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Classic Mixbook

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BC: The End

FC: May 1st, 1961 Port Huron, Michigan | Happy 51st Birthday TOM

1: Life brings simple pleasures to us every day. It is up to us to make them wonderful memories.

2: March 1st, 1997

4: Dear My Little/Big Brother Tom..... I still, to this day, remember the day that you were born. I was in the second grade at Roosevelt School. I had Mrs. Kells for a teacher. Everyone knew our family.....probably because of the fact that we lived only three houses from the school and right next door to Mrs. Fox. Well, the day you came home I was told that I could go home and wait for my mother. She had been gone a few days. Back in the "Olden Days" when a woman had a cesarean birth she was kept in the hospital for at least a week. I truly don't remember mom ever being pregnant even though I was seven at the time, but I do remember when she came in the front door with my brand new baby brother. I actually was allowed to sit in a chair and hold you! From that time on I guess mom thought that I should be in charge. I sang you to sleep at night....... i love you tommy...oh yes i do I love you tommy....all the day through when your not near me...i'm blue oh tommy i love you. Pretty soon you wouldn't go to sleep 'till I sang you a few songs. Mom went along with it, I'm sure, just because she knew that you would settle down and go right to sleep. When you got a little older.......... The neighbor kids (Tim and Pam Moen, Kenny Hill, Cathy and I) would go for bike rides around the block. I always got to go, but sometimes I couldn't ride my bike because I was asked to pull you around the block in the wagon. Now, when I think back, it wasn't so bad. But when your a kid and your friends are all playing and you have to take care of your little brother........IT'S BAD!!!!! I'm sure you remember when I went with you on your 8th grade bike trip to the park!! Now that was fun. We rode from Washington School to Pine Grove Park, had a picnic, played ball, and rode back. Aren't you glad you had an older sister!!!!

5: Then, when you learned to drive but didn't have a license yet...... I worked at Michigan Bell downtown Port Huron on the afternoon shift. I was lucky, because when you worked afternoons you didn't have to drive yourself. Bell sent a taxi to pick me up for work and to take me back home. By this time I was already moved out of the house. I clearly remember many a time coming home after work at 11:30pm and not having my car in the driveway or garage. My poor little stick shift was replaced how many times?? Could we guesstimate around seven times you had to fix the car?? I remember when Dave and I lived on West Water in the blue tri-level. You and Dave decided to take my brand new Chevy van deer hunting. You two were gone for quite a while. Little did I know.....but you were just at the curve on the corner because you had missed the curve and headed my BRAND NEW VAN right into a sign. I was SO upset, but also glad that you both were safe and sound. The van was never the same after that. Dave drove it into the garage and backed it into a tree. Poor thing. We were always there for each other. I don't think that I could have made it through some of my life experiences without you. We both went through the big "D" at the same time. I remember calling you and telling you that I didn't even have enough money to buy milk for my kids, and you saying that you were eating cold pork-n-beans from a can. But, as the saying goes, "GOD ONLY GIVES US AS MUCH AS HE KNOWS WE CAN HANDLE". Had we not gone through the rough times, we wouldn't know how great we have it now. I have often thought ......what if I could go back and change the things that I have done in my life that were not exactly to my liking. Well....if we did go back and do things differently, then the outcome would be entirely not the same. You would not have a loving wife and two great kids. I would not have three daughters, two son-in-laws and eight grandchildren. One change would have made a world of difference in our lives. I truly love where my roads have taken me. I am sure that you are very happy with your life’s outcome, also. I guess, in the long run, I wouldn't change a single thing. I was adopted into a wonderful and loving family. We had great parents that always did their best for us. I have a fabulous and loving brother and sister. And the family keeps growing. How GREAT is that!!!! Here's wishing my little/big brother the best 51st birthday ever....and many, many more to come. I love you very much!!!!! Your big/little sister, Dawn

6: I always look forward to the comfort of Uncle Tom's before a long drive home from school every semester. Happy Birthday Uncle Tom! Love Libby

