Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Erin go bragh! My Irish policeman grandfather taught me to say this Irish greeting when I was young. Grandpa was perhaps the most dependable, kind, and loving man I have ever known. Grandpa loved St. Patrick's Day, and had a kelly green corduroy shirt he wore only on this holiday. As was common in the old days, grandparents taught grandchildren all sorts of things through conversation. Whether it was family history or historical world events, my grandparents shared this information with my brother, Bill, and I. Grandpa told me the names of his grandparents who came from County Donegal, Ireland, as well as the names of other ancestors and relatives. Apparently, these Irish ancestors came to America prior to the Great Famine.

As I have mentioned before, Grandpa loved to fish. Normally, he and his brother John fished in the Allegheny River near New Kensington, PA. He also enjoyed going to my uncle's hunting and fishing camp on the northern shores of Lake Ontario. The only time I have fished in Canada was trolling in a boat with my grandfather. Maybe that is why I love to fish today - good memories of a really good man.

Grandpa also loved playing cards, especially cribbage, and he would attempt to entice any visitor to play a game with him. The only times I know of that Grandpa indulged in alcohol were at the Elk's Christmas party and the times when the whole family gathered to play cards. I never saw him drunk, only a little "happy".

My brothers and I were his only natural grandchildren (were the others unnatural??) and he often did little things that showed us that we were special to him.
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