Presented By Bob Rodgers)
His loft was set in a wooded area with a small brook running past. He also crossed a few rollers with common (feral) pigeons and one of these , a spread blue/black pied took my fancy as a boy, because it would fly out to meet him and land on his head.
His late daughter Eileen recalled one day when her father traveled to Windsor to a pigeon show with a friend, Jim Whitely. At the end of the day, they decided not to bother boxing up the racers, so instead released them outside the showroom to fly home .
Windsor was about three quarters of an hour away in those days. When Fred and several other fanciers arrived home, they gathered up some lawn chairs and sat in the shade by the loft. About an hour later, Eileen went out to ask them if they all would like to come into the house and have some supper. Fred quickly said, "Oh no dear, we have to wait to see if the Racers get back from Windsor." She begins to laugh and says, "I told them that I saw a bunch of birds out flying around here about fifteen minutes before they drove in the yard!" With that, she said, "Dad jumped up from his chair and hurried into the loft, and there were all of his birds as if to say, where the heck were you guys?"
Fred's only grandson, Francis, married my oldest sister, so both families have had close ties ever since.
Fred frequently used a thumb stick which he carved himself in a workshop adjacent to his loft. Eileen says, "I never thought I too would one day be using a walking stick." She says, "Dad used his mainly for pointing at things." Then she walked me through her living room, using her cane to point out paintings on the wall she had done over the years. Actually, the only thing missing there during my visit, was the loft itself, which had been torn down a few years ago. Fred seemed still very much part of the scene!
Eileen passed away since and the house has been sold.
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