.

Back at that time – it was a “PARTY LINE”!

And you called the operator and gave her I think three numbers.

Then it changed and we got our own number

to which I still know to this day!

And next door my sister lived and I know that number today!

I remember riding with my father and little brother

Across the state line to NY State and to Portville

some maybe 8 miles away.

To a place called “WILSON’S FRUIT STAND”!

It was a treat for us as we always got something

maybe a apple or orange

And my dad always bought a case of Carling’s Black Label

once a week!

Mom and dad drank beer –

There was a group of friends

The Framptons up the street – the West’s out on the South of town

The Howells also on the South of town.

The Petruzzi’s – ( sp ) who was my dads best friend Elmer and Angie.

The Marones – they all bowled together – played cards

and went for vacations to fish in the far North of Canada.

That was before I was old enough to go

and then my little brother came along

But I saw the pictures – my older brother – not my sister –

I do not know why she did not go?

But – my brother was friends with Ron and his father and mother

Elmer and Angie and they remained friends until he passed away

four years ago.

We have our friends today just as they did.

We never had a color TV until 1968 – after I was gone.

I actually had roller skates for a long time before

I got my first bike – a Western Flyer

Then I was off to the park and all points of the town.

My mom was small – maybe 5’2″

and my dad just shy of 6’0

Back then that was tall.

But she ruled the roost so to speak.

We did not have much – no spending money as kids.

My older brother worked and my sister baby sit.

But – I did not know what I did not know.

My memories are good ones.

I remember the very first time I heard

” I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND”

It was the H.S. cafe and a childhood friend

from when I was perhaps 10 or 11

came into the cafe singing this song as he got in line.

But that is another story for another time

We did not have much in growing up

But I retained a load of memories rich in thought!

Thank you for reading Papa’ World

WHERE FRIENDS MEET THE FAMILY!

MY SITE: livinglifedoingitmyway.blog

Papa’s World – surrounded – by water – Eldred Pa. ’72

It started with some rain –

I was working second shift –

in Olean N.Y.

Around 9:00 P.M. –

I looked out back at the river –

IT WAS TIME TO LEAVE AND GO HOME – TO ELDRED PA.

Good morning

I left and drove through Portville N.Y.

– still raining –

and I came to the bridge that turned right –

And would take me to the border and Pa.

They had just set up the barriers –

I would be the last car through.

I had to go across the “FLATS” and it already had started to flood.

Here we are in the hills or mountains of the Allegany River

which flows North into New York State –

before it turns South back into Pa.

Eventually ending up in Pittsburg Pa.

I pushed water with my bumper –

almost up to the headlight –

But after one hour to make a thirty minute trip –

I was home.

This would be the last time I would get out for almost two weeks.

We would be completely surrounded by water !

Main Street Eldred

In this picture –

I had moved from a apartment over top of the Western Auto

Six months before the flood from Hurricane Agnes

which dropped 12 . 5 inches of rain

The water would continue to rise another three to four feet in this picture.

I never went back to work for over two weeks –

Almost to second stories

The town was devastated –

one point five million dollars in destruction.

With a population of 800 to 1000 –

The water destroyed almost every business and home in the Boro.

We were lucky – we had moved to North Mani Street – high above the water.

We were constantly moving people and furniture only to see the water rise

and cover everything we had moved up.

A helicopter made trips into the ball field before it

( the ball park ) also vanished under water

Soon the Elementary school where we had set up a sort of place to meet –

was under water.

About twelve feet of water

Through all of this –

main street turned into a water way for boats –

As did the side streets

Supplies were getting thin –

trying the back roads through the hills –

was almost impossible as almost every community from miles around

was in water or surrounded.

Rain bow

But there is a good ending to all of this –

ELDRED survived and came back –

rebuilt -and a few years later –

The Army Corps of Engineers built a dike system –

And even though there were dikes before –

this was much improved –

And as far as I know –

has not flooded since!

The Sun came out and at the end of the Rain bow –

Main street Eldred – many of these buildings still remain

She still stands there today –

The little community –

Where everyone knows your name –

Continues on as it has since the 1800’s!

Tom & Sherry

I hope this brings back memories for those that lived it.

Hurricane Agnes in June 1972

wrought much destruction in our area-

This is but one point of view.

Thank you for reading.

