SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 85: “The Framing Fairy”

“My childhood was fun, crazy and wonderful. Mom was the social coordinator and dad was the orchestra leader. I would have had an ideal upbringing, all except for one thing, my dad’s drinking.”

One of the many reflections from Patrick, today’s 365 friend.

In regards to his growing up, Patrick is enthusiastic, as he exuberantly reenacts endless accounts of growing up in a small Southern New Hampshire town of 5000.

“My parents had tons of parties, people were always over, and  for me, it was a safe time. We knew everyone in the neighborhood. And all looked out for each other. It was way different than it is now.” There is a spark in Patrick’s eyes as he makes this claim.

What I find out in a fast two hours with Patrick is this, “He cares.” Not just about his family (and it’s huge, his mom had 5 siblings and his dad 15), but also for his friends, customers, and remarkably, for the future of our kids.

“No one thinks about each other anymore and too many kids are raised with no common sense or respect.” At the moment he expresses this sentence, a group of unchaperoned teens run screaming past the front of the store. “See what I mean. Right next to me is a tutoring school. How do you think the kids studying there feel about that interruption?” He shakes it off and resumes his discourse on his childhood.

“We respected our parents, my mom was a great woman, I miss her dearly,” showing me his ear-ring which is made from one of his mothers diamonds. Both of Patrick’s parents are deceased, but to this day, he respects the life lesson’s he learned from them.

My mom was a feisty Italian and Dad was a spirited Irishman.

Patrick tells me more about his mother and his love and honor of  her. “When I was a kid, if mom rang the bell, we moved our asses to dinner. We all sat as a family every night. mom took great care of us.”

“Dad was a character,” he goes on the share story after story of his fathers colorful personality. Things like one cold Winter night when neighbors put a gag sign in his yard. “My dad ran out of the house in his boxers, and with all laughing, proceeded to spray them off with a hose. He was out there for 30 minutes, in the cold, my dad was just that way.”

I’m starting to get the picture of the passion that must have been in his childhood home.

One thing that strikes me louder than words, and Patrick has many, is the blend of absolute order and creativity in Patrick’s framing shop. Everything is in its place, and his work is nothing short of perfect.

My customers love coming here and most return again and again. “I do not try to up sell anyone. My goal is to help them preserve memories.”

In touring Patrick’s workroom (where the framing magic happens), I come across a shadow box sitting on a perfectly organized work table. He gives me the rundown. “Everything I do is custom. This project will take me hours and I want to make it perfect for my customer.”

Here is what is really cool about this place. It has a “you’re at home” vibe. I get it when Patrick starts to share stories of his customers. “I love the people who come in here, we are a community, and the best compliment I get is when my customers shed a tear in seeing their memories come to life in the framing I provide.” He is incredibly sincere with this claim and I know Patrick cares.

Patrick is funny, very funny. Four adjectives describe him: Smart, spontaneous, inspired and loving.

“When I was 8. I wanted to be Merv Griffin. I even remember one night when my parents went out, leaving me with my brothers and sisters. I rearranged the living room, turning it into a talk show. I role played both Merv and his guests. I’ll never forget it and that is where my quest to know people began.”


Can you share any words of counsel or wisdom?

“Go big or stay home. Life is too short to miss opportunity. And always remember, when you ego is as big as you ass, you are in trouble. And if you don’t enjoy what you are doing, GET THE HELL OUT.”

And that is exactly what he did after years in the corporate world, He got out.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

“Still feeling in love as much as I am now!”

In parting; Patrick share this call to action. “Take care of you mothers and respect the old.”

And please tell the world this, “I am the Framing Fairy, and proud to say it!”