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Fred’s 75th

August 15, 2009
Sam & Fred (Papa) 1996

Sam & Fred (Papa) 1996


Last weekend Fred celebrated his 75th birthday. 


Patty wrote in an email to everyone: It was Wonderful! 

Kevin was here and brought a whole Copper River Red Salmon to grill for the occasion.  It was sumptuous!  Kevin is a master chef with Smoked Salmon.  Without any sleep, spending the previous night on airplanes and in airports, he effortlessly made the best salmon ever!  


Katy arrived with the groceries for dinner just when I was running out of steam.  Of course, with her taking over, everything went smooth as silk!  Boy, how that girl works!    And, today I am relaxing with the clean up chores all done last night!


JP, Kori and Tess arrived right on time (!) with Kevin tow.  JP picked Kevin up from the airport then took him on a tour of the Garage Mahal.  They brought Fred a beautiful new jacket with a gazillion pockets, zip out sleeves, water proof, windbreaker…….everything one would want in a jacket!  It’s just what Fred needs. On top of that, it fits him perfectly!


We had cheeses, crackers, grapes, and pot stickers for appetizers.  All were a big success.


For dinner we had the salmon, steaks, twice baked potatoes, fresh beans, cucumber/tomato salad, fruit salad and for dessert, a decadent chocolate cake with ice cream.  Everyone had a sufficiency.


Then came the fun.  Champagne toasts and Story Time.


You sent in some great stories and those that were here had some good ones also.  So many memories!


Fred smiled and chuckled a lot during Story Time.  He laughed out loud several times, especially when Katy read Mick’s sock tale.   I’ll try to recap the memories of those around the table last night, but forgetful as I am, I should have taken notes.  Better yet, I’ll include all of us in this email so those of you that were here can add your comments, critiques and correct my omissions.  


Kevin remembered some things way, way back.  That old black car with the quilt headliner and matching quilt in the back seat.  The house on Portland…..selling that old black car.  The trip to Mexico for his 3rd birthday. 

Kevins 3rd b-day

Kevin's 3rd b-day


Schla-schla?  Schla-schla?  JP asking for more sausage as he slid his plate over for a refill again and again. 


Driving the tractor.  Fred told him to, “Stay on the line.”  He fixed his eye on the front wheel and drove the tractor……at the ripe old age of five!


Kori recalled how much it meant to her (having recently lost her father) to have Fred take Sam by the hand and be his Papa and his friend.  She was all choked up, so it wasn’t only you, Wanda. 


Katy remembers the Steel Drum Band in Trinidad playing, “I Feelin’ Nice Now” and how Fred would giggle and his eyes would twinkle as he’d say, “I Feellin’ Nice Now!”   She calls it his “Feelin’ Nice Now” eyes.


We all recalled her innocently climbing onto his chair saying, “Thank you, Daddy!” for the eggs he had just made for himself.  Ever-after, Fred asks, “Anyone else want eggs?”


JP had a tale to tell about butchering a steer in cold cold weather.  Fred had to go inside because his face was freezing.  Upon returning he complained that Kev and JP hadn’t cut off the legs yet.  The boys said it’s because the animal was still kicking.  Fred pooh-poohed their excuse and went about sawing off a back leg.  KERPOW!!  It kicked Fred in the face, knocked him down and broke his glasses.  Fred found both pieces of his glasses and said, “I’ve got to go in the house.”  Later he came back out with tape keeping his glasses together.


Then he recalled Fred, Kev and himself cornering a bull calf in the barn expecting to castrate it and the complete and utter FIASCO!  Kevin chimed in with his painful recollection of the event.  Fred can’t remember if they ever caught that calf that day!

Then a gazillion more stories came pouring out of all of us: 

about Edward Goat…..hanging from the barn rafters…..chasing the ice skaters….the fuel delivery guy.


Edward the Goat

Edward the Goat


about Foghorn-Leghorn and Captain Bly…..terrorizing Sean and Mick. “What? You’re scared of a CHICKEN?” Was it Sean that jumped into the old Buick and beeped the horn until, hours later, someone came to rescue him.


about Sunshine…..derived from Joyce (South African maid) who couldn’t pronounce Sean, calling him Shine, then Shiney.  And from there, the siblings added first “China,” then “Ching Chang Chinabuns”  Dad put an end to all of it.  He called Sean “Sunshine.”  That was the name that stuck.


Now, I’m hoping that all of you will add what you recall of the evening.  I know I’ve forgotten more than I’ve remembered.  If I overlooked or misquoted, please forgive me, and add so that the truth be known.

Love to everyone…..and thanks for making Fred’s 75th birthday so memorable!



Freds 40th

Fred's 40th


Mickey wrote in from Antwerp:  When I was in high school I noticed when Dad ate lunch he would often reach down and rub his lower leg or ankle. One day I asked him what he was doing.

He said, “My fingers were dirty.”


“My fingers were dirty and I didn’t have anything to wipe them on. So, I wiped them on my socks.”

