Firstly, how many “Fitzy’s Place”s are there. How many bars and restaurants already wear that title? I don’t know how things look in Gibbon, Nebraska, but in Massa-chusetts where I grew up there’s one on every corner. Incidentally, there really is a Gibbon, Nebraska. There’s also a McCool Junction. Neither of these bits of information really add anything to this piece but, you know…
My real name is Paul Fitzgibbons. Everyone called me ‘Fitz’, or ‘Fitzy’ growing up, as everyone named Fitzgerald, or Fitzhenry, or Fitzsimmons, or even Fitzwienerschnitzel generally is, although this last example is not as common as its predecessors.
Being so named, I thought it would be cool to have a corner on my home page devoted to personal tidbits, where readers could enjoy freshly prepared, appetizing literary dishes drowned in the ketchup, mustard and gravy of humor, sentimentality, and whimsy.
And thus is the mystery explained.
Kinda short article.
Long before I moved here to McCool Junction, I was just your everyday, shy boy climbing in the tree in front of his house. I was blessed with two middle-class parents who loved me, a little brother who I could bully around a..and play with to my heart’s content, and every conceivable toy late 70’s-early 80’s America could produce:
What was also awesome about growing up in my house was the nutritional consciousness that was imbued into our heads at an early age. I had always enjoyed bananas. Bananas and climbing. But I found that by combining bananas with sugared peanut butter, or, even better, with potato chips and sugared peanut butter between two slices of Vitamin-Devoid White Bread, not only gave me a delicious meal I could prepare myself, but also relieved me of the need to ingest any other fruits or vegetables. I also prepared similar magical miracles in our kitchen: sugared peanut butter with sugared jelly and potato chips between wholesome slices of VDWB, and, for desert, sugared peanut butter with Fluff TM, which was composed of, rumor had it, hooves and, somehow, more than 100% sugar.
So I had an incredibly happy children in a wonderful home up until the day when the hormones hit and I came down with allergies and a killer case of insomnia.
I had always been a sensitive kid, with many deeply-rooted issues, many of which I’ve documented on this homepage. I started to hear shadows. I smelled whispers. To quote my late father, I was “hearing the footprints”.
It took me almost forty years to deal with the issues that kept me awake those nights during seventh grade, or that made things so terribly painful for the smaller, helpless creatures I encountered in this world, like our pets and the fiddler crabs I found down at the Cape.
If you go down to Washington D.C. sometime, and happen to swing by the Vietnam Memorial, you can find Paul E. Fitzgibbons there too. After my uncle fell in April of ’68, my Dad thought it would be swell to give me his name. Looking back on it, I tend to disagree.
I was always self-conscious, and always struggled with my identity. When, that is, I wasn’t being distracted by all of the sports we played or all of the TV we watched. You know, like when I went to bed at night. Furthermore, I truly believe that if there were some way to contact my uncle and ask him how he feels about me getting his name, I would definitely not receive his blessing.
That being said, it’s nice of you to stop by Fitzy’s Place, where even the sane are crazy.