Man on the Town
It is not that Ryan Fitzgerald kept secrets from his family, but as the oldest of three children who had just found his own place in Manhattan, he was savoring some newfound independence. The clues were on his credit card bills.
Last month, when his mother opened his final bill, she caught a glimpse of his young, exuberant life. There were the excesses at Banana Republic, the golf games in Las Vegas, the gifts for his girlfriend, Darci Spinner, and textbooks for his M.B.A. work at Dowling College. Just as revealing were the repeated visits to the same cozy downtown restaurants.
"He obviously liked going back to places so when he walked in, they'd know who he was," said his mother, Diane Parks. Tall and blessed with gleaming blue eyes, Mr. Fitzgerald was a foreign currency trader at Fiduciary Trust.
He adored the Yankees and the Dave Matthews Band and enjoyed living slightly beyond his means.
So in August, when he told his mother he was going to a friend's bachelor party in Las Vegas, she advised against it.
Now she is glad he went.
"It made me feel good that he enjoyed the summer because it was the last summer of his life," she said.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 26, 2001.