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Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series of stories planned by Cache Valley freelance writer Cindy Knowles based on the idea that everyone has an interesting story to tell.

Phillip Fisk has led a quiet, solitary life, but it’s been a happy life for him.

He was born in Binghamton, New York. At that time it was a very wild town known as the city with the most continuous bars on a single street. Today it is known as “Carousel Town” with the most carousels in one city.

Phillip was born there but raised in Green, New York, 15 miles north of Binghamton. It was a country town of green rolling hills and dairy farms. He says it is very similar to Smithfield but without the mountains. His family owned a non-working farm in Green surrounded by working farms.

His life had a very unusual start. He was adopted as an infant. His uncle and aunt became his adoptive parents, and his natural parents became his aunt and uncle. He doesn’t know much about them or why he was adopted by his uncle, but it was a great thing for him. He had two older sisters, Gail and Jessica, who were 10 and 12 years older. He remembers at the age of 5 being pretty much raised as an only child because his sisters married and left home at a very young age.

He was pretty much isolated from neighbors because his family lived far away from other children his age. He had a huge lawn and property to play on and explore. He said he and his “little itty bitty toy fox terrier named Mister Chips” played and did everything together. Mister Chips was always at his side.

He doesn’t remember too much else from his childhood except for his one friend named Shawn. Their mothers were best friends. Shawn’s mother would come to visit, and the two boys would go play for hours together while the their mothers chatted. This was his only friend at that time in his life.

“Shawn and I would cause shenanigans and deviltry together,” Phillip recalls.

The family had an empty barn on the property, and the boys would spent hours out there playing together.

When Phillip was around 16 years old, he started getting farm work in the area. This could be anything from caring for animals, picking fruit or farm chores. He always got jobs that didn’t requiredhigh levels of training. He was very proud of getting his high school diploma. He worked at many kinds of jobs, some being very physically demanding.

At the age of 18, which was the New York state legal drinking age at that time, he got a job at a bar called Stan’s Place. It isn’t in existence any more, but it was on the famous bar street in Binghamton. Stan, the bar owner, loved to work behind the counter, pulling the taps, serving up the drinks, being in front with all the attention. He hired Phillip to do all the things he didn’t want to do. Phillip unloaded the trucks, cleaned the bar, loaded and connected all the beer taps, mopped the floors, cleaned the bathrooms, sometimes even served the drinks. Because of the many bars on the street where he worked, it was very stressful and violent area.

Phillip admits he did have some bad habits when he was younger but gave it all up when he realized it wasn’t helping him go anywhere.

“I wish I had the money I’d spent on foolishness back then. It would have been a tidy sum,” he said.

Fortunately, his sister Gail invited him to come and live where she had moved. She was living in Cache Valley, Utah. She had moved to Smithfield as a single and loved the area, and she thought it would be a great fit for Phillip. His days of high-stress living were over.

When he arrived here, Phillip immediately went to Kelly Services to work as a temp and got a job at Schreiber Foods. Since then, he has held jobs as a farm worker, custodian and retail worker. He tried tractor-trailer driving but discovered wasn’t a good fit for him.

One of his favorite jobs was the year he worked at Logan Deseret Industries, where he felt he thrived and even received a few company awards. He says he did every job at Deseret Industries except that of manager.

He has now lived in Utah for 10 years, and it has been a happy and pleasant lifestyle for him. He said he doesn’t feel the stress like he did in New York state. He lived with his sister for a while, which he really appreciated, then moved to a small studio apartment in Logan.

He met a friend, Jody Reese, who introduced him to the LDS faith. He was baptized by Jody. He is now the greeter in his new ward and enjoys that calling. He feels inspired by his new church friends, his sisters, and others that he associates with.

While working at Deseret Industries, he noticed many interesting and unusual mugs in the store, so he started collecting them. His very first mug was from Chili’s restaurant. Collecting has given him something to do. They are affordable for him to collect and enjoyable to look at in his apartment. He has now moved from the studio to a larger apartment with room to display all of his mugs

There is a large display of Campbell’s Soup mugs and canisters and sports mugs of every kind. Many are collectables, such as clear glass mugs of Batman and the Flintstones from McDonalds. He has mugs with patterns, positive sayings, animals, U.S. states and more. There is no rhyme nor reason to his collection, just what ever catches his eye.

Phillip is now retired. During the summer he loves to take his portable campfire stove, chair and a little table in his car and drive up a road near Bear Lake. With a sandwich and something to drink, he enjoys looking at the stars at night and listening to nature.

With all the different jobs that Phillip has had in his life, his words of advice are to “live each day to its fullest potential and enjoy each day with the people you love.”

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