Bob Fitzgerald

Sept. 3, 2017

FOR THE RECORD:   my predictions of the future, in my first BLOG, are 66% correct!! The University of Washington football team is winning BIG time and serious plans to remove President Trump from office are under way!!    Watch This Space, eh????!!!!

FACTS FROM MIKE:  the average time that a baseball is in the game for major league teams is 5-7 pitches.

QUOTE TO QUOTE:  “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.” — Robert Frost.

JOKE:  “What do you call a boomerang that does not work?…….A stick!”



  • A friend and I parked  in an underground parking lot.  As I recall I believe it was at the University of Washington.   We attended a popular lecture.  The parking area was packed and the lecture hall was full.  When we left we hunted all over an area full of cars for my car.  This was before the days of ‘clickers’ to get a flash of light from the car to help locate it.  Most cars had left when we realized we were on the wrong ‘floor’of the parking garage.  We did find my car on a lower floor!!!
  • I was serving my ‘first church’ as Pastor.  With the support of the church leaders we started an effort to invite new families to visit our Sunday morning worship. This was in Southern California in an area of new homes and many new people moving into the community.  After a Sunday service I met a new couple, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, who indicated that they had recently moved into the area and candidly said, “We are ‘church shopping'”   O.K. –that is common….and I urged them to return.  In a couple weeks they were in the congregation again and I recognized them. As they left the church to be greeted at the door I quickly said, “So nice to see you again, Mr. and Mrs. Jones.”    I’m happy to report that they joined the  church…..whew!!!!
  • It was a really nice “white table cloth on the table” restaurant for a special event for a friend.  Four couples were gathered for an evening to celebrate.  This was a fancy steak and baked potato type place.   As I cut my special steak of  the evening I was ‘pushing’ the meat apart as well as cutting it.   And I did it —- as a delightful piece of steak flew off my plate across the “white table cloth on the table” and stopped in front of the plate of the woman guest opposite me.   I smiled (sort of) and she smiled (sort of).  She was kind:  in offering to give me back my piece of steak.
  • I was in a hurry.  You know…finding a “Men’s Room” was important. I had never been in this particular mall before.   It was crowded.  I just knew that at the next turn in the walk way of the mall would be an  appropriate spot for rest rooms to be. As I looked ahead I saw the familiar male/female symbols .    I picked up my pace….turned the corner …..found the door….rushed in …..and looked at four woman at the sinks washing their hands.  All four turned at once and looked at me.  I was standing still….dumb founded….uncomfortable in more ways than one….and expressed the obvious, “I’m in the wrong rest room” —-  turned quickly and left. I was even more embarrassed being seen leaving as I had been standing in the women’s rest room.

Am I the only one…..?


Thank you to my Blog guru and friend, Annemarie Godston, for her consultation and technical assistance.



Bob Fitzgerald

August 27, 2017

Now that I’m 90 I will admit there are many things about life that baffle me:

Why is it that when there is a tear or small hole in the ‘toe section’ of a sock that a big toe will find it – and make it larger?

Why is it easy to find a penny on the sidewalk, or in the street, or in the parking lot – but impossible to find a quarter or a fifty cent piece?

Why is it important to know that the following sentence uses every letter of the alphabet? –”The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”


My Dad died in 1972 when 77. My Mother died in 1991 when 89.

They were modest folks. They each had only an eighth grade education. They worked hard to make ends meet. They raised my sister and me during the depression and wars. We never really had a ‘vacation trip.’ We were part of an extended family – of my aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and a few friends. They never took a class in “how to raise children”; nor did they read books on “parenting skills.” They rarely attended PTA.

But this is what I am grateful for:

AFFECTION– I always knew I was loved. It was simple (hugs) – yet profound. It was subtle (a pat on my back) – yet obvious. It was seen (the look) – yet I felt it. As long as I lived at home my Mother would ask me, “What kind of cake would you like for your birthday?” My Dad was not the “I love you” kind of guy but he showed affection by playing games with me at home, including me in on adult conversations and playing little tricks on me. After he retired he sent me little gifts of books and records, and short letters (hard to read his hand writing, but I loved hearing from him).

