Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy Holidays 2008

Mike and Sue Fitzgerald have been blessed with another wonderful year of good health, supporting family, and devoted friends. We would like to take this opportunity to share some of our highlights of this year.

We again concentrated on our three loving performance whippets and spent many weekends traveling the east coast to run the most enthusiastic dogs in SC. Our Sophia continues to run only when absolutely needed for numbers, at seven our Torin is running better than ever, and our Brodie clenched the #4 NOTRA (oval racing) position in the US. Although it’s completely amateur running, with our dogs only receiving titles and toys, our three whippets are totally committed to their families and trying to catch the “bunny”. Neither of us have the heart to inform them it’s really just a regular white plastic garbage bag moving along a pulley system.

Believe it or not we have entered a new decade. Mike traded in his drag bike and his Harley Davidson motorcycle only to be replaced by a hardtop SLK Mercedes convertible. It’s not quite big enough for two adults and three dogs, but we have fun riding around summer evenings by moonlight.

Mike was laid off this fall due to the economic problems that have plagued many other families. Fortunately, he has been presented with other great opportunitites and should have a new position by the beginning of 2009. On another note, Sue will be eligible for full retirement in less than a year. Future options include moving to Texas, Florida, or staying in South Carolina. We both hope our future keeps us on the east coast.

2009 Events

  • May – Cathy, Jenifer, and Sue were able to celebrate Gean Lewis’s 80th birthday in Lake Mary, Florida.
  • May – Mike and Sue attended Andrew Lewis’s graduation from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. Andrew will work one year in Chicago before joining the Duke staff for his residency. His sister Cara Lewis moved to Washington DC to work as a lawyer.
  • August - Mike was able to join his family in Destin, FL for their first family reunion.
  • September - Nathan Lewis Bruschi, a junior at Dartmouth, spent the fall semester studying at the Universitat de Barcelona.
  • October - Cathy L. Bruschi joined Nathan in Spain for a week.
  • Thanksgiving 2009 - Cathy and family hosted another festive Thanksgiving holiday in Lake Mary, FL. Gean, Jenifer, and Sue were all able to join the Bruschi family for the celebration.
  • Connie and Bill Reitz still love the serene life in Massena, NY along the St. Lawrence River.
  • Bill and Judy Lewis continue to live in Tulsa, OK.
  • John and Kim Lewis relish the outdoor life in Austin, TX.
  • Cathy and Damian Bruschi continue to live and travel between NY and FL.
  • Jenifer and Bob are busy with their thriving accounting business in Greenville, SC.
  • Cathy Reitz is busy living and working as a Speech Pathologist in the Rochester, NY area.
  • Keith Reitz, a fourth year medical student, is working in a hospital in Queens, NY.
  • Dylan Bruschi, a sophomore in high school, is following in the foots steps of his grandfather Walter Lewis and cousin Teddy Bruschi as a football player and also has become one of the key debaters on his high school team.

    We wish you and your family a very celebrated holiday.

Best Wishes,
Mike, Sue, Torin, Sophia, and Brodie

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Why Women Should Vote

Greetings to all of the Lewis Family
I saw this e-mail and it reminded me of my father(Dave Lewis) kidding my mother(Sarah) about all the times she went out and demonstrated for Women's Right to Vote. In my mother's teen years and twenties (1910 to 1920) it was an exciting time in the women's suffrage movement. She would share with all of us her experiences of picketing and marching for this cause.
I don't remember her ever saying that she has been arrested or had spent a night in jail least she never mentioned it to any of us.
In addition, I believe she may have participated (demonstrating) in a similar way in the support of prohibition (1915-1920.) Prohibition went into effect in 1920-1933. She was an avid supporter of the WCTU, (Women's Christian Temperance Union) most of her life. ( No one in our family every had an alcoholic drink in our home)

Thought this information about Sarah Lewis would be of interest to many of you.

