Monday, January 28, 2019


This is the orchestra my favorite (& only) father-in-law, Phil, put together when he was 
only 19.  They toured the orient.  He is 3rd from the left, with the violin.

Phil had a habit that really annoyed his wife.  He would spit out of the car window while driving.  One day, he released a wad & decided to quit doing that right then & there.  Perhaps the fact that the car window was still rolled up & became spit-covered had a hand in his decision.  He’s passed on now; we’ll never know for sure.

Another Phil story happened shortly before he gave up his driver’s license.  He was on a major street which fortunately had very light traffic at the time.  He had apparently been weaving & was stopped at a red light, I assume taking up a lane & a half, when a car full of young men pulled up alongside him.  The driver politely asked him, “Excuse me, sir, but could you please tell me what street this is?”  Phil answered, “Olympic Boulevard.”  The other driver thanked him & politely asked, “Would you mind sharing it with us?”

My father-in-law used to be the leader of the house orchestra at the Saltair Hotel in Salt Lake City.  The hotel had a publicity photo made with his picture--handsome devil that he was, in his tux--& the words, “Ladies!!  Get a free autographed picture of Phil Fischer!!”  Matt, who was about 10 or 12, was visiting his grandfather with a friend.  Phil showed the boys the picture & they said, “Big deal!!  A free picture of Grandpa Phil!!”  He smiled his devilish smile & said, “I wasn’t always Grandpa Phil!!”  He was quite the dude. He liked to wear a grey pinstripe suit, white shirt with French cuffs, a silk tie--& red socks.

He tried to make a living as a professional musician when he was a family man, but it was impossible during the depression.  He got a job playing the violin in a Mexican restaurant for food & tips.  He said he couldn't eat the food & the tips were non-existent.  He eventually became the vice-president of the local musician's union, Local 47.  In that union, he also became the West Coast Studio Representative.

My kids used to jokingly (& endearingly) call him the old buzzard.  He thought it was funny & even got a personalized license plate "OLD BUZZ" until his wife made him turn it in.

He wasn't the handiest of handymen around his house.  One time he decided to replace a broken bedroom window himself, to save a buck.  He carefully measured the window & bought a new pane of glass.  He laid the new pane conveniently on the grass.  He removed  the old glass & took a step back from the window onto the new glass, breaking it.  Buying yet another new glass ended up costing him more than calling someone out to replace it while Phil could be comfortably sitting in his easy chair. 

Phil normally parked in his driveway, but he got a ticket--twice--for parking in front of his house during street cleaning time, directly under the warning sign.  He posted a sign of his own on top of the city’s warning.  It read, “Don’t park here, Stupid!”

When Phil was about 90, his regular physician either retired or died (which I'd guess you'd call a final retirement) so we took him to our doctor for a checkup.  He took Phil off of about half of his meds.  Among other things, he was regularly taking both a diuretic & pills to keep him from peeing so much.  He felt much better afterwards.

I used to write a newsletter filled with jokes & cartoons to send to our family (mostly his 10 grandchildren) who were all over the world.  He said he liked a good laugh, too, & insisted on his own copy.  He said he shouldn't be deprived just because he lived a mile from me.

Carol Wyer's new book is being released today.
It's funny!!

I miss you, you old buzzard----fishducky