Though I was just two years younger than today’s Amsterdam Birthday Celebrant I was actually better friends with his Dad. Andy Collins and Eddie Fitzgerald were two of my regular Sunday afternoon customers when I used to bartend in my younger days at Ralph’s on Amsterdam’s Market Street. Andy, a long-time employee of the Post Office and Fitzgerald, a popular coach of Amsterdam semi-pro baseball teams, were good buddies and they’d come into the bar together for a couple of beers and regal me with stories about old Amsterdam and Rugmaker baseball.
Andy’s son Dave was a better friend and classmate of my brother Matt’s in the Lynch Class of 1970. His Mom was the longtime Vrooman Avenue elementary school teacher, Florence Collins. Dave was a superb student at Lynch and he used to enjoy performing in Bert DeRose’s school plays.
He went to Colgate for his undergraduate degree and then to Albany Medical College, where he earned his M.D. He then received a coveted fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Boston in pediatric anesthesiology. Andy was so proud of his boy and rightly so. He used to joke that Dave got his brains from his mother and his love of beer from him.
Dave Collins ended up settling near Pittsburgh where he put together a distinguished…
I’ve already started work on the second volume of “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays” and Dr. Collins’ complete story will be featured in it. I will be sharing the complete posts of some of the Volume II birthday celebrants in future issues of the Amsterdam Birthday Blog Newsletter. If you are not yet a newsletter subscriber, you can sign up for free here.