63. Sleeping Together

Don’t be shocked. My nephew Jeff Fitzpatrick and his wife Carrie were married in 1988, but it has occurred to me that they may have slept together before that.

Figure it out. It happened in 1959. Two babies were born within two days of each other in Cedar Rapids. Jeff showed up first on Tuesday, November 3rd, then Carrie popped in on Thursday, the 5th. They may have slept in adjoining bassinets in the same newborn’s nursery at Mercy Hospital.  It’s so romantic.  It might have been love at first sight.

Try to imagine their conversation upon meeting again years later.

Jeff:  “Say, don’t I know you?  You look familiar.”

Carrie:  “I don’t think so.  Oh, wait a minute.  Did you used to be bald?”

Jeff (grumpy):  “Sure, rub it in, woman.  Did you ever quit sucking your thumb?”

Carrie: “Yes I did. Thumbsuckers Anonymous ‘R Us.  But how did you know about that unfortunate personal habit?”

Jeff:  “Because I think I was one of the guys you were sleeping with on November 5, 1959.”

Carrie:  “Yeah.  Now I remember.   And what about all your diarrhea? No wonder I quit sleeping with you.”

Well, maybe romantic isn’t quite the right word, but it was surely a tender and nostalgic reunion.

Now here’s another odd “6 degrees of separation” enigma. (Let’s imagine a little Twilight Zone music here). Baby Carrie’s father Paul Spaight was a best buddy of my husband Gene.  Her uncle, Don Spaight was a friend of my brother-in-law Bob.  If Gene and I had lived in Iowa at the time and went to the hospital to visit my sister Joan after Jeff’s delivery, we could have visited with the Spaights, too. And of course gone to the nursery to admire both of the two little poopers who would soon be getting married. But who knew?

And marry they did.  Once they started sleeping together again, they produced two more Fitzpatricks, Jane and Tom.  Most likely, Jane and Tom’s early days also took place in the newborn nursery at Mercy Hospital.  We can only wonder whom they may have met there.

Today, the winsome Carrie works as a nursing caregiver and also at a restaurant called the Blue Toad.  You might think you will never want to have anything to eat at a restaurant named after a toad, but the food is delicious.  The Blue Toad’s next door neighbor is another eating/drinking establishment called the Red Frog. The place on the other side of the Blue Toad is probably called the Salamander Salon. Bizarre names are quite acceptable in the Bohemie section of Cedar Rapids.

After he quit being a bald baby, Jeff grew up to be tall and lean.  He will never have to work out in a gym because, like his father, Tom, he spends his working life in construction – concrete, that is.

Jeff’s most recent work was helping lay 18,000 square feet of flooring in the new Federal Courthouse in Cedar Rapids. He was interviewed by our hometown newspaper recently and he talked about how the concrete process and finishing requires 12 hours a day of non-stop work – bending, kneeling, standing.  Concrete, it seems, doesn’t wait for coffee breaks or lunch.  It just wants to dry – as long as the wind, direct sunlight or too much rain will allow it.  Laying concrete is not a job for sissies.


Whatever free time Carrie and Jeff have is probably spent trying to keep up with the football exploits of their son, Tom.  He plays for Xavier High School in Cedar Rapids. He’s #24 in this photo.


I’m going to go watch “Boardwalk The Empire” on HBO right now, but before I post this blob, I want to tell this joke because I think Jeff will like it.

There was this Spanish guy, this Korean guy and this Russian guy all working for the same construction company. At the beginning of the day the boss comes out and says to the Spanish guy, “You’re in charge of the cement.” Then he said to the Russian guy, “You’re in charge of the dirt.” Then he said to the Korean guy, “You’re in charge of the supplies.” Then he said, “I’m gonna be back at the end of the day to check on your work. It better be good or you’re fired.”

So they all go off to go get their work done. At the end of the day, the boss comes back to check on their work. He looks at the big pile of cement and goes, “Good work,” to the Spanish guy. Then he looks at the big pile of dirt and says, “Good work,” to the Russian guy. Then he couldn’t find the Korean guy so he asks, “Where the heck is the Korean guy??” All of a sudden, the Korean guy jumps out from behind the big pile of dirt and yells, ” SUPPLIES!”

Finally, big thanks to my niece Chris for unearthing some of the photos for this blob.

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One Response to 63. Sleeping Together

  1. Joan Fitzpatrick says:

    It was Jeff who sucked his thumb. I don’t know if Carrie did or not.

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