Vignette > Jaguar Guard

 Master Sergeant Harry E. Fitzgibbon had survived the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941. Later, during the Korean War he was awarded a Silver Star for Gallantry in Action. In 1958, he retired from Air Force duty at Hamilton Air Force Base.  He opened Fitz’s Richfield Service Station at 789 Redwood Hwy. [Today, Arco]. In the early hours of May 30, 1966, a roving band of youths argued with attendant Joe Ghazar about 30 cents worth of gas and tried to steal oil.  They beat him up and tried to set fire to the station. Harry purchased a year-old 150-pound seventh-generation domestic jaguar named Kitty that had been trained for protection work in Paraguay. At the service station, Kitty normally stayed in a heavy gauge wire enclosure, covered and quite safe, but sometimes he was at the end of a 15-foot chain as shown in the photo. Kitty was quite an attraction. Harry took Kitty away after someone fired a shot at him as they passed by on the highway.  It didn’t hit him, but it could easily have injured or killed him or a person. The four children at the Fitzgibbon home at 82 Hilarita regarded Kitty as a nice, safe pet.