Titus

Titus

by Titus Plomaritis

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Overview

The book "TITUS" has the conclusion of this most exciting football game, in the 100 year history of the Lowell Lawrence Thanksgiving day rivalry!!!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781477271377
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 11/09/2012
Pages: 578
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

TITUS


By TITUS PLOMARITIS

AuthorHouse

Copyright © 2012 Titus Plomaritis
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4772-7137-7


Chapter One

TITUS—A MAN OF MANY NAMES By Sam Weisberg, (my editor)

It's safe to say that TITUS PLOMARITIS has undergone more aliases than Whitey Bulger during his stellar athletic, military and personal careers.

Very few people, living or dead, has had their first or last names misspelled or misquoted more than the Good Doctor.

It all started the day that he was born—September 6,1929—when Doctor Vurgaropulos jotted down on his birth certificate: TITUS PLOUMARITIS. (Brother George earlier also had his name misspelled).

The PLOU spelling continued to plague Titus throughout his military career, appearing on all his U.S. Army certificates—including the Paratrooper graduation document and eventually the final honorable discharge paper, signed on January 14, 1948.

Even his own father called him TITOS, which is Greek for Titus.

A MAJORITY of the time over his all-star football career his name in the newspapers was spelled PLOMARITUS, both in the numerous bold headlines and in the story contents.

Titus' hometown newspaper—THE LOWELL SUN—spelled his name correctly only some of the time, in addition to printing it with the "US" ending, depending who the writer or the editor was at the time. They couldn't make up their minds.

However, as mentioned above, the majority of his press clippings showed PLOMARITUS in bold type headlines—including football write-ups at Lowell High School, Boston University, the Bogalusa bowl game and All-State stories.

DOWN SOUTH he was called TARTUS, by Mississippi State University head football coach SLICK MORTON. "We want you here, Tartus," the coach said immediately after the prospect from Lowell dazzled during a preview of his gridiron skills.

Famed country comedian, JERRY CLOWER, during a Jerry Clower Day ceremony at Mississippi State, yelled out "Stand up Tartus!" That came as a result of Clower's 1976 "THE AMBASSADOR OF GOODWILL" best-selling country album, which contained a comical football story about Titus entitled "TITUS PLUMMERITIS".

AMONG OTHER memorable items which dotted Titus' football career:

The Lowell-Lawrence game program listed him as five-foot eight and 170 pounds, when he was actually 5'5" and 155 ... ... Famed announcer CURT GOWDY, during pre-game lineup announcements of Boston University grid games at Fenway Park, would bellow "AN-HERE-COMES-TY-TUSPLOMA-RITE-US!!" ... Even Titus would have fun with his own name. When as a youngster in Lowell, trying out for the mostly Irish St. Peter's Cadets baseball team, he answered a roll call by BISHOP MARKHAM as "O'PLOMARITIS" ... Another baseball misspelling took place in the 1944 cutline of the photo of the Pawtucket Junior High diamond squad, as Titus' name was spelled PLUMARITES.

HOWEVER, the most famous printed miscue of his name occurred in a Boston newspaper the day after he starred for Lowell High in the 1948 Cambridge Jamboree. It read: "Lowell, which looms as a powerhouse this coming season, sent the fans home talking about left halfback, TIM LOMERITUS.

GORHAM STREET CHILDHOOD

I was born on September 6, 1929, the third of seven children of Greek immigrants and then resided at 191 Gorham Street in Lowell, Massachusetts, for 10 years during the Depression years, 1929 to 1939.

My parents were born in Greece. My mother, Niki, came to America at the age of one, while my father, Demosthenis, came here when he was 35. They were married on July 26, 1926, when she was 18 and he was 35 in an arranged marriage.

My oldest brother, Timothy, was born in 1927, followed by brothers George in 1928 and Joseph on December 25th, 1930—my Christmas present.

After we moved to 29 Johnson Street—at the very end of the bus stop on Varnum Avenue—my parents had three more children—brothers Anthony (1943), David (1946), and sister Priscilla (1947) as my mother finally got her wish with a girl, she was the end of the production line.

My mother (maiden name Niki Mantis) was born on August 14, 1908, and passed away on May 18, 1990. My father, born on May 26,1892 and died on August 15, 1980. We lost my brothers Timothy on January 28, 2011, and George on May 5, 1993.

My father's occupation was a barber, owning his own shop on Gorham Street. He hardly spoke English. However, he had another barber working for him who spoke English and Greek and more or less doubled as my father's interpreter. My father only read the Greek bible and the Greek newspaper.

My father was very religious and he conducted Greek bible meetings one evening a week in our living room.

The barber shop was located at 111 Gorham Street, only a short distance from our three bedroom cold water flat, which was over the Pioneer Market. The market was owned and operated by the owner of the building.

The window directly above the "P" in the Pioneer Market sign was my bedroom window. Directly across the street from that window there was a Portuguese bakery. Early every morning I watched the baker working from that window and eventually drifted down, told him who I was and that I had been watching him from across the street and asked if I could help because someday I would like to be a baker just like him (age 8-9). My payment for helping was a loaf of fresh Portuguese bread to bring home for breakfast.

