Tom Lovejoy's Memories

 

Picking Strawberries With Grandpa

I had a sickly childhood battling asthma......then notvery treatable.

I spent the better part of 4 yrs in the Mayo clinic atRochester, Minnesota from the ripe old age of 4 to age 8. When I got outthat spring, I went to my grandfather's house at Pembina. Richard A. Fitzpatrickwas the depot agent for the Great Northern Railway depot, and my grandfather.

As you came across the bridge into Pembina, you turnedleft on the first street, and down at the end of the first block on theright was a big old 2 story house. They also rented out rooms in the houseand I learned later that this was how my father, as a tenant, had met mymother - - - one of Richard's daughters, Myrtle.

My grandmother spent the entire summer fattening me up,as when I got out of the hospital you could encompass my thighs betweenthe tip of a thumb and first finger, making an O, and still have room leftover.

I have vivid memories of the misty foggy early morningwalks down over the bank towards the river to visit the strawberry patchto pick fresh strawberrys for breakfast. The stillness and quiet was onlybroken by the occasional bird call. After a week or so of me accompanyinggrandpa a very strange and wonderous thing happened. Grandpa, just a littleahead on the path, stopped and motioned me to do the same. Then, from thefob pocket of his vest, he pulled something and put it in the top of hishat. after a moment - - a huge crow came sailing noiselessly down out ofthe tops of the trees through the mist, and lit on grandpa's shoulder. Thecrow looked him in the eye - - - as he looked back, and opened its beakand said clear as day - - "Hello Dick" to which grandpa replied- - "Hello Jim" - - and the crow easily stepped up onto the brimof grandpa's hat.....ate whatever it was off the top of the hat.....andflew off....as noislessly as he had come.... From then on you did not haveto call me twice to get up in the mornings to go with grandpa to get strawberrysfor breakfast. Though the crow only came by occasionally, when he did, itwas the best treat of all.

Tom Lovejoy, son of Myrtle Fitzpatrick, grandson of RichardA. Fitzpatrick - circa 1946-47A. Fitzpatrick - circa 1946-47