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 – I choose to be me – #livinglifetotheplus –

Now that I am 70 years old ( young ) – time to reflect -just how did I get here and where am I going down that long ( sometimes) journey of life !

My niece Terri and my brother Mike – with me in the middle

When I was born – I already had a brother ten years old at the time and a sister fifth teen years old . So – I was like the second family – and it stayed that way until I was four plus ten months – and then Mike came – shortly before that – my sister – who had married – gave birth to Terri.

My early childhood – was spent with my Grand Ma – who lived with us at that time – she was in her late 70’s and early 80’s. She was Penn. Dutch – and they had twelve children. They lived on a farm and grand pa – was a big man. The story goes during the depression – he would carry meat and flour to the neighbors to help them out. There was no money – but he had a kind heart. I never knew him as he passed before I was born in ’49 – he was hoisting a pig up to the barn rafters and suffered a heart attack. There is a family history of heart attacks on this side – all his sons suffered the same .

David and Nora Aiken – my grand parents -who lived ” Down Home ” in Pa.Corsica.

She cared for me while my parents worked – my Mom at Alcas – now known as Cutco – in Olean N.Y. and my dad as a supervisor in the oil fields for South Penn oil company , known as Penns. oil.

Tom at around age 2 or 3.

It was at this time my mother would not let me take my shirt off outside – she said ” People will think I am starving you ” ! You could count every vein and bone on my chest ! Today – well – you would be hard pressed to find either ! Where did that go !!

My great – great grand father and grand mother – Frank Schick and Sara.

I do not know much about them – other then when young – my grandmother Nora – left home and followed the lumber camps through out Pa. cooking meals and that is where she met my grand father David. But – I am told that they were Pa. Dutch .

My father – Clarence Russel Fitzsimmons

My father – he would take me to work with him when I was young- to the oil fields – I still remember the smells and the sounds. The chill air and all the big bull dozers. The tool houses that they pulled around and me riding in the seat next to Pat Murphy. Then there was Junior Greenman – and a host of other colorful men – the mud and Earth chewed up by the tracks of the dozer. My dad passed early in my life – when I had just turned 19. His family came from Ireland – County Tyrone – so I was told. A tale of FIVE brothers who came here in the mid 19th. century. Seeking fame and fortune, only to find that IMMIGRANTS such as they were – looked down on – and treated very badly – in that aspect – not much has changed – will we ever learn ?

My mother – Mary Aiken Fitzsimmons who lived to be almost 98 !

Mary – as most people called her – MOM to me – she was small but feisty – she ruled – talked soft – but I listened to her – we all did. She outlived my younger brother and my older sister. She wore a ball cap that said – ” I’M THE BOSS ” ! But she also could bake – pies – buns – cakes and home made bread ! She was known all over for that. And she also was known to a LOT of people. She would sit on her front porch – and all day long – as cars went past – horns would honk- windows come down and a big ” HELLO MARY” would come forth. If I were there – I would ask her who that was -she would just say ” OH , SOMEONE , THEY ALL DO IT ” !!!!

My brother in law Bill and my sister Donna & me.

My sister Donna – she also helped to raise me – my Mom would walk my brother and me down the street at 5:45 am. We would walk the long steps up to their apartment – and lie down in the little room set aside with a couch. Here we would sleep another hour until she would wake us up to eat and then off to school. Bill – my brother in law – was the town Police chief – but also drove all over the East coast delivering meat for White Hawk Meat Company. One time up near Boston – he was at a truck stop – and in came a crew from a radio station. Looking for a human interest story. They interviewed him – as he was both a Police chief and a truck driver – and that show aired on the radio – he got a copy of it – Larry King did the interview ! My mother outlived both of them.

My brother Roger and me.

Growing up – I had one hero in life – my brother Roger, I looked up to him and tried my best to be just like him. He was my idol and ten years older. He went away to college and became a national ” WHO’S WHO” – from all over the USA. He went into the Navy in OCS- and was a LT. during the ‘NAM war. He never came back to our home town to live – I moved into his bedroom after he left for college. I still remember all the things he left behind – on the walls – the club room he and his friends had in our basement. In his later years – after his wife passed – we would spend our Winters with him in The Villages in Florida – where this picture was taken. Hero’s and idols – I had one – and it was him.

1967 – senior picture – Tom Fitzsimmons

My life as I know it – I am writing this now because I am the last one living. All have now gone before me. I needed to get it down for my sons – grand children – great nieces and great great nephew. My brothers children and their children. A history of growing up in a little town called Eldred in NWPA. In the mountains so lush and green.

I am in the autumn of my own life – and the main purpose of this blog is to record the memories I have. As I have been writing daily for the past 8 years – only to have them somewhere in face book land.

Tom & Sherry Fitzsimmons

I owe this all to my wife – Sherry – who encourages me to write it down as she often says. So – with that being said – going back to the beginning –

“Where does it say we have to “ACT” our age ?”

As long as it makes me happy and I’m not hurting anyone –

” I WILL ACT WHATEVER AGE I WANT TO ” !

Besides – I learned a long time ago – when you are married –

” IT’S NOT FOR ME TO QUESTION WHY – BUT FOR ME TO DO OR DIE ” !!! LOL

Enjoy and remember #livinglifetotheplus

#homeagain #just #HGD #JP