7: To my big little brother Tom, Cute! Cute! Cute! You were a really cute kid!!!!! I remember one time when you were really little, and cute, that Mom got a call from our local newspaper, the Port Huron Times Herald. They were doing a feature article on kids and Halloween. The newspaper photographer, Mr. Polovich, was a friend of ours. I remember Mom being beside herself with happiness that he asked if he could photograph little Tommy. Both Mom and Dad got into the excitement!!! Mom sent Dad on a mission to find the perfect pumpkin, while Mom tried to contain her enthusiasm and set about her mission to find the perfect outfit. Dad took you for a haircut, and Mom used a little "DIPPITY DOO" the morning of the photo so you were....STYLING! You were ready an hour early and Mom let you play in the house and on the back porch so you wouldn't get dirty. Mom was shining up the kitchen sink when we heard, bump, bump, five-second delay and a "Little Tommy" cry/scream. You were howling!!! By the time Mom got to you, you came up with your whole face bloody. That dive off the back porch onto the concrete steps almost did your mother in. Mom and Dad cleaned you up but half of your face was a scraped and bloody mess. I remember Mom being super disappointed because she REALLY REALLY wanted this to happen. Mom called Mr. Polovich to apologize ,and said that she had to cancel the photo shoot, because half of the CHILD MODELs face was ruined. Mr. Polovich said "Patch him up the best you can, I'm coming anyway". The photo that was printed a few days later in the paper was adorable. No one other than the Galat family knew that the profile shot of you putting a candle into the big pumpkin was carefully posed to hide the damage. Happy Birthday Tommy! Love always, Sister Cathy, a.k.a. The Middle Kid, #2 Child, Little Jo

10: All things grow better with love. | I'm lucky to have a cool uncle with cool guns that he lets me shoot whenever I want to. I remember the time I got to shoot the 50 caliber. It was exhilarating. I got to shoot it from the hip, it was B.A. !!! Love, Tyler

11: Reflections on Tom Tom and I have a very good and mutually respectful relationship as brother's-in-law. While there have been a number of talks, events and shared experiences, there are none that I care to share. You're welcome, Tom. I think what best sums up most of them is my profound relief that now, at the ripe old age of 51, Tom is able to travel legally to all 50 states of the Union. Well, maybe not Tennessee, but who wants to go there anyway. Happy Birthday Bro!!! Greg


13: When Tom Galat shakes hands you know, instinctively, that you better grip back, otherwise your hand will be crushed. He's the strongest man I know. The most convincing proof of that, however, took place a few months ago when he was delivering a mattress to our house. I went out to help. To me, it takes two to hoist a mattress. Tom said, "I can get it." I withdrew. Tom then lifted the mattress on its shorter end, hauled it up to his shoulder, balanced it, and single-handed, carried it from the car all the way into the house as if the mattress was nothing more than a bag of groceries! That's strength and Tom's got it. Love Zip and Neta | SON-IN-LAW

14: When we think of Uncle Tom we think of "BIG". He has a huge yard, with huge trees, with a huge house and a huge garage and porch and an even bigger back deck. He also has a huge truck, huge hot tub, huge tractor, and huge trailer. Most of all he has the hugest train set in the world! He should live in Texas. Love Zeno, Adelle, Madeleine, Jacqueline, and Zeke