Needless to say, my father was a strict disciplinarian and with his temperament—he would use his barber shop strap quite often—causing my mother to intervene, at times crying, telling him to stop.

The memories of my mother remain with me, with her genuine loving kindness, always with a smile on her face and protecting me and my brothers from my father's temperament.

Another memory is when my father came in the front door I would jump out the back window, run down the back stairs, up Union Street and wouldn't stop running until I got to the South Common playground.

SOUTH COMMON BASEBALL

The South Common hosted the prize sports event of the city of Lowell—the TwiLight Baseball League, which attracted huge crowds, especially during the playoffs—which usually featured arch rivals, the Lincoln Square Associates and The Gates Theater teams.

The players were not paid, but the familiar little old man in the straw hat would pass the hat around the wooden bleachers and the standing room only crowd, collecting a bountiful of loose change while chanting "Something for the boys!" The money would be distributed to the players at the postseason banquet.

Many outstanding baseball players came out of the Twi League before World War II, including future Major League stars Tony "Cookie" Lupien, Al "Skippy" Roberge, Frank Skaff and Johnny Barrett.

Lupien would succeed the great Jimmy Foxx at first base for the Red Sox, Roberge would play four seasons as an infielder for the Boston Braves, Skaff would eventually be the manager of the Detroit Tigers and the speedy Barrettwould lead the National League in triples and stolen bases in 1944 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Another familiar Twi League veteran was the fabulous Fronko Purtell, who was still playing third base at the Common in his 70's.

While watching a baseball game at the Common I would chase a foul ball, pick it up and run down Union Street like the whole police department was chasing me and hide under our porch for a few minutes. That baseball would last for about a week before the cover would peel off and then I would have to repeat the procedure.

MY FATHER, MEAN BUT HONEST

Sometimes I reflect back on those early years and realize that my father was mean spirited, old fashioned and not fun to be with. He was not educationally oriented, but he did have some good qualities—such as he was a non-smoker, a non-drinker except for an occasional glass of wine, was not a womanizer nor a gambler and he didn't hang around the Greek coffee houses and was extremely honest.

An example of his honesty occurred when I was eight years old and my father heard a ticking noise coming from my jacket. Following about 10 minutes of intense questioning of where the watch came from, I finally admitted that I took it from a local merchant on Gorham Street. That prompted a severe tongue lashing followed by a battery of barber shop straps on my butt until I couldn't sit for a week. The next day he took me to the merchant, had me return the watch, apologize and say I would not do it again.

Routinely, the punishment for being bad was that I had to sit in the barber shop and read the bible, sometimes for a whole week.

Another example of my father's honesty took place on a Saturday at the barber shop, when he sent me to the Washington Savings Bank with a paper bag and a note to the teller, relative to getting change for the barber shop's cash register. When I got back to the barber shop my father counted the change and noticed a mistake with an extra roll of quarters. He immediately sent me back to the bank with another note and the money, which remains in my memory like it was yesterday.

My mother was a stitcher and she worked full time when not having children. She worked at one of the factories on Thorndike Street and she walked to work, crossing the south common twice daily.

I vividly remember her coming home some cold wintry late afternoons, sitting in front of our kerosene stove, opening the oven door and sticking her feet in until she thawed out.

We lived on the middle floor, directly over the market. The structures on both sides of our tenement were also three story tenement buildings that formed a semi-circle which created a fairly large opening in back of the buildings that became a backyard play area, designed with clothes lines on every back porch.

Our tenement was located about 200 yards from the barber shop. It's funny how distance over the years make a difference. When I was five years old 200 yards would have been about 20 10-yard field goals. At 15 years old, about five 40-yard field goals, in college about four 50-yarders, and now at 82 it would take my very best T-Shot.

CLOSE CALLS SIX TIMES

As I reflect over the past eighty plus years, it seems someone was looking over me because I can envision six times that I was fortunate to survive close calls without suffering tragedy.

FIRST INCIDENT

My first close call occurred on a hot summer day when I was five to seven years old and again unsupervised and walking from Gorham Street to the Shedd Park Playground and pool area.

As we walked over the Rogers Street Bridge, with the extremely fast rapids of the Concord River about fifty feet below where we were walking, I climbed up on the wall with one of my friends to get a better look at the fast-moving water rapids below. I lost my footing and started to tumble headfirst into the Concord River, which would have been certain—or very close to—death, but luckily a passing pedestrian grabbed one of my legs and held on tightly, until a second adult assisted him in pulling me up and over the wall to safety.

NOTE:—The remaining five Close Calls incidents will follow in chronological order

MORNING LINEUP

We had a family morning ritual, with my father at the helm. He held a bottle of COD LIVER OIL in one hand and a tablespoon in the other and lined up the four boys, by seniority, with Tim, George, myself and Joe standing in a straight line like ducks in a pond.

With our mouths wide open to haul in the cod liver oil, and with a quarter slice of an orange in our hands to act as a chaser, we had to use the Paratrooper Shuffle to quickly get back in line. We had to repeat this procedure three times each morning.

OATMEAL BREAKFAST

Our gourmet breakfast started immediately following our cod liver oil delight.

