> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
“The things that one wants most to do are probably the things most worth doing.”
-- Winifred Holtby
A few years ago I found myself with a free weekday and no plans. I decided to walk down Spring Street in Jeffersonville just to stop in a few stores and greet some people I knew. I passed by the old building that used to house Tubby’s Pizza. It was long after the business was closed and for the most part it was just a shell of its former self and in a terrible state of disrepair. The front door was ajar. I walked in out of curiosity.
Upon entering I saw Glenn “Tubby” Muncy with another man I did not know hard at work. He had a few pieces of lumber and an odd assortment of tools, makeshift sawhorses, and other utensils. He talked incessantly about his plan to repair and rebuild. Glenn Muncy had a plan — albeit I would still refer to it as a dream.
Muncy told me how he was planning to open his own micro-brewery. From the strength of his convictions that afternoon he almost had me convinced it would happen.
Tubby’s was a mainstay on Spring Street for what, in retrospect, were way too few years. It was a great place to meet with family and friends to dine. Local barflies could drink a few and seek companionship. Anybody visiting from out of our area and wanted to experience a local establishment would have enjoyed the experience. Just as there is only one Tubby — the person — there certainly was only one Tubby’s — the place — both equally as unique. Tubby is one of the few names one can utter in Jeffersonville that almost any local resident of a certain age group will immediately recognize. I think for most of us it was the namesake of the place that helped make it so special.
I think Tubby’s was as close to having to our own Cheers bar as Jeffersonville ever got.
Scott Conlen remembers the good old days on Spring Street. “My brother, Tim, introduced me to this little hole-in-the-wall place in Jeffersonville called Tubby’s. Several firefighters and police officers would get together and play basketball on a weekly basis and afterwards we would often stop in for pizza and a cold beer. This soon evolved into my weekly hangout because you could always run into someone that you knew and have great conversation over great food. Thanks again, Tubby, for bringing a great pizza back to Jeffersonville.”
Circuit Court 2 Judge Jerry Jacobi is a long time personal friend of Muncy. He recently met with him and relayed some of that discussion revolving around the recent demolition of the old building.
“It’s ironic,” Jacobi shared, “that Tubby is one of the few people who hasn’t actually seen the lot where Tubby’s once stood!”
Many people remember that Muncy ran several unsuccessful campaigns most notably for mayor of Jeffersonville and for city court Judge. He always was an underdog who never stopped trying. As Judge Jacobi said, “No matter how the odds were stacked against him, Tubby was always the optimist. Tubby believed in the dream and that made him unique. Everyone loved him for it.” Jacobi went on to add, “Tubby earned an advanced degree in people skills.”
Jacobi tells me that his family would like to hold a cookout for the community to have a celebration of life and he thinks the most appropriate location would be on the very spot where Tubby’s once stood. Another possible location would be at Cheezy’s, another business started by the Muncy family. These plans will be pending a return of his health from a current battle Tubby is now waging.
I was recently thinking about that afternoon when I crossed the threshold of that old façade that was the ghost of Tubby’s past. I recalled how even as I left him toiling away how I had a combination of sadness and inspiration. It all seemed so hopeless and unrealistic to me. However, that look upon his face as he described the imaginary layout and his own personal building plans was somehow inspiring. Jacobi told me recently that had his health permitted he still believes somehow that micro-brewery would have been completed. As of just a few weeks ago he said Tubby still has that dream.
Bulldozers can topple walls and trucks can haul away debris. I know many people whose fond memories of wonderful times at Tubby’s will last forever. I always think that if we don’t have dreams for the future all of our life is simply in the past. I never knew Glenn “Tubby” Muncy to stop dreaming. Many of us can remember when his first dream came true.
• Writer’s note: “On behalf of Tubby I would ask for everyone’s prayers and positive thoughts for his much hoped for return to good health. If you would like to send a message to him or his family, feel free to e-mail me and I will make sure it is forwarded to them.
Lindon Dodd is a freelance writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.