Posts Tagged ‘Photo Album’

Photo Album:
Playing Ball With the FBI

My father was wanted by the F.B.I. Specifically, by J. Edgar Hoover himself. ℘℘℘ The founding director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation had heard of Tommy Connor’s prowess on the baseball field. A star player in Washington, D.C., in the 1920s, Dad had graduated from high school at 15, put himself through college byRead more..

Photo Album:
Tales of New York

I have no interest in Ancestry.com or tracing my roots. I know most of my DNA and it’s all Irish on my mom’s side. Her father, the son of a Ballylongford, County Kerry, farmer, was named Tom Keane. He emigrated to America sometime around 1900 – it’s believed he had to hightail it out ofRead more..

Photo Album: My Grandfather, the Diver

My grandfather, Patrick Joseph Killen, (“Pop”), was born in Downpatrick, County Down, in 1897. He sailed with his sister Margaret for America in 1911, and arrived in New York on his 14th birthday. Many of his family were already here, but, sadly for him, his older sister Mary stayed behind, and he would not see herRead more..

Photo Album:
My Wonderful Irish Mother

My mother, Patricia Duffy, was born December 7, 1927. She was one of two children raised by Rose and Frank Duffy in Oakland, California. Frank Duffy and his brother came to the United States from County Cavan, Ireland. Frank had a small grocery store in Oakland, which afforded them a lovely home near a smallRead more..

Photo Album:
Kilcar, My Donegal Playground

When we were children, my brother and I spent our summers in southwest Donegal in the village of Kilcar, with my mother’s people. Our parents sent us there so they could build their business in Buncrana, a tourist town 100 miles north. For me the journey southwest was an opportunity to switch one thriving locationRead more..

Photo Album:
My First & Only Love

My wife, Bridget Heaney, was born on June 7, 1944. She was one of 10 children raised by a single mother in Cavan, Ireland. Her mother eventually moved to England (Newbury) in search of work, and it was in Newbury that I met Bridget. I was 23 and she was 19. At the time, IRead more..

Photo Album:
Nanna’s First Fourth

“Kate, be careful when you get to America, the streets are full of gangsters!” That is what my grandmother, we called her Nanna, heard before she boarded the ship to America in the 1920s. It was advice from her brother, Jim Connolly, who bonded her and paid for her third class (steerage) passage. As the story goes, Kate ConnollyRead more..

Photo Album: Dad and JFK

My father Cyril DeFever grew up on a dairy farm near Detroit, Michigan. His parents had immigrated to the U.S. from Belgium. My mother, Marie Clancy, the daughter of an insurance man, was Irish. Her grandfather grew up on Turbot Island off Connemara. Her uncle Robert Clancy was a U.S. senator. Dad boxed as a young manRead more..

Photo Album: A Visit to Santa

Christmas, 1959 One Christmas was so much like another in those years, to borrow a line from Dylan Thomas. My mother began the preparations in autumn. The plum pudding was stirred for good luck, then tied in gauze and seamed in a bowl on top of the our wood-burning Stanley stove. The big square ChristmasRead more..

Photo Album:
As My Mother Would Say

I can hear her now – “If I weren’t Irish, I’d be ashamed of myself!”  ℘℘℘ Yes, my mother was Irish, and full of Irish sayings, and they came out whenever she was provoked by a situation requiring a fast one-liner. They were usually preceded by, “As my mother would say.” After hearing them forRead more..