Hope you are all doing well.
Dad, Grandpa, Uncle Lynn (whichever fits!)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Andrew Roper Lewis Graduates Medical School

It was an honor to attend Andrew's graduation from the Medical University of South Carolina on May 16, 2008. Shown in the graduation picture is: Bill Lewis, Moira Larsen, Andrew Lewis, Joanne (Andrew's fiancée), Cara Lewis, and Judy Lewis. Andrew and Joanna are now in Chicago for 1 year before he begins his residency at Duke.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Gibson Family Story

I found the Gibson family a rather interesting story. It begins with George Gibson immigrating to the Cambridge, Massachusetts area with his wife from Durie, England. It is believed he settled very close to where Harvard is now located. There is a story that George's son John Gibson, his son John Jr., and his son's wife accused two women of witchcraft. Court records show the accused Winifred Holman and her daughter Mary Holman in turn filed a suit against John Gibson, his son John Jr., and John Jr.'s wife. The extensive court records found to include details of character and what life was like in the early 1660s. The Holman women won the suit. In the following generation, Timothy Gibson moved to Stowe, Massachusetts and was brought up by the Holman family. Somehow the families reunited and put the witchcraft court case behind them. Timothy Gibson and Peris Rice were the parents of our Sergeant Major John Gibson who was born in Stowe in 1746. After the Revolutionary War John Gibson and his wife Mary or Mercy moved to Pomfret, Vermont where their son Charles Gibson was born in 1782. Charles married Rhonda Phillips and started a family before he moved to the Hopkinton, New York area. Charles and Rhonda had 9 children with many of their descendents still living in the Potsdam, Parishville, and Hopkinton area in St. Lawrence County, NY. Charles’s oldest son was John Gibson who was born in 1808 in Vermont. I do remember Aunt Jessie tell of a story of the family migrating from the Vermont area to Hopkinton. When John became of age he moved to Louisville Landing, NY where he spent the rest of his life. He and his wife Fanny Ellsworth had 7 children including our great grandfather and Aunt Jessie’s father, Eugene Gibson. John and Fanny’s youngest daughter was Frances Ellen Gibson who died in Louisville Aug. 27, 1854, at the age of 7 years. Frances’s death must have been a tragedy to the family along with 2 other children dieing early in life. Frances’s death is a mystery but maybe someone can find a record of the cause. I think she might be buried in the Louisville cemetery along with her parents, sisters, brothers, and our beloved Aunt Jessie.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Memories of my Brother Walt by Lynn Lewis

About six months ago John Lewis visited Chris and me in LA for a couple of days as part of a business trip. One night I reminisced for a few minutes on my memories of my brother Walt. John asked me to write some of these memories down as he had never heard them before. The following are some of my memories of your father:

Walt was seven years older than I, so we were rarely playmates. My earliest recollection of my brother Walt was when I was about 4 or 5 years old. The furnace at the house at 32 Bishop at that time burned wood or coal. Several cords of fire wood had been delivered and Walt had carefully stacked the wood in a long high pile beside the coal bin. I climbed all over the neat wood pile and of course most of the wood fell down and made a mess. Walt was mad at me and I stayed away from him for a couple of days.

Walt and I would go fishing with our father to either the Grass or St. Lawrence Rivers. We often went at night as my father liked night fishing. One night on the Grass River in a boat I started to reel in something that felt like it was a whale. In the dark we couldn't tell what it was and Walt tried to help me bring it in. It turned out to be three or four foot long Lampeer eel which promptly rapped itself around Walt's arm and it was one hell of a job to get the eel off.

My mother and father loved to picnic. Often we would all go out to the St. Lawrence River but by far their favorite place was Lake Meacham in the Adirondacks. We would all go in a couple of cars and make a great time of it. Our father liked to travel and explore. Many times during the summer we would travel on 2 to 4 day trips to see sights or nearby relatives.

In high school I was always being compared to my smart brothers, Walt and William.Bill was smart and a very good musician. Walt was also smart and a top athlete. In my first math class with "Skeets" Caroll, Skeets said I was going to have to go some to beat my brother Walt. I was able to do it a couple of times in math, but there was no comparison in sports. Walt was a three letter man (football, basketball and track) three years in a row. He was particularly good in football. Walt was a tackle and as a junior and senior called the plays in the huddle. This was before the days of unlimited substitution and plays were called by the players on the field. The guard next to him for years was Joe McGuire. When I started to play football, the old timers around town said I had to be good because I was Walt Lewis' brother. But they were wrong as I never played first string.

