Dear Mrs. Fitzsimmons
Tales of Redemption from an Irish Mailbox
Greg Fitzsimmons has made a lot of what appear to be bad decisions. It’s what he was raised to do. Most parents would hide or destroy any evidence so clearly demonstrating their child’s failures, but—lucky for us—Greg Fitzsimmons’s family has preserved each mistake in its original envelope like a trophy in a case, lest he ever forget where he came from.
Dear Mrs. Fitzsimmons is Greg’s life, told through this cavalcade of disciplinary letters, incident reports, and newspaper clippings that his parents received from teachers and school officials. Greg picks up where his parents left off with his own collection of letters received during college and throughout his successful career as a writer, producer, and stand-up comic. Revealing the larger story of how Greg’s distinctly dysfunctional Irish-American family bred him to blindly challenge anyone, anytime, anywhere, over anything, Dear Mrs. Fitzsimmons comes full circle to show that the Fitzsimmons torch has been passed on proudly to a new generation.
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Their wailing cries shook the very heavens,
and my four green fields ran red with their blood, said she.
—Traditional Irish ballad
Patricia Marie Judith McCarthy Fitzsimmons did not receive a very good education—not at home and not in Catholic school. Fifteen years of abuse from the nuns at St. Benedict’s Catholic School left her feeling below average. Most of the holy sisters had signed up for the “I’m a lesbian in the 1950s, so hide me in a nunnery” program. Instead they were directed to their worst nightmare: teaching pasty-faced wiseass Irish and... see more