I have a been a book lover all my life. Like most book lovers I have favorites, ones I reread over and over again. What I had never had was one whose story called to me in such a unique way. What began as mere stories I wanted to read, erupted into a personal 6 year research project. Along the way I found I wasn’t the only searcher. Others had gone before. Today people still search. Each question is different but an unusual attraction to the facts behind the stories grabs people. Trips are made, libraries scoured, internet questions asked, and discoveries debated.
I have made every one of those trips, searches, requests. I have loved every minute of it. This website is my introduction of my findings.
These past years I have researched the Fitzgerald family history through multiple Utah libraries, both public city libraries as well as college and university libraries. I have spoken with the Fitzgerald family geneologist and family member in Pennsylvania. Over the years I have received wonderful insightful letters from Fitzgerald relatives and friends. Their insight has been invaluable to me. I have countless drawers and stacks of newspaper clippings, birth and death certificates, photographs, manuscripts, and interviews. I have been blessed by the generous contributions of prior researchers.
Beyond the archival collecting I have had the privilege of visiting Price Utah and meeting the present homeowners of Papa and Mamma’s last home. They and their neighbors taught me more about Price’s history than any book did. I was a perfect stranger who left a small note on a front door, generously they invited me into their homes and lives. On our first meeting they took me for a drive around the city showing me the old churches that established the tolerant community Fitzgerald loved. I saw the first Dr.’s home and other important monuments that quietly live on in Price. I also gained first hand insight into the hospitality of the community. A hospitality I will never forget, it clearly demonstrates the community love Fitzgerald recalled when he wrote his books.
That wonderful week in Price enriched my work. Cold facts took on fresh perspective. I used that perspective and knowledge when I advised the drama department at Brigham Young University. In the spring of 2004 Brigham Young University wrote their own play of Papa Married a Mormon. Over that spring I corresponded with a student to help them authenticate the book story to the stage story. Eventually I was invited to participate in a panel discussion about the books and their history. It was a fantastic experience.
Since then I have tried to find ways to share my findings again. This medium would ultimately be best. I invite you to enjoy the pages we put up. I also invite you to read the blogand to email any questions or discoveries you have on these books. I always love to learn more. This is a new road on my journey. I hope you’ll enjoy it with me.