Walt played the piano well and Bill was excellent on the cornet. Musically I was the big disappointment to my mother. The piano teacher finally told her she was wasting her money trying to teach me piano.

Every summer my Mother and Dad would take Walt and me to Pennsylvania for two weeks to visit our relatives. Even during gas rationing in World War II, Dad would figure out how to get enough gas rationing stamps to make the trip. Our grandfather, William Beedle Sr ("Big Willie" or Pap), ran a service station at the main cross roads in Elrama, PA. Big Willie died when I was 4 or 5 years old and I vaguely remember the funeral. Our uncle, William Beedle Jr ("Little Willie") took over running the service station. In 1941 Little Willie got a great deal on fire works and bought enough to be able to sell them for several years. Well, of course when the US got into World War II in late 1941, sale of fireworks became illegal. So for a couple of years when we went to PA, Walt and our cousins, Lois and Deanne and their friends would play war. We would get on the opposite sides of a narrow ravine and fire sky rockets at each other. Luckily no one got hurt. Also on the nearby farm, we got to ride horses and feed the farm animals.

Walt graduated from high school in June 1944 and went into the Army in July or August. I remember going to the train station to see him off. I believe he had basic training in NJ After basic training he was sent to Japanese language school at Yale University. There he played hockey and in practice got hit in the forehead with a puck which left a noticeable scar for several years. When the Japanese surrendered in August 1945, Walt was immediately sent to Japan. He was stationed at an Army air base in southern Hokkaido (This was before there was a separate Air Force). He was the base recreation coordinator. Walt wrote to my mother to get her to order a special pair of boots for him. When they came I immediately recognized they were paratrooper jump boots. I didn't tell my mother and we sent them on to Japan. Then Walt started to regularly send my mother money to put in the bank for him. My mother began to wonder where the extra money was coming from and started to question if it was money from gambling or selling things on the "black market." I finally told her about the booths and that the extra money was probably the extra pay he got for making parachute jumps. Walt later confirmed he made quite a few jumps. Once he went to Tokyo to meet Joe McGuire. Joe had the use of a jeep and they drove it to Mt. Fuji and drove open field (there were no roads) about half way up the mountain.

Walt came back from the Army and he and Joe McGuire decided to go to Ithaca College on the GI Bill. The first year he and Joe both played on the Ithaca College football team. He started to date Gean Gibson who lived on the River Road at Louisville Landing (now under water as result of Seaway flooding). They were married a few months later. The next term Walt transferred to St. Lawrence University in Canton and commuted from Massena. He started to help out his father-in-law in his memorial business at Louisville Landing. Within a short time his father-in-law became ill and Walt took over the memorial business completely. I started to help Walt in the memorial business when I was in high school and helped him primarily in setting stones in cemeteries for several years. Sometimes we drove to Barrie, Vermont and picked up stones for special jobs.

He then built a camp at Louisville Landing doing most of the work himself. He liked boating with small boats. On a windy day with lots of waves he liked to take a flat bottomed fishing boat with a 75 or 90 Hp motor and bounce through the waves.

One of the people who worked for Walt in the memorial business was Pat Martin who was the brakeman on the US Olympic 4 Man Bobsled team. Walt would sometimes go to Lake Placid for practice runs when they didn't have a full team to practice. I went once and can still remember Pat Martin's big arm come swinging around to straighten you up when you were leaning the wrong way on the bob sled run.

As his younger brother Walt was always there to help me when I needed help. I found my brother to be fair, honest, straight forward, and non judgmental. These were traits we both got from our mother who had a lot to do with the development of our personalities. She taught you to be self reliant. She believed the best way to learn something was to puzzle through it. In general she would let you work something out yourself and not provide help unless you asked for help. Our mother would say "if you cannot say something nice, don't say anything at all." Also, she would say "face up to your fears. If you are afraid of something you should do and don't want to do it you should face it and do it." Nine out of ten times you would find it was not as bad as you thought it would be or even more often not difficult at all if you faced up to it.

By Lynn Lewis