Tell Me a Story: Joseph A. Fabiano

This week, FM searched Harvard’s halls for a story from the lives of the men and women who make the university run smoothly from day to day. Fabiano, a security guard, has been employed by Securitas for 10 years. FM simply asked him to tell a story.

As told by Joseph A. Fabiano:

I have a son that’s 37 years old. He has Down syndrome.

I have four children. I always said that he [my son with Down Syndrome] is the most successful. He lives at home and works at CVS about 20 hours a week. He’s very independent. He gets up, goes to work, goes to football practice; he’s on his own.

In the town of Winthrop, my son is more well-known than anybody else because of who he is. Because he spent six years in high school, and all those kids that went through high school all know him, and their families all know him. And he’s been involved in everything: He’s been inducted into the sports hall of fame three times; he was the “Manager of the Year.” I don’t know of anybody else that’s been inducted in three times.

One year we went on vacation—we went on a Disney cruise for three days. This is when he was younger, maybe 10 or 12 years old. We went to the airport, and he always likes to get the luggage when it comes off. My wife and I went off and sat down, and he got the three suitcases, and brought them over.

A woman comes up to us—she was probably in her mid-30s—and said, “Is that your son? He gets all the luggage and everything himself?”

I said, “Yeah, he’s very capable: He checks the names and gets the luggage.”

She said, “We just had a baby and the baby has Down Syndrome. My husband’s very upset. He’s finding it difficult to deal with and that’s why I came over. Are you going on the Disney Cruise by any chance?” And we told her we were.

My son spent the next three days with her husband. He couldn’t get enough of my son. Everything we did, he was off with this guy. We went to an island—Disney owns an island, you know. You go swimming and boating and play basketball and everything. He was with this guy the whole three days. The whole three days. The guy didn’t know what to expect with his son, but he saw my son and was like, “Wow, there is a good side to this whole thing.”

If I meet some young kid in Winthrop, you know, I’ll say to him, “I’m Frankie Fab’s father.” My last name is Fabiano, and all my kids are called “Fabs.” So he’s Frankie Fab, the most well known kid in the town of Winthrop. That’s the biggest story I can give you.