16: Michael Memories: About 8 years ago I was helping Tom clear some trees out in the yard. Tom removed some debris that just happened to have a bees nest inside of it. Luckily I was at the bottom of the hill and didn’t get a single sting. Tom unfortunately got about 50. It also took him about 15 minutes to remember that he was seriously allergic to bees. We all started to figure out when he started swelling up. Funny now Scary then . :-/ Also I love visiting Tom and Emily’s house these days. Jordan and Braxton think that Tom bought the train for them but it’s really for Tom and I. I’m extremely jealous because I don’t have a basement to set one up myself. Lastly I remember tom being called to Active duty after 9/11. It makes me proud to have a bother-in-law willing to sacrifice it all to keep us safe! Laura’s Memories: Happy Birthday!!!! These 2 pictures say it all! When I think of you I think of a fun loving kick back, hilarious, and COOL dude! Those qualities aren’t always easy to have when you are also a husband and a father. You do it quite well sir. We always have so much fun with you, whether it’s dinner, drinking LOTS of drinks (haha), traveling, playing with the kiddos, or just chillin’. One thing I love about you too is your laugh; I can just hear it now, puts a smile on my face. Jordan Memories: He is probably one of the coolest guys because he has a train set like the museum we go to. I also like that he has a big driveway and that he is Braxton’s Dad. Ella Memories: I can’t wait to come to Virginia to play with you, I am glad you had Tabatha, and my mommy says you are screwed because us girls will be a handful! Zoe Memories: No comment, when we ask her what she thought about Uncle Tom, she said “mamadada”. We love you Tom!!!! You are the best bro-in-law and Uncle!!!!!! ---- Mike, Laura, Jordan, Ella Grace and Zoe


18: How do I describe thee. You have many WONDERFUL talents. You are a great asset to the Rausa family. You are our tech specialist, train specialist, the “go to guy” for help with mom, dad and me, bird and guinea pig caretaker, and a great BIG BROTHER. I wish you well in your next 51 years. In the area of tech and train specialist, you answer all questions I have regarding the COMPUTER. I know you will drop everything to help me out with whatever “catastrophe” I may have with my laptop. If I should ever have a question about “TRAINS”, I know you are the person for me to go to. We have had a “few” visits to the train shop in Thurmont. I have become a lookout for more train shops in my area such as in Smithburg, just over the mountain. I have heard that you have used your snow blower a few times at mom and dad’s place during past snow falls. I thank you for that because I remember how long it takes to shovel that driveway. I also thank you for all the help with moving me in to my apartment (getting my bed upstairs was a talent that only you and my brothers would think of). You didn’t give up! Next, picking up the couch for me from my friend’s house was a huge undertaking. You went over and beyond the call of duty. I thank you for your hotel services for Bailey, my pet cockatiel. I didn’t even think of playing bird music for him while I was at work. You are AWESOME. Now, your office is the home of Olivia, your family’s pet guinea pig. I have enjoyed the fact that I can talk to you about anything especially when it is dealing with relationship discord. You are there for me. Finally, the cutting of the Christmas tree has been a tradition for 6 years. It has been nice to be part of this tradition at Christmas time. It is so much fun now that Braxton and Tabatha can participate in this fun filled activity. Have a wonderful birthday, Love Anna