HUMOR – This was not the ‘telling jokes’ type humor. It was more of an attitude. It was a way of looking at life. It was a kind of mood to live with on a daily basis. And it was a humor that meant my folks could laugh at themselves and enjoy it. One favorite family story is when Mother made a beautiful looking pie out of burdock (a weed) instead of out of rhubard (that looks like burdock)!! It looked terrific and tasted awful– and got a big laugh!! I loved working with my Dad on our Fitzgerald Farm in Ferndale, WA. When I was a young teenager I went with my Dad to pick up a small load of hay with a wagon pulled by our team of horses. We threw hay on the wagon until we had a tall mound of loose hay on the wagon. My Dad and I sat on the mound of hay as I drove the team from the field to the barn. The field was rough and uneven and we hit a bump. The hay started sliding off of the wagon — I stopped the horses — my Dad and I grabbed each other – we slid off the wagon to the ground rolling and tossing and laughing!! He could have been really upset — but, the ‘kid’ in him could enjoy a surprise and the fun we actually had together.

KINDNESS – My folks were not ‘social activists.’ They did not join groups for social change, nor did they ‘march’ for political causes . They did not wear clothes with ‘messages.’ They did quietly speak of ‘being fair.’ They spoke of ‘treating people kindly.’

They learned important lessons in grade school about how to treat each other. When my Dad worked at Sears in Long Beach, CA selling shoes he attracted a large diverse group of regular customers. They knew they would be treated with respect and kindness. I recall hearing my Mother respond to news stories about people being poorly treated because of their social position in life or because of their racial identity. She would say it so clearly and so simply: “I think they should be treated fairly and with kindness.”

What I got from my parents came from the context of some tough times for them, too. They did not live with just milk and honey. Our family knew the pain of sudden deaths of loved ones, abuse of alcohol, economic struggles and personal estrangement in family relationships. I wish I could talk with my folks now to better understand how they handled the tragedies they experienced. I wish I could tell them what I got from them!!

Thanks, Dad, and thanks, Mother,

for your affection – for your humor – and for your kindness.

I love you….and I miss you.

Thank you to my BLOG guru and friend, Annemarie, for consultation and technical assistance.


The question keeps coming up: “what is it like being 90 years old?”

Certainly a timely and relevant question. I respond in several ways:

Well, it is a lot like being 89!?


Hey — that is MY question!”


I need to think about that…..and I’ll get back to you –o.k.!?”

I will continue to think about the question in order to understand more about what this “aging” game is all about. It impresses me how much of the conversation among “seniors” deals with health issues and end of life issues. It, also, impresses me how often “seniors” share the news that “my kids don’t really want to talk about this aging stuff — and, especially, my death.” It is hard reality….but, can be important ways to experience a closer relationship during these years. So a good start, I think, is for family and friends to discuss and explore this question: how can we make this time of life more meaningful and personal and joyful? One possibility: share fun stories of happy memories — as well as stories of times when events really changed the regular routine of family life. Other ways?

If you are a nudist….the following information is —- well …..useless ….and is about…..well….’nothing.’

One example of how aging has been influencing me is the changing size of shirt button holes and the size of buttons. I suspect that for the past 20 years shirt companies have been making button holes slightly smaller — and buttons slightly bigger. Today, I can hardly see the button hole after I search to find it and feel it. Then with a larger button it takes forever to force the buttoning process. By the time I get my whole shirt buttoned — I’m late for where ever I’m going.

I have out smarted the shirit companies though: all of my ‘button down the front shirts’ I have turned into ‘pull-over-shirts”…just by never unbottoning my shirt!!

On the other hand:

Howard Thurman

He was born in Daytona Beach, Florida in 1900 to a poor family struggling with racial discrimintion and became known world-wide as: minister, philosopher, educator and spiritual guide. He was often described as “one of the greatest spiritual resources of this nation.” Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple, wrote: “In those long midnight hours when morning seemed weeks, if not years away, the words of Howard Thurman have kept watch with me.”

Thurman’s poem ‘The Work of Christmas” is a great example of what Alice Walker may be thinking.

Since this is August it is a great time to mention – Christmas. This is long before the stores start advertising what to buy for Christmas. And this gives us some important time to prepare for the essence of such an important holiday.

When the song of the angels is stilled,

When the star in the sky is gone,

When kings and princes are home,

When the shepherds are back with their flock,

The work of Christmas begins:

To find the lost,

To heal the broken,

To feed the hungry,

To release the prisoner,

To rebuild the nations,

To bring peace among brothers and sisters,

To make music of the heart.”

If we take Thurman seriously we can celebrate Christmas as an annual event on December 25 and make it a year long experience to make our world better by the ‘work of Christmas.

