The Chosen Baby

Part 20 of the Judy Tomaini Rock Series

 

The Trapeze artist always fascinated Judy, and her Dad would take her to the small coffee and donut and Ice cream shop, that was owned by the Brocks. They were retired Circus performers, and Anna Brock took a liking to Judy. Who would sit in amazement, and listen to Anna tell stories, about her time with the circus.

 

Along with the donuts, the visual thoughts of what it would be like, to fly through the air, 32 feet above the ground, flashed through Judy's mind as the stories were told. And the rush from not using a net, was awesome. On one of the trips to Brocks, Anna ask her husband something in a strange language, and he smiled and went to the back room. When he returned, he had something in his hands, that looked like canvas covered ropes. And when he winked at Al, it started to sink in, and Judy started to cry. She was always an emotional kid. She would cry if she was happy, sad, mad, whatever, and Jeanie would tell her, she would never have kidney problems, since more water escaped her eyes, than the other end. The Brocks had ask Al in advance, if it was all right if they gave Judy, Anna's last Trapeze. He was having a heavy steel frame welded together, that Judy thought was a sign frame. It would eventually be the Trapeze rigging. But for the time being, it was attached to a rafter in the garage. Judy could play on it there, and when she was used to it, and not afraid to fall off, it would be attached to the frame outside. The big difference would be, from a sit down swing indoors, to a real Trapeze with a Spanish web, that had to be climbed to get on it. So it was a challenge, to just get up high enough off the ground to reach it. She was in heaven, the first time she reached the bar. And had to go get Jeanie and Al, to see what she could do. They were never too busy, to take an interest in Judy's hobbies. Every time the Ice shows came to town, they would get front row tickets.

 

Judy would sit and close her eyes, and Jeanie knew, she was projecting herself out on the ice, and skating right along with the skaters. What a great imagination she had, and it was encouraged. Jeanie and Al, never burdened her, with anything that wasn't necessary, for a child. She was able to just learn, the best values, to make it later in life. Jeanie always read her books, and taught her right from wrong. Spankings were given out, only when necessary, and then it was more of a gesture. You would learn real fast, what buttons not to push, to avoid the result. The first book she had, was given to her by the social worker, when she was only a couple months old. The Chosen Baby. It was a perfect way, to explain to a child about adoption. And Jeanie started reading it to her, before any other books. So by the time she was able to understand, it was old hat, and she never questioned it. So when she would get into a confrontation in school, it didn't bother her at all, when the other kids would say, you are adopted. Maybe so, but her parents wanted her, more than anything in the world. They chose her. And in later years, it would help to make her, into the person she became.

 

When Judy was 8, Pattyann Sciortino, and her husband Joe, told Jeanie and Al, they had a friend with a 10 month old girl, he needed to get a home for. He and his wife separated, and he had no way to take care of the baby. And the Tomainis jumped at the chance. She was 10 months old, sweet and happy, chubby cheeks, and a smile that would melt your heart. Her Dad brought her out to the Tomainis, on a bus from Tampa. He had just wanted to see, where she would be living, and meet the new parents, that he was entrusting, with part of himself. Her name was Thea Patricia Bruce. And it was changed to Patricia Anne Tomaini. The Pattyanne was after Pattyann Sciortino. Judy had been named Judith Diane Tomaini. The Diane being from Joe Sciortino's first wife. They were part of our family too. Now Judy had a little sister, but starting having nightmares again, that some one would come steal her away. Patti was a pretty little baby, and had brown hair. She was like a real live baby doll for Judy. And she loved Patti so much, she would always take her in the yard to play ball, when she started walking. And would spend hours with her playing dress up, and with their dolls. They would pretend a lot, that they were stars in the circus. When Patti was a few years old, Judy talked Jeanie and Al, into letting her take ballet lessons too. They let her try, but Patti had two left feet back then, and as Jeanie would say, she could trip over the design in the carpet, and would rather be a cowgirl. Till she grew a little older, she was a tomboy. But when she played dress up one day, she liked what she saw, and like her sister, was real girlie. Dresses were in and jeans were out.

 

Al saw the need for a fire department in Gibsonton, after helplessly watching a house burn to the ground, since there was only the water in a well, to fight it with. And when the electric line melted through, and the pump quit pumping water, there was such a feeling of loss. That same night Al called a brother in Jersey, and said he needed an ambulance and fire truck, and whatever else would be needed to be in business. He already owned a few lots down the road, and got together with many of the other men in town, and decided to build a volunteer fire department on them. The property was deeded over, all but for one 15 foot slice right down the middle. And it was to revert back to the Tomaini family, if ever the fire dept. was disbanded or shut down. The fire dept. was formed and the building was built. It was all done by the men of the community. Out of their own pockets. You would have thought it was a parade, the day the first Fire truck and Ambulance rolled into town. They were both loaded down with the needed equipment. Coats, pants, boots and Hats along with hose and axes, now all they needed, was to learn how to use it. Al was already enrolled in the fire school in Ocala, and he and his family packed up and moved there for 6 weeks. It was like going back on the road for a visit. The travel trailer was all set to go, and since they had spent so much time in it on the road, it was quite comfortable. Judy missed her bed every night, as usual, but enjoyed the vacation. By the time the next school year started, they were back home. Al had an instructor, that was able to take time away from the school, to come teach the rest of the men, how to fight the devil smoke, that could sneak in, and suck the life out of you while you were sleeping. He also knew a retired doctor and his nurse wife that would man the phone, at the firehouse during the day. Later down the road they had a paramedic, that would live right there and be available 24/7. He had a friend that would give him time off, so he was very happy for the job.

 

And that was how the Gibsonton Volunteer Fire Dept. was born. And many lives were saved over the years, because of the unfailing duty, of the men in the community. Though most all of them are long dead, we thank them for the saving of lives, and property over the years.

 

2004 Judy Tomaini Rock, All Rights Reserved

Published with the permission of Judy Tomaini Rock

 

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