Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Families Thoughts on the Books

The other day Mary asked what the real Tom thought of the books.  Unfortunately I have no direct answer from Tom.   He gave no interviews so no clues were left.  We do, though, have some family responses. 

The first family response comes from Isabelle, the oldest, she was very pleased with the books.  She had helped John with Papa Married a Mormon.  Later, John dedicated Mamma's Boarding House to "Belle F. Empey for help in research."

In subsequent interviews various relatives have stated, "the brothers were all very proud of John."  They tend to stand divided on who was the real Great Brain.  That is one of those mysteries that will be debated for a long time. 

I know it's short answer, but I hope it helps.  Keep the questions coming.


  1. Around 1987 or so I located and called the "Great Brain". I have a very vague recollection of the conversation but recall that he was quite hard of hearing. I assume he was in Price, but I really do not recall. I do remember that he confirmed that he was the person that JDF used as the Great Brain in his stories. I wish I could recall more, I am just now re-visiting my love for the works of JDF and thought I would share this story. Tom mailed me a letter a few weeks later and I will search high and low to try to locate it.

    Lon Grassman

  2. Sorry about this Lon, I must have pushed the wrong button. I love your post. I would have loved to talk to a Fitzgerald. I remember walking down the street in Price and wondering if I was covering ground they had walked on. If you do find the letter, let us know. I'm sure we would all enjoy it.

  3. Thanks Carrie; I will keep looking for that letter. It was buried with my other high school stuff at my parents house; now I have to hope it is still packed somewhere! Looking back on that day I am trying remember how I found him in the "pre-internet" era. I know it was all done by telephone.
    I hope to take my family to Price and the surrounding area this summer for a vacation and look forward to soaking in the town as well.
    I love this blog and your research efforts; keep up the good work!