19: Like Father, Like Son ---Rachel


23: FATHER and | SON


25: Tom and I had known one another since grade school at Roosevelt Elementary, but it wasn't until our first year of junior high school at Washington Intermediate that we became good friends. Our sixth grade year, the first at Washington, was also the last in which students stayed grouped together with one teacher for most subjects. Our class was led by Mr. Hagar, a good-natured guy who let the class make their own seating arrangements. Tom and I sat across from one another, and in the manner of 11 year old boys would occasionally cut up when the teacher's back was turned. A favorite stunt was to jab the other guy in the leg with a straight pin. It was a matter of pride not to shout out when you were unexpectedly stuck, but you can be sure that revenge would soon follow. Tom and I discovered early on that we shared an interest in military history, particularly the WWII era. One of the big benefits of moving up to junior high was the presence of a real library in the building. Not just a corner of the classroom with a few bookshelves, but an entire big space dedicated to warehousing books and served by a full-time librarian. Our library was on the third floor, and having been built in 1918 the ceilings were tall, the space cavernous, and the old-fashioned windows with wide sills were often open on fall and spring days. The perfect place to sit in the breeze with a good book about General Patton or Admiral Nimitz. It was also an ideal place from which to launch paper planes, which might glide down three stories and sail across the street if they were well made and found favorable winds. Competition was fierce as to whether Tom's designs or mine were superior. Being nabbed by a teacher was an outcome almost as likely as any other, so we had to choose our takeoff times carefully. One project in particular stands out in my mind when I think about that sixth grade year. Mr. Hagar had assigned a social studies project tasking us to research a foreign nation, prepare a report, and present it to the class. The project was to be done in teams of two, and Tom was my partner. We were to talk about Israel. I've long forgotten whether we chose the nation or were assigned one, but I do remember Mr. Hagar's comment when he found the two of us gearing up to report on the tiny Middle Eastern nation: "Now guys, please remember that there's a lot more to Israel than their Air Force". He was right, of course, and since we managed to pad out our presentation with facts about the Israelis and their nation we must have discovered them. My only memory of that report today is the details of their Air Force, though, and I'm sure that Tom had every bit as much fun as I did drawing pictures of Mirages and Skyhawks sporting the Star of David on their fuselages with which to illustrate our report. After we graduated in 1979 we lost touch, as school friends have tended to do since the United States became a mobile nation. In earlier days those friendships would probably have been lost forever, with perhaps a chance to say hello at a class reunion where we'd marvel at how our classmates had all gone gray and grown their waists in the years since graduation. It's a bit different now, with that game-changing invention that came home during our late high school years tying us all together via email and Facebook. When Tom got in contact with me around the time of our 30 year Class of '79 reunion, I wasn't the least surprised to find that he had been a Marine after we graduated. I had gone Navy. Swapping sea stories was a natural for two old vets, and it's something we enjoy to this day. Our school and military years are about as far behind us now as that WWII history we used to read on the library windowsills of an early 1970s spring day. How odd someone else's history seemed so ancient back then, and our own so close that we can almost reach back and touch it now. It's good to have friends whose companionship stretches back over several decades! --- Rick Kaumeier


27: I remember the day before Michael’s wedding. We were at the rehearsal. You and Emily were running around performing various duties but you were going in different directions. We noticed that Emily was teary. You came up to us and said “Emmy’s upset about.[some such] “ I can’t remember exactly what the issue was it had to do with a troubled relative. You said as you ran off, “Please tell Emmy I love her. I can’t get to her right now.” I didn’t know you very well at the time but I was impressed and loved you for being so caring. I hope I won’t upset the other women in my family by saying I think you got the most beautiful of us all. --- Love Aunt Tina and Uncle Marv

29: NEIGHBOR | Tom we remember a particular day where one of our children (college sophomore) Derek had a bunch of his buddies over for a night during the summer. Naturally, all the kids had hand-me-down cars. One guy just couldn't figure out why his car wouldn't start. Another guy who had some experience with cars said they needed such and such a tool. Tom saw this group of kids scratching their heads in the cul-de-sac. At once, he produced the appropriate tools, helped them out and basically saved the night. These young people still bring it up. Tom saw them not as annoying teenagers; but he seemed to have gone back in time to his own youth, and treated them as he would have wanted to be treated. That, to us, was powerful. He saw them as people he could help. But what he never realized was what a lasting, wonderful lesson they absorbed. You help people when they need it, no matter who they may be. That is Tom. So at the ready to help anyone. Your kids will watch him in action, and you will be so proud of the adults they become. --- Tom and Gail Magnani

30: 51 birthdays, that's a whole lot of living. Enough to have established your wonderful character. We admire your energy, the way you put others at ease. You've always been an amazing host and you have a great sense of humor. We are blessed to call you friend and happy you are a part (through marriage) of our family. May God bless you with fifty-one more wonderful years! --- Matt, Tracy, and Merrick Long