For more blogs that I have written just type in the following

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For email to contact me

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For general HEALTH ( sherry is a certified Health Coach )

http://www.sf.juiceplus.com

for her email

ssherrylynn49@aol.com

Thank you for reading

and Welcome to PAPA’S WORLD

Papa’s World – before there was STAND BY ME – ELDRED

In a little community five miles from the New York State border –

In North West Pa. – stands a village –

called Eldred.

Nestled in the Allegany hills by the river of the same name –

Home to me for my first thirty years of life.

The Allegany Mountains

With a population through out the years at 800 to 1000 people –

Everyone knew your name and parents !

And we had a CURFEW –

yes – the fire station siren –

would blast away at 10:00 every night !

It could be heard all over town –

Main street in the 1800’s

Many a night during the Summer –

sleeping out –

be it in my own back yard or front porch –

or that of a friend –

We found ourselves roaming the streets –

long after curfew !

We did not do anything wrong other than raid some gardens .

Smoke a cigar or cigarette

and later – up on the hill –

Drink some Colt 45 !

Rural Eldred

We had friends – from all parts of town –

I lived on North Main Street

A lot of my friends lived by the ballpark –

yes we had a ball diamond with lights !

And tennis and basketball courts !

Stand by Me

Grade school friends –

later High School –

There was a movie that came out

” STAND BY ME “

Well before that –

was “ELDRED” at least in my life !

My STAND BY ME FRIENDS – me second from left

We formed a group in my Freshman year –

one of my friends fathers named BUD formed it !

It was called “THE EXPLORERS” –

a step up from the Boy Scouts.

We did everything – raised money –

held the first dances in the area.

We went on trips – Pro football games –

And my favorite – a long weekend canoe trip –

down the Allegany River !

Here in this picture you can see our camp site by the river.

Streets of Eldred

We all played sports –

baseball – basketball and football.

It kept us busy and out of trouble –

It was our time in youth –

Some are now gone –

others I see once in a while –

But – all are memories of a time long gone.

ELDRED WWII MUSEUM

This little town has a big city Museum –

rather large –

thousands of square feet –

with life size displays of people –

trucks – jeeps – armaments –

and a TANK BUSTING THROUGH ITS WALL !

A must see on the history of this area and WWII

Part of the history of the area is that

manufacture of WWII bombs

and munitions

and bullets were made here.

It was a highly guarded site –

The museum has all

and more of the lore of the area.

Bus loads of people stop and tour it.

Work out center used to be Justice of Peace – before that – a grocery store – repurpose as the town ages

It is not a large town – small in fact –

the buildings from the 1800’s –

many are still there –

only in another form.

Main street has no red lights –

And in hunting season –

it fills up with hunters from the cities.

But it is a place where I grew up –

A place of friendship through the years

A place where NORMAL stands out –

and a place called ” ELDRED “

long before ” STAND BY ME “

TOM & SHERRY

Thank you for reading – for more blogs – just type in the following

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for email

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for HEALTH

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for email

ssherrylynn49@aol.com

Welcome to Papa’s World

THANK YOU

Papa’s World – my life – memories – for my family.

All my life I have chosen to listen – to observe –

and take it all in – trying to see all sides.

My sister was a master at this!

My older brother often would listen

then in a very thoughtful way – comment.

I have tried to emulate both.

My mother Mary

Small in stature she was – but ruled with a iron will!

She was almost 98 years old when she passed away.

She had outlived her husband and second husband –

One of my brothers and my sister and brother in law

whom both lived right next door and took care of her.

She was a excellent cook as was my dad.

She was known for her baking bread – rolls and pies

all over town.

Often sending them to the doctor or other people in town.

My father every Friday night – we were Catholic –

No meat – would fry at the table on a electric grill –

Salmon patties – pan cakes and his favorite –

oyster soup! ( NOT MINE)

My father was a hunter – fisherman – sportsman.

He also graduated from High School in his Sophomore year

But My grandfather – who taught school for over 50 years

made him take his junior and senior years over again.

Saying he was too young to continue on!

They instilled in me what you read here.

I was like a second family to come along.

My sister was 15 years older and my brother 10 years old

when I was born.

Then along came my younger brother some 4 1/2 years later.

My dad passed at age 59.

But what I remember was that she was quiet – smiling –

but he always listened to her

and I most certainly did also.

Thank you for reading Papa’s World

WHERE FRIENDS MEET THE FAMILY

MY SITE: livinglifedoingitmyway.blog

Papas World – a special kind of friend – my hero.

When you are growing up – at least in my case – you look up to someone.

That person to me was my older brother – by ten years.