“Your socks?”

“Sure. No one looks at your socks.”


To this day I almost never have a problem cleaning off my fingers because I am without a towel, napkin or a tissue (which is almost always).

Finger foods? No problem!

Engine grease? No problem!

Ketchup, mustard or mayonnaise? No problem!

Over the years, I have passed this story and related wisdom on to friends who have also put it to good use and in turn passed on to their friends. Today more and more men, across America and the world, have cleaner shirts, happier wives and are more confident at parties because Fred Winker figured it out for us.

No one looks at your socks.

Mickey & Fred 1986

Mickey & Fred 1986

Wanda wrote in from Sacramento:  Hmmm a story about Fred. Well you all know me I’ll be the sappy one.
Where do I start? I always tease that I am married to a miniature Fred and have I mentioned I am now raising one too. I wouldn’t have it any other way though I love all three of them!!! Fred accepted me into the family along with Colin and has always treated us as his own! Fred and Patty shared their beautiful farm with us so we could have the best wedding ever. And now they share their vacation home with us which has been some of my favorite memories ever!

I remember when we were cutting down the trees so the road could go in for the development….I had asked him if he would save the biggest tree for last and of course he did. We measured it….it was 11 ft around….and then we watched it go down. Sean thinks it’s funny because I didn’t grow up there but it was very emotional for me…I really enjoyed the walks to the pasture and spending time there.

Thanks for everything you do for us Fred. I wish we could be there with you celebrating but I raise a toast to you!! Happy 75th!!!

Love you!



Sam wrote in from Oklahoma:  I remember that some time a number of years ago, I was visiting Grandma Pat and Papa. In my mind, this was a special visit, because back then every visit was special to me, but now that I’m older, the visits seem even more special to me. Anyway, Grandma Pat needed some help in the garden, so I thought that I would be helping Grandma Pat out. I worked for her in the morning, had lunch, and was relaxing during “Quiet Hour”, when Papa came in. Papa brought me outside, and showed me his riding mower. I hadn’t really paid much attention to what he was doing when he was mowing on previous visits, so I did not know much about riding mowers. Papa showed me how it worked, and then he went and cut out a guide line for me to follow. I then hopped into the seat, and started to mow the lawn. Papa had been planning on reading the paper while I mowed the lawn, but that wasn’t what ended up happening. Unfortunately for Papa, I did not weigh enough to activate the seat’s pressure/dead man’s switch. Papa ended up mowing the entire lawn, but he made me run/walk behind him the entire way, so I could gain what he called “mowing experience”. By the end of the day, we were both tired, we were both ready to get out of the heat, and we were both hungry again. But Papa was only sweaty. I was green.

Happy Birthday Papa! I can’t believe it’s your birthday again! Sadly, I missed your last birthday party too, because we were on vacation. Next year, I’ll have to make sure I’m in town. Again, Happy Birthday Papa!


Celebrating Freds 44th after a long day of bailing hay

Celebrating Fred's 44th after a long day of bailing hay


Emma wrote in from Sacramento:  Happy Birthday Papa!!!  I wish I could be there with you right now but I can’t.  On Foodo I made you a cake and ate it for you hehehehe!!!  It was a amazing  I want to eat the whole cake you would love it.  I made for you because I love you papa I wish that I could send a piece for you and grandma and every body else.  When I made that cake I thought of you  and all the summers that we come down to see you.  I thought of the great time we have in Roatan and Thank you so much for letting us stay in your cabin we love it SOOOO much.  I thought of when you opened a coconut for us in was so cool and good thank you again.  Then the time you took us snorkeling out to the reef that was fun we saw so many fish it was so fun.  Mom told me a story when I was very little and I wanted to see Spiderman and papa said when and I said right now so went.  When I was little you read stories to me and I would sit on your laps and eat a (sangwedge) with you. Then one time we where going on a picnic and grandma sent us with her nice Longaberger basket and we went and ate lunch and when papa was parking the tractor he was putting the front loader down while driving and the basket fall out and you ran over the basket and grandma was mad but we had Oreos in the basket and they got all broken and we put them on our ice cream it was good. Thank you for all the amazing memories.


Love you,



Mary wrote in from Chicago:  Mine’s a little late because we were in Calgary when Patty asked for stories. I know Fred’s fondest memory that includes me is the time I called him COLLECT in Trinidad & Tobago while Elsie & I were in Arizona on Spring Break.  The Chevy Chevette was over-heating and I didn’t want to be ripped off getting it fixed. Hahahahahohohohohehehehehe that’s what you get from Fred when he tells that story.  But My favorite is that he’d always send me a post card  on a regular basis when he was out of the states.  I’m sure he sent everyone else one too, but I like to think I was special – kinda like when I was little and he’d bring me home a doll from every country he went to –  there’s a story about “Dancing Girls” but I don’t remember  that part.

Below are some of the many post cards he sent – most of the stamps are gone because they were always gently removed and sent to Kev for his stamp collection.

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