Interesting. Two important family events happened on the same day of the year – June 25.
It was Christmas Eve, 1976. My daughter Susy Ford and her boyfriend Curt Warden, were standing around in the kitchen while we were doing dishes following a big family meal.
“Listen up, everybody”, Susy must have commanded. “Important announcement! Next June 25, 1977, is the 21st birthday of my illustrious cousin and debonair man-about-town Tim Fitzpatrick. What shall we do to celebrate such an auspicious occasion?”
“Wow”, said Curt. “Maybe we should get married. That would be one way to celebrate.”
Everybody agreed. And that, children, is why it happens that the wedding anniversary of Octo-woman’s daughter Susy and son-in-law Curt Warden and the birthday of her nephew Tim Fitzpatrick happens to fall on the same day every year.
Susy and her cousin Tim both hit their big 21st birthday within six months of each other, and they were both born in Iowa. Even more important however, is that they get to share today’s blob.
I suppose we should talk about the wedding anniversary first, since any discussion of my nephew will probably go on for hours.
Susan Marie Ford and Curtis Neil Warden met at a horse farm while Susy was still in high school. They announced their engagement – like I said earlier – at a Christmas party at our house in Seattle. They were married on June 25, 1977 – 34 years ago.
It was the first wedding among our kids but we fumbled along with the preparations just like we knew what we were doing. All the bridesmaids and my dresses were homemade, and my sister Joan made the bridal bouquet and nosegays. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law Don and Lorraine Ford came from Eugene, Oregon with their daughter Leslie.
Susy and Curt produced four spectacular children: Elizabeth, Gretchen, Neil and Josie. Elizabeth and Gretchen are both married now (to Sean Smith and Joe Stark respectively) and everybody still lives in Seattle and its environs.
Susy has worked at Ford Video for many years and now manages the business. Curt has been a truck driver all during their marriage but he’s eligible to take early retirement from his company as soon as he can adjust to the concept of living in poverty, or winning the lottery, whichever comes first.
If there was ever a marriage made in heaven, this is it. I don’t think it’s possible to observe a happier union of people than is found at Susy and Curt’s house. And one of its unexpected by-products has been the rewarding presence of Curt in our extended family. I still can’t figure out how we got so lucky. “Acquiring” him was way better than winning any old lottery.
They were married at St. Bridget Church in Seattle, Washington.
And they’ve lived happily ever after for 34 years..
Now for the birthday boy. Timothy Arlan Fitzpatrick was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa at Mercy Hospital on June 25, 1956. He’s 55 years old today.
Tim is well-known for making a scene. He was such a big baby (9 pounds 10-and-a-half ounces) that the nurses asked my sister Joan if she’d be enrolling him in school when they were discharged from the hospital. When they fed him in the nursery, he almost sucked the nipple out of the bottle and the nurses could hear him down the hall. Tim has never done things in a little-bitty way.
Tim’s sister Chris told me, “As far as anecdotes are concerned, one of my favorites is from the days we lived on 18th street. I was babysitting (so what else is new?) and Tim decided to be the man of the house. We didn’t seem to have hot water and having watched dad do it a thousand times he proceeded to re-light the pilot light on the water heater. Investigating a loud ‘noise’ in the basement I came upon Tim, nonchalantly exiting the area. Little did he know his lack of eyebrows, eyelashes and bangs told the whole story.”
According to my sister Joan, when Tim was 9 or 10 years old, he decided that he wanted to be a garbage man when he grew up. His dream was dashed, however, when the marketing world discovered him. Tim later became what’s known in the trade as a “super-salesman”.
His brother-in-law Mark Milner sent these stories to add to Tim’s annals of infamy:
Mark wrote: “From my interactions with Tim, it’s been clear he IS a salesman, dating back even to his high school days. I would certainly come to realize I should be careful if Tim told me ‘trust me’”.
“Chris and I were already married and had come back to visit the family. Tim and Jeff were outside with their brand new rough terrain ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) They were tearing all around the house into gullies and valleys near the house. Of course I wanted to try it but I’d never ridden one.”
“I asked about taking a spin. Tim smiled and said, ‘Just hop on, give it a lot of gas, and put it in gear’. That didn’t seem right to me but with complete sincerity, Tim said, ‘It won’t be a problem, trust me!’ So I did it, and the ATV took off like a rocket straight up in the air with me hanging on for dear life. But it didn’t crash because it came back down on top of me. What’s that saying? “Fool me once, shame on you!”
“Some years later Tim accompanied our family to Adventureland in Des Moines – a local amusement park. Tim and I were talking and he discovered I had never been on the Silly Silo ride. He described it as a fantastic ride, a unique physical experience. It spun you around at such high speeds it felt like you were floating in the air.
“Somehow I felt like this was a bad idea, but Tim smiled and with complete sincerity said, ‘This will be a blast, trust me!’ and he started to walk into the chamber of death. I followed him in, got strapped in, looked up and saw that Tim had left the ride and was smiling and waving to me as they closed the door.”
“It certainly was a unique physical experience! It was just a giant centrifuge. The only things that floated were hats, glasses, loose shoes that were sucked off your body by the spinning. Plus the vomit of neighboring riders reacting to the ride. I’ve never been so nauseous for so long in my whole life! What’s that saying? ‘Fool me twice, shame on me!’”
Further proof of Tim’s salesmanship can be found in the beauty he married – Denise Vileta Fitzpatrick. A classy lady if there ever was one. And he has three lovely daughters, Katie, Abby, and Elizabeth, and four grandchildren – Alexis, Aiden, AJ and Olivia.
Tim works in the communications technology field. I think it has something to do with the marketing of phone networks but I’m pretty sure he’s not a bookie. If he were to take up a life of crime, though, he would be a really effective and charming con man. Matt Damon, eatcherheartout.
One more thing, Tim likes to believe he’s immortal. According to this video though . . .
Sorry about that, Tim, but have a happy birthday, anyway.