My sister was 15 years older – and I really do not remember –

much of her being home – although she took care of me

those first three years of my life along with my grandma

as both my parents were working.

I was sort of the second coming of the family –

and then almost four years later – my younger brother Mike.

But the thing I remember is my older brother Roger.

He was “COOL” as they said back then –

and quite the ladies man – his nickname I later found out –

across the upper portion of his H.S. varsity jacket –

was ” Anyface” !

I was told many a story about him from his friends

and I would hang out on the fringes – when they were all around.

He had a club in our basement – in the backroom –

and he had drawn pictures of Disney cartoons on the wall

and painted them – Chip and Dale – Mickey Mouse – Donald Duck.

And they were really lifelike.

I do not know why and I think they are still there.

He would put boxing gloves on me –

and I would wail away at him or his friends

they – the gloves – were bigger than me

back then I was skinny – so much so –

my Mom would not let me take my shirt off

as she said people would think she was starving me!

Somewhere – he is looking down – that smile on his face-

When he went away to college – I moved into his front of the house room.

This was Rogers room I would think – and I was excited

for he was MY HERO!

I would ask Mom – did you get a letter? Is he going to call?

Will he be coming home?

I could not wait to see him.

And that continued even after I grew up and moved on.

I would always ask those questions of her.

When he did come back home – it was a occasion.

A celebration – dinners – laughing and story telling.

And then – the last twelve years of his life –

once again we became close – very close.

We talked at least once a week and we would go and see him.

Once he came here – and a couple times back home in Eldred Pa.

When my mom and sister were still alive.

He was my Hero in early life and continued to the day he passed.

Roger
age 75
my friend and hero

I regret that we could not spend more time together

he wanted us to move to Florida and live with him.

But – life gets in the way.

I feel good because the last four years of his life

we spent 9 weeks each Winter with him

In The Villages – Florida – doing some golf -sipping some brews –

laughing and remembering –

those were the best of times I shall always cherish

Thank you for reading Papa’s World

My brother was my hero growing up

and to the day he was gone – still was

and today I think of him often

Hero’s are rare – once in a lifetime

I was fortunate to have had him.

Thank you Roger for all the good times.

WHERE FRIENDS MEET THE FAMILY!

MY SITE: livinglifedoingitmyway.blog

Papa’s World-Growing up Eldred Pa. – part Six.

GOOD MORNING

Eldred – a small community situated by the Allegheny River

Among the rolling hills know as the old mountain range

” The Allegheny Mountains “

I wrote a blog a short while ago –

about the title before there was ” STAND BY ME “

There was Eldred –

where everybody knows your name.

Bob – me ( Tom ) – Greg – Mike – John – Sully – Gerry – Gus and Pat

We were friends – we were buddies –

we had each others back

And we once took a little trip down that river .

Canoeing the Allegheny River
I believe our Sophomore year



Our little group grew and grew –

We were part of a national group known as The Exployer’s !

Raising money for our trips –

Staying out of trouble –

Almost all of my buddies belonged

And the younger kids started to follow.

Me – number 65

We played sports –

we were not into trouble –

we did not smoke – which back then was a big deal !

A few who did got kicked off the team.

We lived – played and grew up in a small Western Pa. town

close to the South Western New York border

where every one knew your name

In all the years before – and the years since –

The faces have changed –

the names also –

but to this day it remains

North Main Street

The little town – where every one knew your name

South Main Street

Of ELDRED PA .

Thank you for reading

Papa’s World – Growing up Eldred Pa.

The grade school across from the park
with South Main Street
in the background

If you care to read more blogs

just type in the following

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My email

fitztdf@aol.com

From the park to Park Avenue
and Mechanic Street

For Health and Nutrition

Sherry – Certified Health Coach

For HEALTH AND NUTRITION

http://www.sf.juiceplus.com

her email

ssherrylynn49@aol.com

Thank you for reading

PAPA’S WORLD

GROWING UP – ELDRED PA.

Before there was STAND BY ME –

There was ELDRED PA.

Papa’s World – Growing up Eldred Pa. Part Five

1800 ‘s Eldred Pa.

There was industry in Eldred Pa.

Manufactured Glass – two that I know of !

Both were located where the elementary school is now

and either by the park or Park Avenue.

Elementary school where the glass factory was

They were long gone when I was growing up –

but I heard about them.

Looking up Barden Brook

My time was spent many long days at this ball diamond –

and to the right – beyond the little building for the bathrooms –

was Barden Brook Creek !

