Fitzgibbon’s efforts started taking place in 2003, but since there wasn’t a lot of information available in his local library, he knew he would have to dig a little deeper in places outside of Arkansas – places like Muscatine, where Baker operated his first hospital, known as the Baker Institute.
âYou can’t really tell Baker’s story at the Crescent Hotel without telling his origin story in Muscatine and the original Baker Hospital,â he said.
Fitzgibbon sat down with Virginia Cooper of the Muscatine Art Center – who will feature original pages from her book next year – to examine Baker’s archives. He also spoke to people from the Musser Public Library and visited the locations where his radio station once stood, his hospital and even his grave.
âIt was wonderful researching Muscatine. Everyone I spoke to was helpful, and the next thing you know, I had it all put together and told the Norman Baker story, and now he’s ready to go to the printer, â Fitzgibbon said. “(Baker) had such a varied background, as was the Crescent Hotel itselfâ¦ I got to tell a lot about his childhood in Muscatine and on his radio station, and there is so much interesting stuff.”
With a goal of $ 11,300, Fitzgibbon will launch a Kickstarter campaign for the month of October to raise the funds necessary to publish approximately 1,000 copies of the book. While he has said he will be willing to use some of his own money if the Kickstarter fails, Fitzgibbon also believes there will be enough people interested in the project for him to be successful.