In order to explain this breakfast procedure, I'll bring you up to date on the preliminaries in such a manner that you can envision all the details involved.

1— One of my father's barber shop customers operated a dairy product concession on Market Street. It was a normal practice in those days to have milk delivered to your front door. We had a five gallon container delivered to our residence on 191 Gorham Street twice weekly. My father gave the milkman a key to the ground level front door that gave him entry to the stairway and he would leave the full container of milk at the top of the stairs and remove the empty one.

2— Another one of my father's customers owned a mini grocery store only a couple of doors away from the barber shop. He would sell my father oatmeal by the case.

3—The night before, one of the boys would go to the cellar to fetch a couple of loaves of bread from the burlap bags. The bread, which was usually hard as a rock and at times had a little mold and rat bites which would be trimmed off before soaking it in warm water for about an half hour. The timing was quite good in that there was very little wasted time as this part transpired while we were doing our morning "cod liver oil shuffle". We would squeeze most of the water out of the two loaves of bread and put them in the oven for about 30 minutes while my father made the oatmeal

Remember, my mother had left the house early for work, therefore my father usually prepared breakfast.

"Titos" (which is Greek for Titus), bring the KART-SAH-RHO-LAR (Greek for large pot)', he would say.

We would pour four or five quarts of milk into the large pot and it would take two of us to pick it up and place it on the flat surface of the stove. My father would then pour an entire box of oatmeal into the pot of milk and stir it with a huge ladle until it was cooked. By this time the bread in the oven was baked and ready to eat.

We each had our favorite bowl and mine was a glass bowl with a picture of Shirley Temple on the bottom. I couldn't wait to get to the bottom of my dish to look at her pretty face as I had somewhat of a crush on her most of my childhood.

My father had the ladle ready with another load of oatmeal and just when you thought you got to the bottom of the dish another healthy portion covered Shirley's pretty face. I can honestly say to this day I still enjoy a good bowl of oatmeal—however, prepared considerably differently.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from TITUS by TITUS PLOMARITIS Copyright © 2012 by Titus Plomaritis. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

DEDICATION....................xxiii
FORWARD....................xxvii
INTRODUCTION....................xxix
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS....................xxxiii
Titus—A Man Of Many Names....................3
Gorham Street Childhood....................5
Close Calls Six Times....................11
Move To Varnum Avenue Area, 1939....................35
Close Calls—Second Incident....................39
Plomaritis Chicken & Egg Business....................51
The Paratrooper Story....................59
Patrolia And Football In Japan....................71
The General Omar Bundy....................75
Close Calls—Third Incident....................79
Returning To Lowell....................81
Lowell-Lawrence 1948 Football Game....................93
The Greatest Football Game In Lowell High History....................99
The Bogalusa Bowl Game....................119
Lowell Team Returns Home....................131
Mississippi State Journey....................133
Lowell Sun Charities....................145
First All-Star Football Game, 1949....................151
Boston University Football....................157
The Unforgettable Harry Agganis....................173
Ray Riddick....................183
Establishing The Scholarship Fund....................193
Ray Riddick Tribute, April 17, 1977....................209
Raymond A. Sullivan....................221
Stanley J. Stoklosa....................233
Lowell High Boosters Club....................241
Ralph S. Battles....................253
Billiards....................261
My Mother's First Automobile....................267
The Demoulas Story....................273
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SONS (Titus Jr. & Steven Titus)....................285
Extra-Curricular Activities....................292
Boston University Major & Minor Benefits....................300
Close Calls—Fourth Incident....................306
The Rotary Club....................309
The Saga Of Curt Gowdy....................316
Golfing In New Zealand....................318
New Left Hip....................324
Bishop's Famous Restaurant....................337
Lowell High School Class Of 1949....................347
Memories....................365
Frankie Hebert, Valiant Ringman....................371
George Kouloheras....................375
Dr. Ronald Randazzo....................397
Dr. Kevin Moriarty....................401
Remembering Kirk Gibson....................403
Okinawa With Mike Demauro....................407
Dr. Robert Eyre—Who? Why? When? Where?....................411
Paul Surprenant Revived Teaching Experience....................415
Chiropractic....................425
Close Calls—Fifth Incident....................435
Plomaritis Professional Center (PPC)....................441
Claire Plomaritis Makes Political History....................447
Honors For Titus....................461
Delivering For Gallen....................465
American Chiropractic Association (ACA)....................479
Titus And Jimmy Talk....................487
Plomaritis Family Hosts First Lady....................491
Plomaritis Made An ICC Fellow; Blasts Unaccredited Schools....................505
NBCE District III Election....................509
Speaking To The Profession As President Of The NBCE....................523
Close Calls—Sixth Incident....................535
From The Starting Gate To The Finish Line....................539

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Titus 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OMG how great is this book! Whether you are from Lowell or any other mid size city in the US it is a must read! The stories are amazing, 2nd generation immigrant, hard working little Greek kid from Lowell makes it big with his football career. Works harder, makes it through school and becomes a Chiropractor & his career takes off. This is not about his career or football, it's about all those stories that come along the way! Great holiday present! JM LHS 73