I would play in the water there – catching craw fish –

and just on the other side –

were a myriad of dirt paths –

heading off into the woods –

I was scared to venture far –

and I remember them branching off in different directions.

Park Avenue and Mechanic street

Many of my grade school classmates lived in this area –

I was from the other side of town

North Main Street –

North Main Street Eldred Pa.

Slavin’s furniture was the big white building on the left –

To the right – the red building – the Fire Hall

And just up from that – The Masonic Hall –

Doctor’s office and the dentist office.

On the left side is now the Eldred Museum

with a tank coming out of the wall –

That was Frisbee’s Insurance when I was growing up

He always sent me a birthday card as we had the same birthdays !

You can just barley see my house on the left

5 or 6 houses up the street

This is where I played – roller skated

rode my bike –

South Main Street

I had to walk all the way down this street from North Main Street

to go to school – as far as you can see on the left –

I would guess it to be over a mile.

Eldred school – grades one through twelve.

I went four grades here before the new grade school was completed

and at that time the three towns

Eldred – Rixford and Duke Center along with Eldred Township

formed one school district –

Otto -Eldred High School – grades 7 through 12 .

Terri – Tom ( me ) – Mike

Thank you for reading Papa’s World – Growing up Eldred Pa.

Part Six is the next blog

livinglifedoingitmyway.blog

email fitztdf@aol.com

Sherry Certified Health Coach

For HEALTH & NUTRITION

http://www.sf.juiceplus.com

email ssherrylynn49@aol.com

Thank you for reading PAPA’S World

Growing up ELDRED PA. part five

Papa’s World – Growing up – Eldred Pa. part four

The men of Eldred

I remember each and everyone of these men –

This was the volunteers for the fire department –

In every facet of my life growing up –

I most likely came in contact with them all at one time or other.

GROWING UP ELDRED PA. part four of Papa’s World.

Fire department
just down the street from my house

This was a busy building – where the men came together –

all volunteers and the ladies auxiliary also met.

And just across the street next to the Post Office was “SLAVINS ” !

Local hangout bar and meeting place for most of these people !

Run by Russ and Tootie Slavin – a local family –

who in each Slavin branch – all very good athletes

and known through NWPA !

I can remember every year – the firemen would come along the curb

in front of our house on North Main Street –

and with chalk would write and mark where each unit was to line up

and this would go all the way back to the Kendall bridge !

The MEMORIAL DAY PARADE marked the end of the school year

and the beginning of Summer !

The Kendall Bridge

I was always told that this bridge was one of only two –

The other I think was in Japan.

It was a two lane bridge – with a road coming off in the middle –

Spanning a railroad track – another road –

and a river running under it !

I do not know if that was true or not –

with a gas station ( Kendall) across from the entrance.

but it is still there today !

The parade back then and today – is always led by the veterans of the town

It seems like that number down through the years never dwindles.

For such a small town – ( 800 to 1000) people

It has provided the military of scores of men

in all the conflicts fighting for their country.

Terry – Ron – Freddie -Paul and Skeet
my brothers close friends

Two are now gone – three remain – four played baseball with my brother

Freddie was in the little league World Series.

Four played for my father

Ron and my father
Clarence Russel Fitzsimmons
known as Bob or Fitz

I was too young – I never went –

But there were families of friends who went every year

To far North in Canada fishing !

We had a old red barn down back –

three stories tall and a stable underneath –

I can still see in my mind

The red front and the big sliding gray door –

and to the left

DOZENS of fish heads nailed up on the wall

Muskie – Pike

Fish that they caught and brought home.

Roger went but I was born ten years younger

I never went but looked at hundreds of pictures !

Thank you for reading Papa’s World part four.

Growing up Eldred Pa.

Part five is next !

For more of Papa’s World & Blogs

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SHERRY Certified Health Coach

For HEALTH & NUTRITION

http://www.sf.juiceplus.com

email

ssherrylynn49@aol.com

Thank you for reading PAPA’S WORLD

where friends and family meet.

Papa’s World – growing up Eldred Pa. – part three !

Terri – Boots – Mike

I grew up with my niece – Terri Luce and my brother Mike –

This was my early World – they were almost the same age .

Donna – my sister – became pregnant –

just after my younger brother Mike was born.

Donna was 15 years older than me & 20 years older than Mike.

Terri – Tom (me ) – Mike

We played together all the time – she was a little blond –

and Mike had curly Red hair .

I miss them both as they are now gone.

It was at this time – my mother would not let me go shirtless !

