The following story was heard when I was a youngster and was told to be true, but I don’t know if it is fitting to print. But is a funny story and seemed to fit Fitzhugh Artis’ thought for a joke.
Fitzhugh died a couple weeks back and a nice feature about him and his sense of humor was published in The Arab Tribune.
I heard this story about Fitzhugh many times and it’s supposedly true…
Back in the 1940s and 1950s there was a small store on TVA property just below the Guntersville Dam that sold cold drinks, Double Colas, Coke, grape and orange drinks, etc.
You could also buy candy bars of various brands, potato chips, snuff, chewing tobacco, cigarettes, ice and many other things that a hot and tired fisherman might want, including fish hooks and line for your fishing pole.
It was about where the bathroom building now sits.
The only pronunciation in my early years sounded like his name was “Fitschu,” (one word), just like most southerners who would say many words that were too long and make them shorter and easier to say.
We still do.
The story I heard as a youngster was that Fitzhugh and his dad were fishing below the dam and were perhaps tired or thirsty. Perhaps both.
They came to the place were they could tie their boat to a rock and get as close as they could to the little store. They walked up through the rocks and probably got something cool to drink, and perhaps even a pack of peanuts.
They finished their cold drink and went down the rocky slope to their boat. Mr. Artis, Fitzhugh’s dad, got into the boat first and was going to run the motor to the next fishing spot.
He spoke over his shoulder, “push me out, Fitshu,” and he did.
He followed his dad’s instruction and stepped into the boat and shoved his daddy into the river.
The story stops there and I don’t know any others…