Tony - Packer Fan or Buccaneer Fan?
I sat in Tony’s spot tonight trying to find the right quote. When my arm hit the wood under the once stuffed armrest draped with droopy leather, I had an “aha” moment. Much like Sheldon Cooper of “The Big Bang Theory,” Tony also had a spot on the couch. Tony, unlike Sheldon, never got all bent out of shape if someone was in his spot. It should be his spot. Afterall, he sat there for the equivalent of a full-term pregnancy. Ok, enough about spots. There are a few more things to cover such as pole dancing, the Packers, and Tony’s laugh.
Anton, aka Tony, has called Frederick Place home twice. His first stay was in 2017. I found him to be a quiet older gentleman who kept to himself. I remember he had a sadness about him, because he had to surrender his cats to the animal shelter. I have four cats of my own, plus two I had to send across the rainbow bridge, so I could relate to Tony’s grief. We often chatted about how special cats are to members of the “Secret Order of Crazy Cat People” and shared tales about our fur babies.
Tony eventually found a room to rent at a price he could afford and moved on. Three years later he was told he needed to vacate, because the landlord wanted to move a family member in. Tony was not given enough notice to find a place while living there, so he found himself on our doorstep again in July of 2020. COVID protocol was in place at that time so finding a home of his own did not come easy. The eviction moratorium was in place, so people who would have been told to vacate under normal conditions were not evicted. He had a couple hot prospects that did not pan out, and he was feeling hopeless and frustrated. Finally, towards the end of March, he secured an apartment of his own. He would often say he could not wait to have his own place. The words may have come out of his mouth, but deep down he loved it here and was nervous about living alone. The thought of packing up and setting up his own place overwhelmed him at times. A few of his housemates picked up on this and secretly went to his new place, unpacked all of his belongings, and decorated his new home. To date, that is the nicest thing residents have done for a fellow resident. Thanks again ladies!
At some point during his stay the subject of pole dancing was discussed. Somehow that turned into a running joke in the house. That topic may be inappropriate, but the laughter outweighed that naughty talk. Plus, anyone would do anything just to hear Tony laugh. I have never seen a case of “laughter contagion” anything like it. I wish you could hear it, because I cannot come up with words to describe it. The residents and I joked about recording his laugh, so we would always have it to brighten a cloudy day. I regret that I did not do so.
Tony had an encounter with Emma, our ghost, that solidified my belief in Emma. (Sorry for doubting you, my dear) Tony came out of the dorm one morning and shared that he had seen a ghostly figure in the dorm that night. Tony chalked it up to being half awake. He became curious so he was shown a picture of Emma. Tony’s face went white as he was said, “That is who I saw.”
Tony’s “Emma experience” has already become one of our “legends.” Our list of legends, tales we share with residents, is reserved for the most unique, somewhat unbelievable occurrences. Other legends include garbage bags flying out the dorm door, microwaving urine thinking it would help pass a drug test, a bag of garbage joining a lazy resident in bed, and seeing Emma’s reflection in a resident’s glasses when doing a selfie. Tony’s story absolutely deserves to be on the list.
My most memorable “Tony story” is the day he found a Tampa Bay emblem and he taped over the Packer logo on his shirt shortly before the “let’s go for a field goal when we have a great chance to score a touchdown” Packer/Buccaneer playoff game. I pretended to be ticked off but loved it. I made the fridge magnet, because every fridge needs one, you see below.