32: The first time Tom brought Braxton to our home, I think Braxton was a few months old. Tom was such a proud daddy. He could hardly fit through our front door. His chest was so full of pride at having Braxton, and being a daddy. We had Kasey, our wonderful Rhodesian Ridgeback. She was curious at this little bundle of joy. Ever so carefully, Tom sat on the couch and allowed Kasey to meet Braxton. Kasey was gentle and licked Braxton on his cheek. Then I guess Tom felt Kasey could be trusted and he laid Braxton down on our carpet. Kasey slowly crept up to Braxton and lay down beside him. Tom beamed. They had bonded. We all laughed. --- Cindy and Nichole Bahnij

33: What I can remember about Tom is that he is a very nice guy, a very good father. He is always friendly and kind. He is always helpful. --- Take care, Tony Karin, Xemena, Pablo, Adriana, Toth | Tom You owe me BIG TIME! Mel

34: White golf balls in the snow; what was I thinking!

35: FRIENDS & FAMILY | Since I'm not around you and Tom that much, the only story that I can remember with Tom is the following: When I visit my sister and her family, I always enjoy cooking a big meal for everyone before I return home. This one time, I decided to have a Bar-B-Q for my special dinner. Zip and Tom were in charge for getting the grill ready for the chicken. So, I thought I would have Chicken, corn on the cob, BBQ beans, and a big green salad. At the last minute I thought of one more item "DEVILED EGGS". So, I cooked two dozen eggs and made deviled eggs for everyone. I placed the eggs on a plate that was made for deviled eggs and then place that plate on the kitchen table. When Emily saw the plate of eggs, she informed me that Tom would eat his share of eggs and more if he could. So, picture in your mind Tom and Zip outside getting the grill ready for the chicken. Well, for some reason Tom had to come into the house for something.....it was like radar, Tom saw the eggs and wanted to know if he could have "one". I said yes, it's for everyone, help yourself. Tom went back outside to help Zip with the grill. A few minutes later Zip came into the house and saw the eggs...so he had one and went back outside. This was the start of the "EGGS DISAPPEARING MYSTERY". For some reason, Tom was making a lot of trips into the kitchen...picking up an egg and then picking up another on his way out to help Zip with the grill. Now, remember that Zip came into the kitchen just once. I would guess that 30 minutes had passed and Zip came into the kitchen again. As Zip got to the plate of eggs, he cried out "WHERE DID THE EGGS GO!!!!! Yes, Tom had his share of eggs plus more and more and more. The moral of this story is to "HIDE THE EGGS FROM TOM", SO THAT ZIP CAN GET HIS SHARE". EMILY, this is the only story that I thought of regarding Tom. You can add or delete anything in the story above. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings....so, you can edit if you want to. I'm sorry that Michael and I can't be there for Tom's birthday celebration. I also have a suggestion....when you enter this story to the final book...place a picture of Deviled Eggs next to it. Let me know if you need anything else. --- Love, Aunt Mary and Michael

36: Dad thanks for helping me with all my trains. I am the coolest kid ever to have the largest train set, track, and train yard in the world, or at least Fairfax County, in my basement. I love playing trains with you and you help me a lot when they go off the track. I have a feeling you like playing with the trains as much as I do. I got all greens and no blocks taken away at school this week. After your birthday party can we play in the basement? ---- Braxton

37: I love your kisses and fuzzy face, it tickles me. Thanks for kissing my boo boos and holding me when I am sleepy. I'll be wanting a car for my 16th birthday, preferably a convertible, and a credit card to cover gas. I may have other requests at that time, but for now, I'll expect just the convertible and the card. Love You, dad. ---- Tabatha

40: MEMORIES | I love you! Looking forward to many more years of adventures and surprises! --- Love Emily


42: Dream

43: October 17th, 2009

44: MEMORIES | Katherine Kielbasa Born: May 12th, 1887 Franciszek Galat Born: June 15th, 1885 Married Holyoko, MA May 21st, 1906

45: MEMORIES | History | Family

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  • By: Emily G.
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  • Title: Classic Mixbook
  • My book for Tom's 51st Birthday
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  • Published: over 4 years ago

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