Dad, I stopped by to see you today. Yes, I know...it's been a long time. Last September maybe. I know I don't need a reason to visit your grave but when I was here last, I wanted to show you the car I had bought. You are the car collector....not me.
I just like having one at a time. Did you like it? It drives like a dream.
You always have that grin for me. Our funny secret grin.
You are never far away and your thoughts are my thoughts. Fathers' Day is not special anymore to me, it's just another day. I try to ignore it and rush through that day.
I miss that grin and laugh of yours. Has it been 15 years since I've heard it? Seems like yesterday...
You taught me how to become a good person. How to trust others, be truthful and how to be loyal.
You prepared me to be the businesswoman I am today.
After all that you taught me... you turned to me in the end to look out for you. I would have fought the world for you not to be in pain.
In 1993 when this picture was taken, you were in Mesa, AZ. After being diagnosed with cancer, you and Mom came out to visit with me.
In our trip to the grocery I took this picture of you and now I see how much love there is in your eyes.
What were you thinking about dying? Were you frightened? You seemed so brave.
You are my hero and always will be. I miss our life and how we were as a family. You were the glue that kept it all together. It's not the same ...but it is what it is.
This was the Greyhound Station, Snappy Grill and Western Union on Third and Water Streets in Richmond, KY. Later added Jim's Pawn Shop.
Dad bought the Greyhound Station in 1956.
I grew up here and Dad taught me everything I know about good business, people and management.
I worked here during all my childhood learning how to deal with customers and understand not all needed to make a deal but just needed someone to listen.
People from all walks of life came through these doors over the years just to talk to "Big Jim". He always took time to listen to their problems or dreams. Sometimes he helped them out till they could get back on their feet.
You always saw him with a big cigar that he called his all day sucker. Whenever someone would ask him if something that were buying came with a guarantee, he would say "Yes! A sidewalk guarantee". Which meant after you got to the sidewalk, that was as long as it would be.
"A place to meet and enjoy good food" was a sign over the grill when he used to serve food too. My favorite was french fries and a Coke. Dad would serve it up for me when I got out of school each day.
In the early eighties I talked Dad into some TV commercials for cable. We had a blast putting them together and I would take extra pics of Dad doing silly things. He had a lot of fun and our outtakes were just as funny as the commercial.
We used one of his classic cars in one. It was a pink T-Bird and I was supposed to get out of it and sashay in to pawn it.
Everytime I got out of the car my velcroed belt would pop off my dress and I had to start over.
As I walked in Dr. Jenkins was at the counter pawning a chain saw to Dad for the scene. We had many takes till we got a good one without us laughing.
Like I said. It's just not the same but I'll always remember all the good times and jokes. There was plenty of that.
I love you Dad...I hope you are proud of how I turned out. I did it all for you and will carry on for both of us.
James (Jim)W. Fitzpatrick Jr.
Born July 26, 1931 Died July 22, 1995