I recall the times I heard Thurman lecture and preach at Marsh Chapel, Boston University and at Fellowship Church in San Francisco — an interdenominational and interracial church he co-founded.

This is what I still vividly remember:

  1. Those of us who arrived twenty minutes before the worship started would see Thurman sitting quietly in a chair at the front….eyes closed….in prayer/meditation….setting a ‘tone’ for why we were there. He was a ‘presence.’

  2. He was a ‘voice.’ A baritone with an African-American voice slightly influenced by the South. Calm…powerful…from ‘the head and the heart’…thoughtful…meditative.

  3. He was a presence and a voice for ‘social & human justice.’ He shared his reflections being influenced by his childhood experiences full of discrimintion; of Biblical insight from Jesus and the prophets; of the influence of Tagore, Gandhi, Hindus, Buddhists and Moslems whom he visited around the world.

His vision of life that would be open to all seekers, of all colors and creeds is reflected in his 20 books and in his best known book, Jesus and the Disinherited. He died in 1981. He was and still is a blessing to my life…..and continues to be a great spiritual resouce for our times.

What You Have Been Waiting For

Fifty % of my readers (2 of the 4) suggested I write about movies.

Always on the ‘best movies of all time’ lists are: “Citizen Kane” and “Casablanca.” They are two of my favorites – and I have seen each 3 or 4 times. (When you are 90 those numbers are about the same!). Charley Chaplin and his films are at the top of my ‘most fun’ movies. They fill me with laughs and with rich emotional feelings. “The Gold Rush” and “Limelight” display genius talent.

For some political perspective, with a comic base, Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator” is classic.

And in a class by itself is “The Big Lebowski”, written and directed by Ethan and Joel Coen and released in 1998.

Jeff Bridges captures the inspiraring and hilarious nature of The Dude.

I have seen “What’s Up, Doc?” four times to laugh and to be entertained by Barbra Streisand. In other films she has won awards and sings her heart out…..but, for just a sheer delightful time of watching a movie I want to see her in her “Doc” movie.

Thank you to my Blog guru and friend, Annemarie Godston, for her consultation and technical assisstance.


Bob Fitzgerald…August 2017

You can listen in on a personal conversation:

Friend: “Now that you are 90 what are you going to do?”

Bob: “I think I will Blog for awhile.”

Friend: “What will you write about?”

Bob: “Nothing”

Friend: “You have to write something on a Blog.”

Bob: “Seinfeld had a TV show ‘about nothing’ and it was popular and he got rich….so I thought I might just do that on Blog…..I know a lot about ‘nothing.’”

Friend: “Good luck, I think.”

Thank you for reading my first Blog. I really don’t know who is going to ever ‘tune in.’ Because of my fear that no one will ever read my Blog I am recruiting friends to be readers…. Whew…..progress is promising…I’m up to three…!!!! So…..I do have readers!

There are at least three reasons to read my Blog:

  1. You will feel like a ‘young Spring chicken.’ After reading about the life of a 90 year old man you will enjoy your day! I can see you now: back-flipping in your back yard — or skipping to
    QFC — or catching the “Late, Late, Late Show” on TV.

  2. You will be as “smart as a whip.” What you will learn will leave you breathless. And your social conversation will highlight the evening with friends. At the end of each of my Blogs I will have my “Predictions.” This means you will have things to say during complicated discussions that will provoke clarity as well as unbelieveable reality.

  3. Your net-worth will “go through the roof.” My hourly rate for advice and consultation is $250 per hour. My Blog costs you nothing – I offer this Blog to you absolutely FREE! Therefore, every time you read my Blog YOU are making money! Bingo…!! by the end of several months of our Blog relationship you will be really rich!

In other words: tell your friends to read my Blog to feel YOUNG….to get SMART…and to get RICH.

Along the way they …. and you……will discover “nothing!”

My next Blog:

I will write about Howard Thurman.

He has been called “one of the greatest spiritual resources of this nation.”

Few people talk of him today but at the time of his death (1981) he was one of the 20th century’s foremost religious leaders. I feel previledged to have heard him many times.


  1. Politics: Seattle will not elect Jenny Durkan Mayor. 2. Sports: University of Washington Huskies will win their first football game by over 28 points. 3. By December, 2017, serious plans will be in the making to remove Donald Trump as President.

    Thank you to my Blog guru and friend, Annemarie Godston, for her consultation and technical assisstance.