I was so skinny she thought people would think she was starving me !

Eldred at turn of century 1889

It seemed as I was growing up – we always had a flood !

One such flood – I was maybe ten years old –

I was told not to go down the street to the water !

Well – I did what I was told not to do !

I went behind Slavin’s furniture – and dug up some wooden pallets –

Somewhere I found some inner tube –

and I made a raft !

I launched it by the body shop – I had a long stick –

The water on main street was maybe 2 to 3 feet deep –

I did not know how to swim –

Unknown to me – a reporter from the paper was there

The Bradford Era !

He took a picture of me – standing on my little raft

With that stick in my hand –

pushing my raft down the street in front of Slavin’s bar.

To my surprise – that picture was printed the next day –

To the Bradford Era – the very same paper my dad always read –

delivered each morning – before he left for work!

Nothing was said until after supper that night .

I first was asked if I had gone downtown to the water ?

I said nothing – I could tell they knew !

Then – there it was – a picture of me on my raft with stick in hand !

Front page !

I got into trouble –

but deep inside

I had pride –

I had made the front page !

Just like my father had – after winning a bet on a heavyweight boxing match

He bet Herkie that Patterson would win –

And the loser had to wheel a wheel barrow down main street

with the winner riding inside.

My mom kept that picture and my sister also had it

along with dad being rolled down main street – FRONT PAGE !

Thank you for reading Papa’s World

for more blogs to read –

just type in the following

livinglifedoingitmyway.blog

my email

fitztdf@aol.com

Sherry – Certified Health Coach

For HEALTH & NUTRITION

http://www.sf.juiceplus.com

her email

ssherrylynn49@aol.com

Part Four of Growing up Eldred Pa. next blog

Thank you for reading PAPA’S WORLD

Papa’s World – Growing up Eldred Pa. Part two !

Those huge telephone poles –

with lights on top for night baseball games –

I never saw them lit up-

Games were played in late afternoon and early evening –

It was magical – Cars would line the first base line –

all the way down and then form a semi circle beneath the trees

in the outfield !

The men would stand and lean against the the chain mail fence

also running down the roadway –

They were the regulars –

This was growing up ELDRED PA.

GOOD MORNING
PART TWO

The park – where my life circled around –

To the creek – wading in the water –

The swings and teeter totter –

The thing that went around and around – whatever you called it !

The Volleyball court –

and of course the ball diamond –

where they would continue to DRAG it year after year !

A old bed of box springs –

attached by a chain to someones truck –

around and around they would go –

circling the dirt infield –

where I swear ROCKS and PEBBLES grew !

I watched a lot of ball games there –

When I was around 5 to 7 –

My father was the Manager of what was called THE TOWN TEAM !

And – they were good – traveling to other area towns and playing –

Our main pitcher was Freddie – he actually played and pitched –

in the Little League World Series for the team that advanced !

My bother Roger in the back ground.

Everyone has a Hero growing up –

Mine was my brother Roger –

seen here in the background with his friend Paul !

This would of been ’55 to ’57 –

He was ten years older than me –

I tagged him everywhere he went –

Then – he was gone – to college

He or they had a club in our basement –

I would sneak down and sit silently

watching – listening – until they found me

Roger – gone but always remembered

Later in life – he never came back – he moved on and away –

but I would always ask Mom – ” Have you heard from Roger “?

She would tell me of their conversation

or show me a letter –

The last ten or so years of his life –

we once again became close –

I cherish both those early times and the end of times.

He was my hero
The Villages
Sumter Square

There was the time I got a Davy Crockett coon skin hat –

complete with the tail and wore to school !

The Old Eldred school
where my brother graduated from
and I went till the fourth grade

There was a bridge on South Main street –

a cement bridge with opening so you could see below

That day I placed my hat on top of the cement railing

and slid my head through the opening so I could see the water below

Now going through was a little tight but doable

Then my EARS popped out –

and I was stuck !

My arms weren’t long enough to reach through and hold my ears back!

They had to call the fire department !

I’ve reached that age
big ears and all

Well –

that made him embarrassed

Everyone thought it funny

and later – we would laugh and laugh about it !

GROWING UP – ELDRED PA.

Sherry – Certified Health Coach

For HEALTH & NUTRITION

http://www.sf.juiceplus.com

email ssherrylynn49@aol.com

Part Three – next blog – GROWING UP – ELDRED PA.

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livinglifedoingitmyway.blog

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Thank you for reading

PAPA’S WORLD

where friends and family meet