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 !
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 .
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.
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 – 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 ?
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 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.
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.
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.
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