cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Seems I am writing more and more of these blogs about people who I have known and thought a lot of who have died. Here is another of those blogs.
Fritz Schumacher, actually Frederick but he really seemed more like a ”Fritz” than a “Frederick”, passed away about a week ago. His funeral is later today. I saw him walking his dog the day before his death and learned late the next morning that he had not awakened from his night of rest. Many of us would probably say that, if we could choose how we will leave this life, we would prefer to be asleep when that occurs.
Fritz had lived in Esquire Estates since before it was actually named that. He was a fixture; a wiry, smaller fellow who had a jaunty step about him, and who had some pretty strong opinions about things. Fritz didn’t know how or when to stop working. He had just finished the rebuilding of his second floor back deck and placing a new railing around that structure. He did most of this work, of course, between his 91st and 92nd birthdays. I don’t think that railing ever got its first coat of paint or stain, though.
We have lamp posts near the street in our little world. Those are made of white metal and seem to need a lot of tender, loving care. Fritz had made those projects part of his later life’s work. We had agreed that he would refurbish our lamp post this year and he kept telling us that he hadn’t forgotten, that he’d get to it just as soon as some other project he had going was finished. We’re now going to have to refurbish our own lamp post, I’m afraid, since Fritz hadn’t quite gotten to it before he was called away. The problem with that is that Fritz will probably be watching as we tackle that project and might get a little disgusted if we don’t get it just right.
Fritz was a fixture around here for sure. He was our walking historian. He had a very good memory right up to the end of his days. He could handle just about any kind of work and loved to putter in his garage on this, that and the other thing.
My relationship with Fritz wasn’t all love and laughter. I served as the president of our homeowners’ association for a few years and we had some differing ideas on a few things. But when you and Fritz had a beef, he’d tell you why he thought the way he thought, and then after a day or two you were friends again. I know many of us will miss seeing Fritz and his dog out walking as he did virtually every day no matter the weather. There wasn’t anything that was forbidden in a conversation with Fritz. That was one of the things that was so endearing about your chats with him; you just never quite knew where it was likely to go and what you’d have discussed when it was all done.
I know we’re not the only ones who will miss Fritz. We knew him for 24 years, and there are some here who knew him longer. I really hope that you have or have had a “Fritz” in your life. If you still have a “Fritz” make sure you take advantage of that for so long as he is around; nothing lasts forever.